MBZ-SAT satellite development moves apace

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is forging ahead with building its MBZ-SAT Earth-observation satellite.


MBZ-SAT will be the region's most advanced high-accuracy, high-resolution imaging satellite. Picture: MBRSC

This will be the region's most advanced high-accuracy, high-resolution imaging satellite. It is designed to monitor environmental changes, water quality, and assist in agricultural development.

MBZ-SAT will be equipped with an automated system for arranging images around the clock, ensuring that it provides the highest quality standards of satellite images intended for commercial use globally. This project will strengthen the UAE’s partnerships in the space industry between the public and private sectors.

As the UAE’s fourth Earth observation satellite to be developed and launched by MBRSC, the project will strengthen the centre’s efforts to expand its portfolio of imaging technologies and products for government agencies and commercial entities worldwide.

MBZ-SAT will contribute to meeting the growing commercial demand for high-resolution satellite images that will show details within an area of ​​less than one square metre.

After launching the satellite into low-earth orbit, the ground station team at MBRSC, will analyse the data received from it, provide recommendations, high-resolution data and images to local and international entities.

MBRSC will offer rapid turnaround of captured data, sharing it to users.

The three-metre by five-metre satellite, weighing around 700 kg, will improve image capture resolution by more than double what is capable in the previously-launched satellites.

It will also increase the downlink data transmission speed by three times the current capacity. The fully-automated image scheduling and processing system of MBZ-SAT will also be able to produce more than 10 times the images the Centre produces currently.

Commercial and government entities can place an order online for high-res imaging around the clock. The image processing and downloads can be completed in less than two hours from receiving the request, depending on the satellite’s location.

MBZ-SAT will be the first satellite capable of detecting a larger number of man-made as well as natural elements with a higher rate of precision and resolution, as compared with the current range of Earth observation satellites.

Steve Nichols

Steve Nichols

Steve (BSc Hons, FIIC) is a journalist and communicator with more than 35 years' experience.