UAE’s first nanosatellite prepares for launch

MBRSC and AUS jointly complete the UAE's first communication nanosatellite, Nayif-1

Tags: United Arab Emirates
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UAE’s first nanosatellite prepares for launch The UAE's first nanosatellite was developed by Emirati engineering students from the American University of Sharjah
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  June 28, 2016

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the American University of Sharjah (AUS) have jointly completed the design and build of the UAE's first communication nanosatellite, Nayif-1.

The nanosatellite was developed by Emirati engineering students from AUS under the supervision of a team of engineers and specialists from MBRSC. Together, the Nayif-1 has passed all stages and tests and it is now ready to launch into space aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

Ibrahim Al Qasim, project manager of Nayif-1 at MBRSC, said: "Nayif-1 went through several stages. As is typical in most satellite projects, we started out with the initial design phases and we then moved into further verification of these designs by assembling and testing some of the components, once our designs were finalised and verified we moved into the assembly, integration and testing of the satellite flight model and readiness for launch."

Regarding the tests Nayif-1 went through, Al Qasim said: "The flight model of Nayif-1 successfully completed all testing necessary to ensure that the main components of the satellite were working properly. This included tests on all subsystems such as the power subsystem, control subsystem, the satellite antenna and communication subsystem. These stages were followed by the control system calibration and environmental tests, including thermal and vibration tests, in addition to the final tests for the satellite systems, and measuring its final weight and size."

Al Qasim confirmed that the nanosatellite is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of the year, however the launch date depends on the launching provider, bearing in mind that Nayif-1 is considered a non-primary payload, being a nanosatellite.

"Nayif-1 is characterised with a number of advanced features, most notably that it's programmed to transfer messages in Arabic. It also contains an active control system - usually satellites with a unit size of 10x10x10 cm which are known as 1U nanosatellites use a passive control system due to their limited size. The control system works accurately to determine the satellite's position and direction in space in order to maintain its balance attitude during operations," Al Qasim concluded

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director general of MBRSC, said this achievement reflects the determination and commitment of MBRSC to develop Emirati talent specialised in satellite manufacturing and space science.

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