Details of the first project being developed by the Arab Space Coordination Group – an advanced satellite to monitor earth, environment and climate – have been announced.
Eleven Arab states including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco will build the 813 satellite, the UAE Space Agency revealed.
The announcement of the new satellite followed on from the signing of the charter for the establishment of the Arab Space Coordination Group at the Global Space Congress, state news agency WAM reported.
The new satellite has been named 813 and refers to the date that marked the beginning of prosperity for the House of Wisdom in Baghdad under the reign of Al-Ma’mun.
The House embraced scientists, translated notable texts and produced scientific capabilities. The multi-spectral satellite will monitor the Earth and measure the environmental and climatic elements in a number of Arab countries, as well as vegetation, soil types, minerals and water sources, measuring greenhouse gases, pollution and dust levels as well.
It will be designed and manufactured by a number of Arab engineers from countries that have signed the charter which include the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco and Egypt. The group will be led by the UAE.
The new satellite will be funded by the UAE Space Agency and will be developed by Arab engineers at the National Space Science and Technology Centre at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain.
The development of the satellite will take three years and will have a lifespan of about five years. It will also have a polar orbit of 600km. The data will be sent to a ground station in the UAE and receiving stations in some Arab countries for the benefit of a number of environmental authorities, municipalities and institutions concerned with the agricultural sector and urban planning industry.
“The Satellite 813 is a message the UAE is sending to the Arab communities on the ambitions to regain Arabs glories as pioneers in the space domains,” said Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and chairman of the UAE Space Agency.