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September 10th, 2013
Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology Launches First Satellite Project to be Completed in UAE

DubaiSat-3 will initially be developed in South Korea and later transferred to EIAST’s satellite manufacturing facilities in the UAE midway through the project. EIAST further revealed that it will start developing its own clean room and satellite manufacturing facilities, which consist of labs that keep the environment in the clean room free from dust and humidity, at the EIAST headquarters in Dubai this year as part of preparations for the transfer of the DubaiSat-3 development to Dubai.

EIAST’s Emirati engineers will be taking the lead in the development of the project from the start and SI will be assuming a consultative role. These latest developments will firm up the transfer of satellite development in the UAE.

His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors, EIAST, said: “The ultimate goal of Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology is to develop a core team of local experts and position UAE as a global leader in science and technology. We are inspired by the passion and dedication of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who is the leading proponent of the EIAST initiative.”

Al Mansoori added: “In this regard, the DubaiSat-3 Project marks a very important step towards realizing this vision as our own UAE experts and engineers will be taking a leadership role in the development of the satellite. The completion of this project will underline the success of our strategy to develop our own human capital and to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and technologies towards establishing the UAE among the most advanced nations in the world. We owe gratitude to our partners Satrec Initiative in reaching our goals.”

His Excellency Yousef Al Sheibani, Director General, EIAST, said: “The launch of DubaiSat-3 Project is a very important step forward and is a clear manifestation of the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology’s dedication, hard work and commitment in cultivating a culture of scientific and technological excellence in the UAE. EIAST has progressed significantly since we began collaborating in 2006 with Satrec Initiative, and we look forward to the next stage of our strategic relationship.”

“The DubaiSat-3 is an important project as it tests our own satellite manufacturing capabilities and ultimately gives insights to further improve future satellite development programs. Establishing our own satellite manufacturing capabilities has been made possible with strategic partnerships with global leaders in satellite development. Looking ahead, we aim to achieve full capabilities, knowledge, facilities and research ability to develop advanced satellite missions on UAE soil following the completion of the DubaiSat-3 Project,” added His Excellency Al Sheibani.

Eng. Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs, EIAST, said: “It is the vision of EIAST to effectively use and exploit space science technologies and applications to advance the UAE’s social and economic development plans. The DubaiSat-3 Project brings us closer to this vision because, for the first time, we will be primarily using local expertise and technologies in completing the new satellite within the next three and a half years. The first two years of development will take place in South Korea in collaboration with Satrec Initiative. The final year and a half of development will be the most crucial for us as we will be moving the project to our facilities in Dubai.”

“The satellite bus of DubaiSat-3 will be similar to that of DubaiSat-2, but there will be significant changes in its payload and the size of the camera. It will also feature a new, highly sophisticated camera system, which works as an accurate magnifier achieving a sub-meter resolution of 70 centimetres from a distance of 600 kilometres above the surface of the Earth. There will also be improvements in the download speed and computing capabilities,” added Eng. Al Marri.

EIAST has developed a core team of 45 UAE experts and engineers for the DubaiSat-3 Project and its ground systems, and intends to hire additional UAE nationals in later stages of the project, in line with one of EIAST’s main strategic goals; to advance the skills development of Emiratis. The launch of the DubaiSat-3 Project is the culmination of a three-step approach that ultimately aims to achieve full capabilities, knowledge, facilities and research ability to develop advanced satellite missions on UAE soil.

The first step of EIAST’s three-step approach to its satellite systems development focused on the transfer of technology and knowledge with the development of DubaiSat-1, which was developed by Satrec Initiative in South Korea and launched by EIAST in 2009. In step two, EIAST established a core team of UAE experts and engineers to jointly develop DubaiSat-2, which has been scheduled to be sent to orbit in 2013. In step three, EIAST intends to undertake a more prominent leadership role in the development of the DubaiSat-3 satellite.

EIAST was established by the Dubai Government in 2006 with the goal to promote a culture of advanced scientific research and technology innovation in Dubai and the UAE, and to enhance UAE nationals’ capacity in technological innovation and attaining leading scientific levels. It is mainly involved in outer space research and development; manufacture of satellites and development of systems; space imaging; and ground station services and support to other satellites.