By Sam Bridge
UAE's KhalifaSat has captured 7,250 high-quality images and completed 5,431 low Earth orbits during its first year of operations
The UAE's KhalifaSat has captured 7,250 high-quality images and completed 5,431 low Earth orbits during its first year of operations.
The satellite also communicated with the ground station at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) 906 times to send information and images, and receive updates.
KhalifaSat has sent 355 terabytes of data to the MBRSC’s ground station from across planet Earth, a statement said.
KhalifaSat is the first satellite developed 100 percent in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers at the facilities of MBRSC. It was launched into space from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan, aboard the H-IIA rocket, on October 29, 2018.
MBRSC highlighted that within one year of its launch, KhalifaSat captured images of Palm Jumeirah, Al Maktoum Stadium (Al Nasr Club), Kingdom Centre, Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque), the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where the first Emirati astronaut travelled to space.
It also captured images of major projects and achievements in the UAE and its construction work, including the Abu Dhabi International Airport and the surrounding area, in addition to the construction developments around The Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of the MBRSC, said: "Today marks one year since the launch of KhalifaSat, the first satellite developed 100 percent in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers. After the outstanding performance, images and analysis it has provided, we celebrate the culmination of one of the UAE’s major achievements. This success proves that our youth can enjoy more achievements, reflecting the aspirations of our wise leadership."
KhalifaSat’s mission is to provide detailed images for environmental monitoring, study areas, and urban planning. It also monitors environmental changes, ensures effective urban management, and aids in disaster relief efforts.
KhalifaSat also provides images monitoring development trends and changes on the planet, especially by government organisations. These images are then used in the design and production of detailed maps of the region.
KhalifaSat is the third satellite to be developed by the MBRSC after DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2.