UAE’s MBRSC successfully launches PHI-Demo satellite
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UAE’s MBRSC successfully launches PHI-Demo satellite

UAE’s MBRSC successfully launches PHI-Demo satellite

The satellite had all its mechanical components constructed in the UAE in collaboration with the private sector

MBRSC successfully launches PHI-Demo satellite

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) successfully launched the first mission of the Payload Hosting Initiative (PHI), PHI-Demo satellite, marking a significant milestone in the UAE’s space exploration and innovation.

The PHI-Demo satellite onboard the Soyuz-2 rocket lifted off from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome. The pioneering project, the first of its kind in the Arab world, has all its mechanical components constructed in the UAE in collaboration with the private sector.

The satellite will be positioned at an altitude of about 550 km and operated from MBRSC and the labs of partner universities – American University of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Khalifa University.

“This milestone is a testament to our unyielding commitment and growing capabilities in the realm of space technology,” said Salem Humaid AlMarri, director general of the MBRSC.

“At MBRSC, our vision encompasses the cultivation of an ecosystem of innovation and excellence, where partnerships with the private sector are instrumental in facilitating the exchange of knowledge, catalysing ground-breaking discoveries, and fostering the next generation of Emirati space pioneers.”

MBRSC build the ‘platform’, the shell of the PHI-Demo satellite that hosts the payloads, with a 100 per cent Emirati team.

Jointly led by MBRSC and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the project heralds a new era of international cooperation in space exploration, facilitating the sustainable advancement of innovative space technologies.

MBRSC’s satellite payloads

The state-of-the-art 12U modular satellite platform is carrying two partner technology payloads onboard, which includes an advanced IoT communication payload, developed by OQ Technology, a UAE-based start-up under MBRSC’s Space Ventures initiative which will enable data collection and transmission from IoT devices, utilising state-of-the-art 5G technology.

The satellite is also carrying a revolutionary green propulsion subsystem developed by SteamJet from the UK, using water as its primary propellant, epitomising a sustainable approach to space propulsion.

“The successful launch of PHI-Demo, complete with its advanced payloads, is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our Emirati engineers,” said Zakaria Al Shamsi, project manager of the Payload Hosting Initiative at MBRSC.

“The experience and insights garnered from PHI-Demo’s development and launch have equipped us with a profound understanding of the challenges that lay in our path and the strategies to overcome them.”

Scheduled for a one-year operation, the PHI-Demo satellite is expected to contribute immensely to the evolving landscape of space technology, cementing MBRSC’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery and technological innovation.

This successful launch further sets the stage for an exciting new chapter in space exploration, solidifying the UAE’s position as a vanguard of innovation and growth in the realm of space technology.

Over the coming days, the team at MBRSC will power on, activate and test the payloads, as it orbits above the UAE. MBRSC has partnered with Khalifa University and the American University of RAK, for the command operations which will be handled from the ground stations located within the university campus, with the university’s faculty members leading the operation.

Read: Strata Manufacturing delivers MBZ-SAT satellite components to MBRSC


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