The Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) and Northrop Grumman Corporation today announced the arrival of the miniature satellite “DubaiSat” to its orbital position via the Northrop Grumman Company’s Cygnus space delivery vehicle, which represents a new milestone for the country in the space sector.
Abu DhabiSat is the second miniature satellite designed and built by Khalifa University students, and the moon smoothly entered its orbit after leaving the International Space Station. The main mission of Abu DhabiSat is to enable students to design, implement and test software models for the control mode and sub-systems. The satellite was built in the Yahsat Space Lab of the Khalifa University Center for Space Technology and Innovation.
On this occasion, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, said: With the arrival of Abu DhabiSat to its orbital position, our students and partners achieve another achievement in the record of Khalifa University and the UAE. We thank our partners at Yahsat and Northrop Grumman who supported the students during the design, development and launch of Abu Dhabi Sat, which is The third mini-satellite of its kind was made by Khalifa University students, in addition to another mini-satellite that we plan to build in the future.
He added, with the UAE consolidating its position as a global power in the field of space, we look forward to preparing more scientific cadres and human capital, especially in the space science sector, in cooperation with our partners in various academic and industrial sectors.
Mona Al Muhairi, Chief Human Capital Officer at Yahsat, said: “This is an important step in light of the country’s efforts to develop local talent to lead the national space program and to achieve the aspirations of our founding fathers and to enrich our capabilities. We need to build future generations of Emirati pioneers in the space sector.” She stated that the success of the “DubaiSat” mission confirms the competence and skill of our youth to manage multifaceted programs and work with the pioneers of the global space industry, and that Yahsat is ready to help deserving candidates grow and understand advanced satellite technologies to stimulate national industrialization efforts.
She added that the Yahsat Space Lab, which was established at the Center for Space Technology and Innovation at Khalifa University, is an excellent way to develop local cadres in the fields of space and systems engineering, and “DubaiSat” is another example of its success. She thanked the partners, the Emirates Space Agency, Khalifa University and Northrop Grumman – for their commitment to support this project, stressing that the UAE’s ambitions in the field of space transcend national borders, and “DubaiSat” is the largest example of what any country can achieve through national and international cooperation.
Frank DiMauro, Vice President and General Manager of Tactical Space Systems at Northrop Grumman, said: “As a technical advisor and mentor for students on the Abu DhabiSat team, Northrop Grumman is looking to achieve research results in microsatellite directional control, which will be carried out via satellites and highlight the launch of Abu DhabiSat and other satellites. The miniature highlights the importance and ability of the Cygnus spacecraft to carry out missions that go beyond resupplying the International Space Stations. Abu DhabiSat will evaluate and validate the accuracy of various steering control strategies and subsystems by capturing images using an onboard digital camera pointing in specific directions. The new position control algorithms and subsystems will improve the accuracy and response time of the miniature satellites to changes in situations compared to traditional algorithms.
If successful, these algorithms could then be used as the basis for future mini-satellite missions. It is noteworthy that “MySat-1”, the first miniature satellite developed by Khalifa University students, arrived in space in February 2019 via the NG-10 Cygnus spacecraft. The educational and communication mini-satellite sent images from space received by the ground station at Khalifa University.
A new lithium-ion battery has also been tested in space after being manufactured in the laboratories of Khalifa University, while students and members of the academic staff have so far published several scientific research articles based on data collected by MySat-1.