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DubaiSat-2 design finalised

(Staff Reporter) / 1 February 2012

Engineers from the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) announced that the DubaiSat-2 project has completed a crucial stage in the design phase

DUBAI - Engineers from the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) announced that the DubaiSat-2 project has completed a crucial stage in the design phase, with the qualification model (QM) passing a series of rigorous tests.

The qualification model is the third and final design model, and represents the last test of all components on DubaiSat-2, the UAE’s second remote sensing satellite which is due to be launched into the orbit by the end of 2012. The model is very close to the final satellite, but has been made with less space-worthy components.

Ahmed Al Mansoori, Director-General of EIAST, said: “I am delighted that the EIAST engineers have passed this significant milestone, which reflects the dedication, expertise and commitment of our team of highly skilled UAE engineers. They strive to bring to reality the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which is to propel our youth towards the cutting edge of advanced scientific research and development.”

The DubaiSat-2 Qualification Model has been put through a series of tests to ensure that the final satellite can withstand the harsh environment of the launch and its long mission in space. It underwent vibration, acoustic, thermal, thermal vacuum, shock and mass measurement tests.

“These tests are designed to put the satellite through the same or similar conditions that it will face on its journey to space. From liftoff to separation of the satellite from the launcher, it takes 15 minutes, but the amount of pressure, shock and vibration is very high and we need to put the model through those same conditions to make sure our satellite will eventually survive this event,” said Salem Al Marri, Head of projects and space missions at the EIAST.

“We also need to make sure our satellite will survive in space. Because it orbits the earth every 90 minutes, it will be in front of the sun for about 60 minutes and behind the earth for the rest of the time, and will therefore be subjected to huge changes in temperature. This testing phase ensures that the final satellite will cope with these.”

All of these tests were completed in early October. The next step for the engineers is one last verification of the data from the electronic components before a meeting is held at the end of February to review the data and confirm that the project is ready to enter the manufacturing stage.

The satellite will orbit 600km above the earth’s surface compared to the 690km orbit of DubaiSat-1. The orbit has also been changed from an ascending orbit (South to North) to a descending orbit (North to South), which will allow both satellites to work well in constellation as well as give better coverage of the UAE area. Among other significant improvements, the UAE team along with their South Korean partners (Satrec Initiative) has designed the satellite to produce higher quality images at 1-metre resolution which can serve various applications including environmental projects, urban planning, infrastructure, telecommunications and electricity projects.


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