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Latest UAE satellite to launch soon

by Ruchi Shroff on Aug 13, 2012

DubaiSat-2, an advanced imaging satellite, is undergoing final testing and is expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2012 from the Yasny Cosmodrome in north Russia.

A group of 22 Emirati engineers from the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), based in South Korea, worked on the satellite for five years.

"Basically it's completed, we are just putting the final tests on it and it should be ready very soon," said Salem Al Marri, project manager of the space programme at EIAST, adding that it should be finished in "less than a month".

It will become the second EIAST satellite to be launched in three years. DubaiSat-1, which cost US$50 million (Dh183.7m) to develop, was launched in 2009 from a former Soviet base in Kazakhstan.

The new satellite will have a much higher resolution camera, offering images of one metre per pixel, comparable with that offered by Google Earth. The improvement in resolution was partly at the request of UAE authorities who wish to use the images in town planning.

The two satellites will work together and will be joined in 2015 by a third EIAST satellite, DubaiSat-3. The third satellite, now being designed, will be built entirely by Emirati engineers in the UAE.


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