EIAST signs up Russian firm for satellite launch
Dubai, February 16, 2011
The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science & Technology (EIAST) has signed a deal with Moscow-based International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK) for the launch of the UAE's second remote sensing satellite, DubaiSat-2.
EIAST is a Dubai government department set up to promote the culture of advanced scientific research in the UAE and build an internationally-competitive base for human skills development.
It focuses on three main scientific programs - Space programs, Astronomy programs, and Environment and water research programs.
As per the contract, DubaiSat-2 will be launched on board a Dnepr Rocket through ISCK Kosmotras from Yasny Cosmodrome in North Russia by fourth quarter of 2012, as part of a clustered launch, in which DubaiSat-2 will be primary satellite on board.
The DubaiSat-2 project is a joint development programme between EIAST and SatrecI of South Korea, in which 16 UAE engineers have been working on the design, development, testing and manufacturing of the satellite.
Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, EIAST director general and Dr Vladimir Andreev, director general of ISCK, recently signed a contract in this connection.
'This is similar to EIAST’s first launch but with some differences, such as the orbit and launch base, and gives EIAST the choice of launch date, and launch characteristics such as the orbital height, inclination and local time of descending node,' said Al Mansoori.
The ability to choose these attributes gives EIAST the added advantage of choosing the best suitable orbit for optimum operation of DubaiSat-2, in terms of image productivity as well as life span, he added.
DubaiSat-2, which will be used for remote sensing, weighs around 300 kg and will be placed into a 600 kilometre circular sun synchronous orbit.
Al Mansoori pointed out that EIAST's space programme sets the platform for the UAE’s quest for scientific and technological advancement in line with modern day advances.
'Besides enhancing the intellectual capital of the country, our experience with the launch of DubaiSat-1 through Kosmotras was seamless, and we are confident of a successful launch for DubaiSat-2 next year, which will further establish the UAE’s presence in the global space sector,' he observed.
'Our Emirati teams in South Korea and the UAE have learnt tremendously from their participation in the design and manufacturing of DubaiSat-1, and with their 50 per cent contribution throughout the development process of DubaiSat-2, the team will be able to produce a high-quality satellite to sufficiently satisfy the needs locally, regionally and internationally and which will eventually be launched by the internationally renowned Kosmotras,' he added.
DubaiSat-2 is the second remote sensing satellite owned by the UAE which underscores the country's determination to possess advanced space technologies to fulfil the needs of scientific and technological research, as well as to provide up-to-date spatial and earth monitoring data.-TradeArabia News Service