News UAE National Projects

MBRSC and HCT commence development of HCT-SAT1 project

The Earth-observation CubeSat project is being developed by HCT students under the expert guidance of MBRSC engineers.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has joined forces with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to initiate work on the HCT-SAT 1 project, marking the institution’s maiden student-led space mission.

The HCT-SAT 1 project, an Earth-observation CubeSat with a unit size of 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm), is slated for launch by the conclusion of 2024. Under the expert guidance of MBRSC engineers, HCT students are driving the development of this innovative satellite.

Drawing from a diverse range of academic disciplines, HCT students are currently immersed in the laboratories of the MBRSC, kickstarting the strategic development of HCT-SAT 1. This collaborative effort entails seasoned engineers from the Centre providing invaluable knowledge transfer and mentorship to students throughout every crucial phase of the satellite’s lifecycle, encompassing design, development, assembly, testing, and operational management.

The partnership between MBRSC and HCT extends beyond the launch of the payload, offering an enriching educational experience for both students and faculty members. Through expert training and robust support in the immersive CubeSat curriculum, this initiative aims to propel the UAE’s position in space exploration and science.

A total of 34 male and female HCT students hailing from various engineering disciplines, including aviation sciences, airframe design, and electrical engineering, alongside Applied Media students focusing on marketing aspects, collaborate as an interdisciplinary team. Supporting and guiding them are nine dedicated HCT faculty members.

Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC, said: “At MBRSC, we are committed to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence, particularly among the youth who are the future pioneers of our nation’s space sector. The commencement of the HCT-SAT 1 project is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By involving students in such high-calibre projects, we are not just educating; we are inspiring a new generation to dream big and contribute to the UAE’s ambitious space exploration goals. We are confident that this hands-on experience will equip our students with the skills and knowledge required to propel the UAE National Space Programme to new heights.”

Dr Faisal Alayyan, HCT President & CEO, applauded the strategic collaboration with the MBRSC on the development of HCT-SAT 1. “This initiative is a pivotal outcome of the partnership, designed to equip HCT students with advanced knowledge in space sciences. This collaboration underscores the importance of space research in driving human progress while elevating awareness of the UAE’s strategic advancements and accomplishments in space exploration. It is a critical component of the nation’s vision to achieve a leading role in the highly competitive global space industry,” added Dr Alayyan.

“The HCT-SAT 1 project aligns with our strategic commitment to advance applied education, foster essential future skills, and boost students’ career prospects in key sectors. It will offer students who are passionate about space an invaluable gateway to the air space sector through expert-led scientific knowledge and hands-on experience,” he stated.

The collaboration between MBRSC and HCT represents a strategic endeavour to integrate space technology into the HCT curriculum, providing students with unparalleled opportunities to engage with the space sector. This project not only enhances students’ comprehension of space science but also cultivates their potential to become vital contributors to the UAE’s burgeoning space industry.

The collaboration between MBRSC and HCT is a strategic move to embed space technology into the HCT curriculum, offering students unparalleled opportunities to engage with the space sector. This project not only enhances students’ understanding of space science but also paves the way for them to become integral contributors to the UAE’s growing space industry.