The Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) and Northrop Grumman, announced the arrival of the miniature satellite “DhabiSat” to its orbital position via the Cygnus space supply vehicle of Northrop Grumman Company, which represents a new milestone for the country in the space sector. .
“DubaiSat” is the second miniature satellite designed and built by Khalifa University students, and the moon smoothly entered its orbit after leaving the International Space Station.
The main task of “DubaiSat” is to enable students to design, implement and test software models for the control mode and sub-systems, as the satellite was built at the Yahsat Space Lab of the Khalifa University Center for Space Technology and Innovation.
“There is another mini-satellite that we plan to build in the future,” said the university’s executive vice president, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi.
He noted Yahsat and Northrop Grumman’s support for students during the design, development and launch process of “DubaiSat”, stressing that its arrival to its orbital position represents “another achievement in the record of Khalifa University and the UAE.”
He said: “With the UAE consolidating its position as a global power in the field of space, we look forward to preparing more scientific cadres and human capital, especially in the space science sector, in cooperation with our partners in various academic and industrial sectors.”
For her part, Mona Al Muhairi, Chief Executive Officer of Human Resources at Yahsat, stressed the importance of this step in light of the country’s efforts to develop local talent to lead the national space program.
She added: “To achieve the aspirations of our founding fathers and enrich our capabilities, we need to build future generations of Emirati pioneers in the space sector,” pointing out that the success of the “DubaiSat” mission confirms the competence and skill of our youth to manage multifaceted programs and work with the pioneers of the global space industry.
She stressed that “Yahsat is ready to help deserving candidates grow and understand advanced satellite technologies to stimulate national industrialization efforts,” noting that the Yahsat Space Lab, which was established at the Center for Space Technology and Innovation at Khalifa University, is an excellent way to develop Local cadres in the fields of space and systems engineering, and “DubaiSat” is another example of its success.
Al Muhairi thanked the UAE Space Agency, Khalifa University and Northrop Grumman for their commitment to support the project, stressing that the UAE’s ambitions in the field of space transcend national borders, and “DubaiSat” is the largest example of what any country can achieve through national and international cooperation.
For his part, Northrop Grumman Vice President and General Manager of Tactical Space Systems, Frank DiMauro, a technical advisor and mentor for students in the Abu DhabiSat team, said, “The company is looking to achieve research results in controlling the direction of the miniature satellite, which will be implemented via satellites. The launch of (DubaiSat) and other miniature satellites highlights the importance and ability of the Cygnus spacecraft to carry out tasks that go beyond the limits of supplying the International Space Stations.”
“DubaiSat” will assess and validate the accuracy of various steering control strategies and subsystems by capturing images using an onboard digital camera pointing in specific directions.
The new position control algorithms and subsystems will improve the accuracy and response time of the miniature satellites to changes in situations, compared to traditional algorithms. If successful, these algorithms can then be used as the basis for future mini-satellite missions.
It is noteworthy that “MySat-1”, the educational and communication mini-satellite, arrived in space in February 2019 via the “NG-10 Cygnus” vehicle, and sent images from space received by the ground station at Khalifa University.
A new lithium-ion battery was also tested in space after it was manufactured in the university laboratories, while students and members of the academic staff published several scientific research articles, based on data collected by MySat-1.