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17 April 2024

MBRSC and HCT officially commence development of historic HCT-SAT 1

Published
By E247

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in collaboration with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), has officially commenced work on the HCT-SAT 1 project, the institution’s inaugural student-led space mission.

The Earth-observation CubeSat project, with a unit size of 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) and set to be launched by the end of 2024, is being developed by HCT students under the expert guidance of MBRSC engineers.

The HCT students, from a range of academic disciplines, are currently working within the laboratories of the MBRSC, initiating the strategic development of HCT-SAT 1. This collaboration involves the Centre's seasoned engineers providing comprehensive knowledge transfer and mentorship to the students across all critical phases of the satellite's lifecycle, including design, development, assembly, testing, and operational management.

The partnership between MBRSC and HCT encompasses not only the launch of the payload, but also an extensive educational experience, empowering both students and faculty members with expert training, and delivering substantial support in the immersive CubeSat curriculum. The endeavour marks a significant step forward in integrating space technology within the educational sector, aiming to advance the UAE’s position in space exploration and science.

It will see 34 male and female HCT students across various engineering disciplines, including aviation sciences, airframe design, and electrical engineering, together with Applied Media students undertaking marketing aspects, work as a cohesive interdisciplinary team. The students are ably supported and mentored by nine HCT faculty members.

H.E. Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, said: "At MBRSC, we are committed to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence, particularly among the youth who are the future pioneers of our nation's space sector. The commencement of the HCT-SAT 1 project is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By involving students in such high-calibre projects, we are not just educating; we are inspiring a new generation to dream big and contribute to the UAE's ambitious space exploration goals. We are confident that this hands-on experience will equip our students with the skills and knowledge required to propel the UAE National Space Programme to new heights."

Dr. Faisal Alayyan, HCT President & CEO, applauded the strategic collaboration with the MBRSC on the development of HCT-SAT 1. “This initiative is a pivotal outcome of the partnership, designed to equip HCT students with advanced knowledge in space sciences. This collaboration underscores the importance of space research in driving human progress while elevating awareness of the UAE's strategic advancements and accomplishments in space exploration. It is a critical component of the nation's vision to achieve a leading role in the highly competitive global space industry,” Dr. Alayyan said.

“The HCT-SAT 1 project aligns with our strategic commitment to advance applied education, foster essential future skills, and boost students' career prospects in key sectors. It will offer students who are passionate space an invaluable gateway to the air space sector through expert-led scientific knowledge and hands-on experience,” he added.

The collaboration between MBRSC and HCT is a strategic move to embed space technology into the HCT curriculum, offering students unparalleled opportunities to engage with the space sector. This project not only enhances students' understanding of space science but also paves the way for them to become integral contributors to the UAE's growing space industry.