Dubai to make its own space satellites

by Staff Reporter | February 5th, 2013

Dubai will start works, as reported by Emirates 24/7, in 2013, on building the first of its kind high-technology facility for manufacturing satellites in the region.

Construction on the satellite-manufacturing facility is to begin in 2013 and will be ready to function within two years, as per Al Marri

The emirate will also launch two new satellites – DubaiSat-3 in 2016-2017 and DubaiSat-4 in 2020, said Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director of Space Programme Department at the Dubai-based Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (Eiast).

Al Marri stated that EIAST is following a 15-year timeline to launch a number of satellites. This plan is slated to be completed by the year 2020 with the launch of DubaiSat-4. Construction on the satellite-manufacturing facility is to begin in 2013 and will be ready to function within two years, as per Al Marri.

Al Marri added that some parts of DubaiSat-3 will be manufactured in the emirate by Emirati engineers in the new facility and some parts will be made in South Korea. DubaiSat-4 will, in Al Marri’s words be “100% designed and made in Dubai by our Emirati engineers”.

Al Marri revealed that Eiast is also considering future cooperation with Yahsat, a private joint stock company fully-owned by Mubadala which is an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi in the field of satellites and space technology.

Images from the earth observation satellites are currently being used to monitor projects such as the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid City. As part of the UN-SPIDER, a United Nations platform for space-based information for disaster management and emergency response, images from EIAST’s satellites monitored the devasation caused by the Tsunami in Japan and the floods in Pakistan, among other natural calamities.

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