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UAE to launch navigation satellite next year

The satellite will be the first project of AIT Centre being built by Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun with Airbus and the NSSTC.

The United Arab Emirates is planning to launch a navigation satellite next, a top official told Emirates News Agency, WAM. The satellite is aimed at demonstrating the country’s technological capabilities.

The first satellite will be launched in 2021 and the second will be launched in 2022, according to Dr Khaled Al Hashmi, Director of the National Space Science and Technology Centre, NSSTC, in UAE University in Al Ain.

Navigation satellites offer positioning signals for navigation functions for car navigation systems and smartphones, which are widely used across the globe.

These convenient systems use signals from satellites for satellite positioning services that help detect someone’s current location.

These services are also used for surveying, and disaster prevention.

The UAE’s navigation satellite will be the first project of Satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing, AIT, Centre, a collaboration formed by Tawazun Economic Council with Airbus and the NSSTC, Al Hashmi said.

“The satellite project funded by the UAE Space Agency aims for technology demonstration and capability build-up, and not meant for adding a navigation system immediately. We try to select a certain technology, design, and develop the satellite and payload here and will own the intellectual property rights. And if we are successful, the project can be expanded further,” explained the director of the NSSTC, which was jointly established by UAE University in Al Ain, the UAE Space Agency and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ICT-Fund).