The UAE Space Agency, in cooperation with Khalifa University of Science and Technology at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), has completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the MeznSat-3U Cubesat.
MeznSat-3U will be used to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere as part of the UAE’s intent to become a regional and global player in atmospheric sciences as well as for the purposes of environmental and climate change monitoring.
Due to be launched in late 2019 from Japan by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), MeznSat-3U will use a camera and a shortwave infrared spectrometer to measure the amount and distribution of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the data from the satellite will be monitored, processed, and analysed by a team of students at a ground station located in the UAE. MeznSat-3U will also measure nutrient concentration along the coastline of the Arabian Gulf in order to provide more accurate predictions, and more timely mitigation, of algae blooms.
The PDR took place at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi and was chaired by Khaled Al Hashmi, Director of Space Mission Management at the UAE Space Agency. Other participants in the PDR included experts from Khalifa University of Science and Technology, AURAK, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), YahSat, and the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) at the UAE University (UAEU) in Al Ain.
“The MeznSat project is an important addition to the UAE’s satellite capabilities, which include remote sensing, Earth observation and communications. The project’s objective is primarily educational, falling within the Agency’s mission to develop national capabilities, strengthen scientific research and organize the sector,” said Khaled Al Hashmi.
“It is an amazing opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills, put their academic knowledge into practice and gain invaluable hands-on experience. MeznSat is also considered an important achievement for the national space sector in regards to the development and manufacture of satellites,” Al Hashmi added.