The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science & Technology (EIAST) has signed a contract with the International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK) from Russia for the launch of the second remote sensing satellite of the UAE, DubaiSat-2.
His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of EIAST, and His Excellency Dr. Vladimir Andreev – Director General of ISCK, signed the contract recently.
As per the contract, DubaiSat-2 will be launched on board a Dnepr Rocket through the Moscow-based International Space Company (ISCK) Kosmotras from Yasny Cosmodrome in Northern Russia by the fourth quarter of 2012, as part of a clustered launch, in which DubaiSat-2 will be the primary satellite on board.
This type of launch 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.
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.
DubaiSat-2, which will be used for remote sensing, weighs around 300 kilograms and will be placed into a 600 kilometre circular sun synchronous orbit.
Al Mansoori said: “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".
"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," added Al Mansoori.
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 that aids the holistic growth drive adopted by the nation.
The quality of images, resolution and agility of DubaiSat-2 has been improved and the design details will be revealed by April this year after the completion of the major design milestones of the project.
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. The participation of the UAE engineers has increased from the DubaiSat-1 project and this development should take EIAST to the next level in satellite development.
EIAST is a Dubai Government Department established to promote the culture of advanced scientific research in Dubai and the UAE and build an internationally competitive base for human skills development apart from strengthening the country’s international collaborative links and establishing joint projects with industry and research organsations worldwide.