Tuesday 23 April 2019

The launch of the satellite and celebrating MBRSC staff. Image courtesy: Wam

UAE's KhalifaSat launched into orbit

DUBAI, October 29, 2018

The UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced the successful launch of the Emirati satellite KhalifaSat into orbit. 
KhalifaSat is the first satellite developed 100 percent at the facilities of MBRSC in the UAE by Emirati engineers and marks a new milestone in the development of the national space sector, said a Wam news agency report.
One of the most advanced earth observation satellites, KhalifaSat was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan, aboard the H-IIA rocket at 1:08 pm Japan time (8:08 am UAE time).
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, chairman of Dubai Executive Council and MBRSC chairman, followed the first contact made by the satellite with the ground station at the centre.
The Dubai Crown Prince said that this accomplishment is another milestone in securing a bright future for the nation. He noted the UAE has all the assets required to achieve excellence in advanced sciences.
Sheikh Hamdan added: "Today, we celebrate a significant national achievement. This project has been 100 percent developed by Emiratis. The UAE is a key partner in the global efforts to make the world a happier and better place through scientific advances. We thank the team that launched KhalifaSat and encourage them to work harder to bring more achievements to this great nation."
The launch of KhalifaSat was attended by Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency; Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, chairman of MBRSC; Khalid Al Ameri, UAE Ambassador to Japan; Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of MBRSC; Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency; and Salem Humaid Al Marri, assistant director-general for scientific and technical affairs at MBRSC.
KhalifaSat entered into a low earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 613 km at 9:33 am, 85 minutes after its launch. The first signal was successfully received at the ground station at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. 
At a later stage, KhalifaSat will capture and deliver high-quality detailed images of the Earth to the ground station at MBRSC, Dubai. At 70 cm per pixel panchromatic and 2.98 m per pixel in multi-spectrum, KhalifaSat can provide images that meet the highest international standards. These detailed high-resolution images can help government and private sector organisations get accurate data for monitoring environmental changes, detecting the effects of global warming, ensuring responsible urban planning and management, and aiding relief efforts at times of natural disasters. These images can also support the effort to achieve sustainable development goals and improve the quality of life, said the report.
KhalifaSat is two metres high and weighs 330 kg. Its speed is estimated at 7km/s, which enables it to orbit the Earth almost 14 and a half cycles daily. It has bagged five patents and developed seven space innovations that have given the satellite an enhanced digital camera; fast image download and high-speed communication capabilities from its position anywhere above the world; an automatic satellite control system with increased storage capacity; a satellite positioning technique that allows it to simultaneously capture multiple 3D images; as well as advanced target positioning for capturing high quality images with pinpoint accuracy and high speed. 

Tags: UAE | Orbit | KhalifaSat |

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