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Satellite ground stations to be built in Abu Dhabi

British consultancy Clarke Bond appointed project managers for the satellite tracking stations

Two ground satellite tracking stations will be constructed in Abu Dhabi, following a recent announcement that Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) will be launching hybrid satellite systems for commercial and government use in 2010.

One satellite station will be built nearly 40 kilometers from the city centre of Abu Dhabi, while the second station will be located near Al Ain.

Covering a built area of approximately 15,000 square meters, the ground stations will include both technical and administrative buildings, along with supporting infrastructure.

British consultancy Clarke Bond has been appointed project managers for the project who admit that there are challenges to constructing the stations in the desert. “Ground temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius and frequent sand storms are only some of the problems which we will need to overcome,” commented David Harding, CEO of Clarke Bond.

Yahsat’s first satellite (Yahsat 1A) is scheduled to launch in the last quarter of 2010 and is currently being manufactured by the consortium of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.

The UAE Armed Forces signed a contract with Yahsat in April to lease secure satellite communications for a 15 year period. A month earlier, the operator of one of the largest teleports facilities in the world, Emerging Markets Communications (EMC), entered into an AED 400 million contract with the company.

Site construction is likely to commence early next year and will be completed in time for the Yahsat 1A satellite launch.

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