“Don’t tell me sky is the limit when there are footprints on the Moon”
KhalifaSat is the first satellite built by Emirati engineers in the UAE. It is the third remote sensing satellite owned and operated by MBRSC. After it was launched, it boosted UAE’s position and its competitiveness in the sector of satellite manufacturing and operations worldwide. It is a story of a decade to build the KhalifaSat. The satellite manufacturing journey took place in 2006 with the establishment of (EIAST) Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology which was later encircled by MBRSC (Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in 2015, under an edict issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This project or mission can bring in more success to this nation. It will also encourage the young Emiratis to take part in such programmes. Over the past years, the number of Emirati engineers working on this project had increased by 50%, which is a positive indicator of MBRSC’s success in attracting Emirati capabilities. The “KhalifaSat” project includes seven space innovations ranging from enhancements to the a digital camera with an enhanced light meter for better image resolution, developing techniques to increase image download and communication speed with the satellite anywhere in the world. Further enhancements include the development of satellite positioning techniques that allow capturing a higher number of 3D images, target positioning system which makes the satellite one of the best satellites in the world that provide high-quality images, with high-speed response and an accurate location system. KhalifaSat innovations also include the development of automatic satellite control system through upgrading the primary satellite computer’s operating system and increasing its storage capacity. The significance of this achievement is that it is the penultimate step prior to the manufacturing of the Flight Model of KhalifaSat, which was scheduled for launch in 2018 on MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle, which is owned by “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries”. In addition to the Flight Model of KhalifaSat, Emirati engineers will commence the development of the ground station programs that will manage all post launch communication with the satellite. H.E. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General, MBRSC, stated that “the completion of the final design of the engineering model by the KhalifaSat team is a major milestone, not only in developing this satellite; it is an achievement for the entire satellite manufacturing sector in the UAE. The success of Emirati engineers in leading and executing this project is a testament to the skills they gained from the previous two projects, especially since KhalifaSat is the first practical step in manufacturing an Emirati satellite built by Emirati expertise in Space Technology Laboratories in Dubai”. Al Shaibani also stated that “under the support and guidance of our wise leadership and access to the right resources, the satellite manufacturing sector continues to grow in the UAE in line with the highest world-class standards and practices to enhance level s of production and competitiveness.
The Emirati engineers made the dream of our Rulers come true by their devotion and dedication. They also opened a new door of advanced technology and proved that this Nation has the potential to bring the IMPOSSIBLE to POSSIBLE. We all hope that this Nation continues to achieve their goals.
“A GOAL without a PLAN is only a DREAM”