His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced a new satellite project called the MBZ-SAT, which will become the second Emirati satellite to be fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers following the KhalifaSat.
To be developed at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center, MBRSC, in Dubai, the MBZ-SAT is expected to be launched in 2023, making it the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery.
MBZ-SAT will be equipped with an automated system for arranging images round-the-clock, ensuring that it provides the highest quality standards of satellite images intended for commercial use globally. This project will strengthen the UAE’s partnerships in the space industry between the public and private sectors.
As the fourth Earth Observation (EO) satellite to be developed and launched by MBRSC, the project will strengthen the Center’s efforts to expand its portfolio of imaging technologies and products for government agencies and commercial entities worldwide. MBZ-SAT will contribute to meeting the growing commercial demand for high-resolution satellite images that will show details within an area of less than one square meter, which will be one of the most advanced features ever.
Due to the strategic plan of MBRSC and the approach it has taken over the years to qualify and train Emirati engineers, experts and technicians, a 100 percent Emirati team will work on developing the new satellite at the Center’s laboratories. The Centre will also collaborate with local companies within the space sector, to manufacture and supply the components necessary for the development of MBZ-SAT.
This strategic cooperation will enhance the sustainability of the national space sector in the UAE. After launching the satellite into low earth orbit, the ground station team at MBRSC, will analyze the data received from it, provide recommendations, high-resolution data and images to local and international entities.
The Centre will offer rapid turnaround of captured data, sharing it to users through an advanced system. This imagery solution can support a wide variety of uses within mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, navigation, infrastructure management and disaster relief efforts, to name a few. The utility of satellite imagery in aiding and tackling natural disasters is in particular very important as they can help gauge the severity of the calamity, help plan relief efforts and aid in rebuilding efforts.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, “The space sector is a key strategic sector that we strongly support, due to its role in improving the quality of life for people and providing humanity with innovative solutions for a better future. With the help of our national talent, we can raise the level of our ambitions and continue to support international efforts in the field of space science to serve the interests of both the region and the world. We have selected the name MBZ-SAT for the new satellite, which will be designed and developed by Emirati competencies and bear the initials of my brother Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The name was chosen in honor of the achievements he has contributed to, of which we are proud of among nations. Our goal is to fully benefit from space science and find new opportunities to support the development of our country and the region, and also help societies overcome environmental and developmental challenges so they can prosper and progress.”