Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, announced on 16 November 2016 that it will work with Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) to support the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s Master Concentration in Space Systems and Technology in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking at the Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute on 1 November 2016, SSL President John Celli presented an inspiring view of current space technology and how SSL is influenced by its innovative Silicon Valley environment. He also offered resources to the Masdar Institute leadership, so that the Institute’s research-driven, graduate-level studies can benefit from SSL’s technical expertise and long experience with satellites and spacecraft systems.
Masdar Institute launched its space concentration in the autumn of 2015. The concentration is offered in seven of the institute’s nine current Master’s programs. It was developed to foster the advanced research areas in space science and technology needed to support the UAE national space program and space-related industries with human resources, technical advancements, and infrastructure. The UAE has set itself a goal of becoming the first Arab country to launch a mission to another planet by sending a probe to Mars by 2021, and space is one of the seven sectors targeted in the UAE National Innovation Strategy, which aims to make the UAE one of the world’s most innovative countries by 2021.
In partnership with Yahsat, SSL will provide program management guidance and technical expertise to support Masdar Institute’s CubeSat program.
Masdar Institute, which was established by the UAE government in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), aims to support Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification by nurturing highly-skilled human and intellectual capital in areas of strategic and economic relevance to the country and region. The Institute’s advanced space concentration provides students with the opportunity to earn their chosen Master’s degree while contributing to high-tech research in space technology.
As part of Masdar Institute’s space concentration, students in various engineering disciplines have the opportunity to work in groups to design, integrate, construct, test and subsequently operate a miniature satellite, called a CubeSat, which will be launched and monitored via a ground station.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to help provide space science education to the promising students at Masdar Institute and around the globe, who are ultimately responsible for leading us into the future of space technology,” Celli added. “Thank you to Masdar and Yahsat for inviting us to participate in this unique and important program.”
SSL provides complex spacecraft that are used by companies around the globe, to provide news and entertainment, emergency services, and connectivity for economic development in remote regions. SSL also builds small satellites for services such as Earth observation, and develops innovative space systems such as the propulsion system for a NASA moon mission and robotics for spacecraft assembly in space.