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Young Emirati entrepreneurs launch first wildlife satellite in UAE

The satellite ‘Ghalib’ aims to study the migration patterns of birds and animals in remote areas.

A team of Emirati entrepreneurs has launched the first satellite to track wildlife in the UAE. Developed by Emirati company Marshall Intech, the satellite named Ghalib was successfully launched on SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

Equipped with advanced technologies, the satellite allows researchers to track wildlife and bird migration in remote areas of the country and assists in monitoring animals and conservation.

The launch demonstrates the increasing role of young Emirati entrepreneurs in the UAE space industries and their contributions that enhance the country’s position as a leader in the region’s space sector.

The team includes a group of Emirati entrepreneurs specialised in the fields of advanced technology such as electrical and mechanical engineering, software, communication and electronic design.

Fully designed by Marshall Intech, the electronic board of the main payload uses three frequency bands communications and is responsible for receiving location data from transmitters on the ground, storing the data and subsequently transmitting it to ground stations.

The team include Mohammad bin Ghalib, Head of the Group, Omar bin Ghalib, Head of Industries and Projects, Hamad bin Ghalib, Electronic Engineer, Aisha bin Ghalib, User Developed Systems, Matar bin Ghalib, Electronic Engineer, Sara bin Ghalib, Ground Station and Alia Al-Omrani Al Shamsi, VP Software Development.

Marshall Intech, a subsidiary of the UAE Bin Ghalib Group, plans to launch a constellation of six satellites. The company has a team of young national cadres specialised in advanced technologies, electrical and mechanical engineering, software programming and telecommunication.

Preparations to launch the first satellite began four years ago, with the Marshall Intech team coming together to develop tracking devices, ground station readiness, models of electronic boards, transmitters and broadcasters.

The UAE has invested an estimated AED22bn ($5.99bn) in the space sector, and the government is intensifying efforts to empower the private sector in the country to become a key partner in the National Space Strategy. Providing support to Emirati entrepreneurs and encouraging young people to enter new economic fields represents a fundamental approach to establish the UAE’s position in the future industries sector.