The Sultanate of Oman will launch the country’s first satellite into Earth’s lower orbit by the end of 2022, with the aim of putting the country on the map of global space research and exploration.
The CubeSat will be the result of a collaboration between three companies: Omani companies TUATARA and ETCO, and Poland’s SatRevolution, which is working with Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT).
The agreement between the organisations was signed at the International Astronautical Congress, which was held in Dubai, in the presence of Dr Saoud Al Shoaili, head of the National Space Programme within Oman’s MTCIT, and Prof. Grzegorz Worchna, President of the Polish Space Agency.
Ammar Al Rawahi, Director of Astro and Space Technology at ETCO said: “By cooperating with SatRevolution satellite manufacturer and space service company, one of the top providers of satellite imaging services in the world, we have secured a valuable partner with great access to the latest space technology and image analysis which will support the national digitalisation strategy.”
Besides the launch of the satellite itself, a five-year collaboration between the involved parties will include designing and manufacturing a complete satellite imaging receiving and transmission infrastructure based on CubeSat technology. The project will be executed in stages comprising several crucial elements: the design, manufacture and development of software, enabling ETCO (International Emerging Technology Company) to operate Oman’s first national CubeSat; the creation of the ground station by TUATARA and SatRevolution, providing connection, operations and datalink with launched CubeSat; and personnel training and know-how transfer, including NASA’s best practices needed to execute all strategic goals. SatRevolution has partnered with Virgin Orbit and SpaceX to deliver its satellites into space.
The project will be technologically independent, collecting and processing data that will serve the technological development of the Sultanate of Oman and contribute to the country’s economic growth. Satellite images can be used to monitor agriculture, renewable energy, oil, mining, weather forecasting, border monitoring and national security within the Sultanate.”
The launch of Oman’s first satellite will provide opportunities for engineering students, university researchers and the founders of new companies to acquire knowledge, gain hands-on experience and comparative advantage to accelerate the space industry in the Sultanate.