Emirati engineers to start manufacturing MBZ-SAT flight model soon

The satellite will have the largest telescope ever developed in the country


Nandini Sircar

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Tue 21 Dec 2021, 9:07 PM

Engineers and experts of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will soon start manufacturing the flight model of MBZ-SAT — which is set to be the biggest, most advanced commercial satellite in the region. It will be launched in 2023.

A critical design review (CDR) of the satellite was already completed. The CDR is the final multi-disciplined technical review to ensure that the satellite can proceed into fabrication, demonstration and testing, and meet the stated performance requirements within cost, schedule, and risk.


The 100 per cent Emirati-made MBZ-SAT will have the largest telescope ever developed in the country. Its final design weighs over 800kg.

“The successful completion of the critical review design of the MBZ-SAT, marks yet another milestone in our journey towards the launch of the most advanced satellite from the region in 2023. The team has done a remarkable job, illustrating the expertise, skill and capabilities of Emirati scientists and engineers,”said Salem AlMarri, director-general of the MBRSC.

This satellite has been pivotal in supporting the local space industry, with 90 per cent of its mechanical structure and 50 per cent of electronic modules being built in the country.

Bearing the initials of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the MBZ-SAT will be three times more efficient than KhalifaSat, the country’s first locally built satellite launched in 2018.

What can the satellite do?

  • It will be equipped with an automated system for arranging images round the clock, ensuring that it provides images of the highest quality intended for commercial use globally
  • It will improve image-capture resolution by more than double, compared to the previously launched system
  • It will also increase the downlink data transmission speed by thrice the current capacity.
  • The fully automated image scheduling and processing system will produce more than 10 times the images the centre produces currently.

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