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DubaiSat-2 designing in final stage

Dubai, UAE: Engineers are providing finishing touches to the design of DubaiSat-2, UAE’s second imaging satellite, to be launched next year, according to Salem al Marri, Director of the space programme at the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology. The design will take into account the needs of different government departments, particularly those involved in urban planning, Marri said.

The institute launched the country’s first imaging satellite, DubaiSat-1, in July 2009 from a base in Kazakhstan. Since then, the satellite is sending images of the country four times a day to the institute’s listening station in Al Khawaneej, Dubai. It is expected to be functioning for the next six years.

The images have been used to monitor environmental areas of interest, including sandstorms and dune movement. However, because the camera has a resolution of 2.5 metres per pixel, the level of detail is limited.

Part of the problem is that by increasing the focusing power of the camera, the area that could be captured in one pass would be greatly reduced. “We get a wide range of requests. Everyone wants something so you can’t build one satellite to satisfy everyone’s needs,” Marri added.

The DubaiSat-2 is expected to be launched late next year from Yasny in southern Russia. The launch is to be carried out by the Russian company ISC Kosmotras, which launched Dubai Sat-1 two years ago. The South Korean company Satrec Initiative is carrying out work on the satellite, with the help of a team of 16 Emirati engineers who have been in Seoul since 2006.

Source: The National