7,250 images and 5,431 low Earth orbits
Dubai, UAE, 30 October 2019: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of KhalifaSat, the first satellite developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers, at MBRSC’s facilities. KhalifaSat successfully launched into space from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, aboard the H-IIA rocket, on October 29, 2018.
KhalifaSat plays a local, regional, and global role in providing to monitor environmental changes, ensure effective urban management, and aid in disaster relief efforts.
KhalifaSat was designed according to the highest international standards. In one year, KhalifaSat captured high resolution images, with a GSD of 0.7 metres panchromatic and 2.98 GSD in four multispectral bands.
MBRSC highlighted that, within one year of its launch, KhalifaSat captured 7,250 high-quality images, including images of Palm Jumeirah, Al Maktoum Stadium (Al Nasr Club), Kingdom Centre, Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where the first Emirati astronaut travelled to space.
KhalifaSat was able to complete 5,431 Low Earth Orbits, and communicated with the ground station at MBRSC 906 times, to send information and images, and receive updates. KhalifaSat sent 355 Terabytes (TB) of data to MBRSC’s ground station from across planet Earth.
KhalifaSat also captured images of major projects and achievements in the UAE and its construction work, including Abu Dhabi International Airport and the surrounding area, in addition to the construction developments around The Louvre Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said, “Today marks one year after the launch of KhalifaSat, the first satellite developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers. After the outstanding performance, images and analysis it has provided, we celebrate the culmination of one of the UAE’s major achievements. This success proves that our youth are able to make more achievements, reflecting the aspirations of our wise leadership”.
“Day after day, Emirati youth acquire more experience and skills in the space sector, enabling us to strengthen our position in the field of satellite manufacturing and management,” added AlShaibani.
Amer AlGhafri, Director of Space Systems Development Department and KhalifaSat Project Manager, said, “One year after its launch, KhalifaSat is performing very well. It is still ahead of other satellites in the region, in monitoring and analysis. KhalifaSat will be able to capture more images in the next few years.'
“KhalifaSat was developed 100% by a team of Emirati engineers. In addition, the technical support and updates were also carried out by an Emirati team at MBRSC. KhalifaSat raised the level of national competencies who worked on the project and developed their skills to be able to deal well with all the challenges and difficulties faced by the satellite during its first year,” added AlGhafri.
KhalifaSat’s mission is to provide detailed images for environmental monitoring, study areas, and urban planning. KhalifaSat also monitors environmental changes, ensures effective urban management, and aids in disaster relief efforts. KhalifaSat is also capable of providing accurate information on the location, direction, and speed of ships. It also provides images monitoring development trends and changes on the planet, especially by government organisations. These images are then used in the design and production of detailed maps of the region.
Khalifa Sat is the most technologically advanced UAE satellite, orbiting the ground at a height of 580-620 km. The entire cycle around Earth is about 100 minutes, 3.3 meters wide, and the colour engineering accuracy of 0.7 meters and 4 meters of multi-spectral bands, with space speed at a total of 27,000 kilometres per hour. There are also 14 access points for ground stations throughout the world, as well as 4 access points for ground stations throughout the UAE. The speed of data transfer is 320 Mbps, while it's 87 megabytes per second. It also includes 87 electronic units and 146 structural units.
KhalifaSat is the first satellite to be developed in the clean rooms of the MBRSC. With five patents, this technological icon was manufactured by a team of Emirati engineers from the MBRSC. The satellite caputures high-quality images that assist governments and private organisations. The initial manufacturing stages were done in South Korea, and then transferred to the Centre. The 100% dust-free laboratories were equipped to complete the manufacturing process.
MBRSC is building and operating Earth observation satellites and providing image and data analysis services to customers around the world. KhalifaSat is the third satellite to be developed by MBRSC after DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2.