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Abu Dhabi’s space race continues as the second CubeSat lifts off


Khalifa University students are behind the development of the second satellite they have sent into outer space.

The UAE’s space achievements know no bounds and just keep getting better.

Last week, the eyes of the world were on the UAE as the UAE Hope Probe entered Mars orbit. And more recently, the mission sent to Earth the first images of Mars.

We all know that there is no lack of brilliantly bright students at the UAE’s universities, not least here in Abu Dhabi.

Students at the capital’s Khalifa University of Science and Technology, along with Al Yah Satellite Company (Yahsat) and Northrop Grumman today (21 February) announced that ‘DhabiSat’ lifted off aboard the Cygnus NG-15 spacecraft on the Antares rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in the United States.

What is remarkable is that the ‘DhabiSat’ is the second CubeSat designed and developed by Khalifa University students with support from partners.

The launch of DhabiSat marks another milestone event for the UAE, the Khalifa University community, as well as for collaboration partners Yahsat and Northrop Grumman.

DhabiSat will be deployed from the resupply spacecraft Cygnus NG-15, following its departure from the ISS in approximately three months.




Developed by 27 graduate students at Yahsat Space Lab, which is part of the Khalifa University Space Technology and Innovation Center (KUSTIC), the DhabiSat project is helping to train a new cadre of youth to become qualified engineers to support the growing space sector in the UAE.

Once deployed, DhabiSat will enable students to test custom software modules, developed in-house by the students, for the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS). The high resolution camera on DhabiSat can capture images at 12.6 meters per pixel spatial resolution on ground, from an altitude of 450 km.

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “The launch of DhabiSat is another remarkable achievement for the UAE, Khalifa University and the partners, marking a major milestone for the UAE’s space sector that will have locally-qualified, and trained manpower equipped by academic institutions within the country.

“The CubeSat was entirely designed and developed by students with support from our partners, and demonstrates another example of Khalifa University’s overarching strategy to develop space scientists and engineers who will take the UAE forward in terms of technological progress.

Khalifa University’s first CubeSat MYSat-1, conceptualized, designed, integrated, tested and operated as part of the Master’s Concentration in Space Systems and Technologies program, was deployed in February 2019. It carried an experimental coin cell battery, based on the technology developed at Khalifa University along with a VGA camera integrated at the Yahsat Space Lab based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components.

Source UAE National News Agency – WAM

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