813: UAE starts work on first joint Arab satellite

By Rajive Singh

ABU DHABI 21 March 2019: The UAE has initiated the creation of the first Arab Space Coordination Group along with 11 Arab nations to develop 813, an advanced satellite to monitor earth, environment and climate, the UAE Space Agency announced.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the group as a gift from the UAE to Arab countries.

The announcement of the new satellite followed on from the signing of the charter for the establishment of the Arab Space Coordination Group at the Global Space Congress, said Wam.

813: Historic Date

The new satellite has been named 813 and refers to the date that marked the beginning of prosperity for the House of Wisdom in Baghdad under the reign of Al-Ma’mun. Representing the region, the House embraced scientists, translated notable texts and produced scientific capabilities. The multi-spectral satellite will monitor the Earth and measure the environmental and climatic elements in a number of Arab countries, as well as vegetation, soil types, minerals and water sources, measuring greenhouse gases, pollution and dust levels as well.

Sheikh Mohammed at the announcement of the Arab Space Group

The new satellite will be designed and manufactured by a number of Arab engineers from countries that have signed the charter for the launch of the first group of its kind in the Arab world. The member countries are:

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Jordan
  3. Bahrain
  4. Algeria
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Sudan
  7. Lebanon
  8. Kuwait
  9. Morocco
  10. Egypt

The member countries voted for the UAE to lead the new organization. The 11th country was not mentioned by Wam.

The new satellite will be funded by the UAE Space Agency and will be developed by Arab engineers at the state-of-the-art facilities at the National Space Science and Technology Center at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, the only research space centre of its kind in the Middle East.

The development of the satellite will take three full years and will have a lifespan of about five years. It will also have a polar orbit of 600 kilometers. The data will be sent to a ground station in the UAE and receiving stations in some Arab countries for the benefit of a number of environmental authorities, municipalities and institutions concerned with the agricultural sector and urban planning industry.

“The Satellite 813 is a message the UAE is sending to the Arab communities on the ambitions to regain Arabs glories as pioneers in the space domains,” said Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.

Dubai Gazette