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Abu Dhabi to build $30 million space centre

Facility will be used to capture and analyse data from satellites orbiting the earth

Abu Dhabi will be home to the largest space centre in the Middle East and North Africa, which will be used to capture and analyse data from satellites orbiting the earth.

4C GEOC Gulf Earth Observation Centre, which will cover an area of approximately 10,000 square meters, will be developed in collaboration with US-based company 4C Controls Inc. and Abu Dhabi based Hydra Trading LLC.

The ambitious space centre will host an earth observation satellite data Direct Receiving Station (DRS) with facilities to acquire, process, analyze and distribute high resolution data in real time from optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) earth observation satellites.

It will focus on defense applications, civilian security and surveillance and environmental protection, among other factors.

“In the wake of increasing security threats and global terrorism, safety and security are more critical than ever before to governments, military, individuals, commercial and residential sectors,” said Jean-Robert Martin, chairman of the Board of 4C Controls.

The facility will also offer university level courses in space engineering held in cooperation with Politecnico di Torino, one of Europe’s most distinguished science and technology institutes.

“We believe that having 4C’s Gulf Earth observation centre located in Abu Dhabi will uniquely provide our region an access to a key technology, secure and timely data acquisition, processing, analysis and distribution, which was not available to our regional customers,” added Khalid Abdulla Mubarak al Buainnain, executive VP Middle East Military and Defence projects, 4C Controls Inc.

Mubarak also revealed that the space centre would cost $30 million, with a further $500 million allocated for purchasing two satellites that are scheduled to launch in 2012 and 2013.

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