Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Environment, infrastructure research to get fillip

Launch to also facilitate disaster management, water resources monitoring, landscaping, desertification

The Gulf Today, 5 Aug 2009
Pix by Kamal Kassim
The UAE's first remote sensing satellite DubaiSat1 will facilitate the country in planning and executing a wide variety of programmes with potential impacts, according to the brains behind the nation's masterpiece techno advancement.
The scientists of the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) spoke to the Dubai media on Tuesday in celebration of the successful launch of DubaiSat-1.
Adnan Mohammed Al Rais, Associate Research Engineer of DubaiSat1, said, "The current research projects of DubaiSat1 include infrastructure development for urban and rural planning, civil development and construction. Applications for land development and engineering, and survey (GIS) projects are also among the applications of DubaiSat1."
"The satellite can also be utilised effectively for environment related solutions such as detecting oil spills, monitoring land contamination, and meteorological applications like observation of fog, sand and dust storms," he added.
Al Rais noted, "DubaiSat1 will also help us to observe water quality, especially the water surrounding desalination plants, as well as monitoring water resources, land cover or land change detection for vegetation, landscaping and desertification."
According to him, DubaiSat-1 will also facilitate management of disasters such as floods and droughts, earthquakes and accidental pollution.
Salem Al Marri, Project Manager of DubaiSat-1 Space Programme, said: "The current status of the satellite is successfully operational. It orbits around the earth carrying the UAE flag in space on board the Dnepr Rocket along with other British, American and Spanish satellites. All panels are operational."
"DubaiSat-1 is ready to provide information and images. Test images will be taken soon hopefully," he added.
Al Marri said that the national UAE team initiated work directly to make sure the satellite achieved optimal position in orbit around the earth, and that it has successfully connected with the EIAST earth observation station in Dubai.
"The DubaiSat-1 team participated in testing and studies that were carried out before the launch to make sure of whether it was ready for accomplishing a successful launch. EIAST coordinated with the launching company, International Space Company (Cosmotras) in this regard," he noted.
Director General of EIAST, Ahmed Al Mansoori said: "The launch of Dubai Sat-1 was very complicated, especially in light of the possibility of not succeeding because these types of projects need full readiness of equipment associated with the launch pad."
"It is known that delays in satellite launches are frequent and linked to the final results of the tests carried out by a team of scientists and experts. We were looking forward to a seamless execution of the launch and hence the nominal delay in the launch of DubaiSat-1. Finally, the launch process of DubaiSat-1 was completed successfully," added Mansoori.
According to Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, EIAST Board Chairman, the UAE has established its own imprint in space research and technologies. EIAST has been working to create an internationally competitive base for human skills development and positioning the UAE as a science and technology development hub among advanced nations.
"The UAE engineers and scientists are responsible for more than a third of the project's implementation. They have played a distinguished role in carrying out the project at all levels, from planning, reviewing, manufacture and experience to the actual launch process itself. The achievement sheds light on the extent of technological and industrial progress as well as strengthening scientific and technological skills," he said.
"The successful launch of DubaiSat-1 is a dream realised," said the scientists, "It is the result of months of challenges, planning and dedication right up until the day of implementation, which was a wondrous success. But it is only the first chapter of a big successful story."
DubaiSat-1 team
Salem Al Marri (Project Manager of Space Programme), Omran Anwar Sharaf, (Team Leader of Hardware Division), Amer Mohammed Al Sayegh (Team Leader of Software Division), Mohammed Abdulrahim Al Harmi (Research Engineer of Software Division) and Abdulla Saif Harmoul (Research Engineer- Opto-Mechnical).
Suhail Buti Al Dhafri (Research Engineer- Electronics), Adnan Mohammed Al Rais (Team Leader- Ground Systems and Image Processing), Ali Rashid Al Suwaidi (Associate Research Engineer- Image Processing), Zakareya Saif AL Shamsi (Associate Research Engineer- Software Division) and Hamad Mohammed Al Jaziri (Associate Research Engineer- Electronics).
Ahmad Salem Bilal (Associate Research Engineer- Electronics), Abdulla Hamad Bu Shahab (Associate Research Engineer- Image Processing), Amaar Said Al Muhairi (Associate Research Engineer- Image Processing), Majid Ali Al Loghani (Associate Research Engineer- Ground System and Operations), Mohammed Yousif Bin Nashooq (Associate Research Engineer Ground System and Operations), Sara Yousif Amiri (Associate Research Engineer- Software Division) and Mohammed Abdularahim Wali (Associate Research Engineer- Mechanical structure).

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