A Dubai nanosatellite that aims to improve the emirate’s power grid is expected to be put into orbit on a SpaceX rocket on Thursday.
The Dewasat-1 cubesat will be launched at 7:30 p.m. UAE time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His departure will be broadcast live.
The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority announced its Space-D program last year. It is an effort to improve the operations, maintenance and planning of its networks using nanosatellite technology.
This involves the launch of a nanosat constellation that will support Dewa’s main satellite.
Utilities can benefit from satellite technology. It allows them to monitor and map their infrastructure as well as track the environmental impact of their operations. Data can also help these companies improve their services.
Dewasat-1, an imaging satellite, will be able to better monitor high-voltage transmission lines, substations, buildings and solar power plants.
Dewa also expects the satellite to improve the performance and efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world’s largest single-site solar park.
Dewasat-1 is the first of many other satellites that Dewa plans to launch.
Saeed Al Tayer, managing director of Dewa, said the program will strengthen Dubai’s electricity and water networks.
“The program aims to build the capacity of Dewa and train Emirati professionals in the use of space technologies to improve its electricity and water networks,” he said when announcing the program.
“The program will leverage technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and blockchain to exchange information using satellite communication and Earth observation technologies.”
The utilities authority has partnered with US company NanoAvionics, a small satellite manufacturer, to build Dewasat-1, a three-unit cubesat and a six-unit cubesat.
Cubesats are miniature satellites that provide easier and cheaper access to space. Some schools have programs where students build 1-unit cubesats, but space companies build more complex ones of up to three units.
They can be used for a range of applications, including imaging the Earth, monitoring climate change, and producing other data.
Under the deal, NanoAvionics will also manage the launch, build the solar park’s ground station, and train Emirati professionals.
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Update: January 13, 2022, 3:30 a.m.