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MBRSC completes critical design review of UAE imaging satellite MBZ-SAT

MBZ-SAT, named after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is expected to be launched in 2023.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has completed the critical design review (CDR) of imaging satellite MBZ-SAT. The team will now begin preparations to develop and manufacture the flight model of MBZ-SAT.

The CDR is the final multi-disciplined technical review to ensure that the satellite can proceed into fabrication, demonstration and testing, and meet the stated performance requirements within cost, schedule, and risk. The final satellite design weighs over 800 kg and is one of the largest and most advanced satellites to be developed in the UAE.

MBZ-SAT has been pivotal in supporting the local space industry, with 90% of the mechanical structure and 50% of the electronic modules being built in the UAE. MBRSC has actively engaged with regional companies in an effort to build a local hub for space-related manufacturers. It has also partnered with local companies to manufacture and supply the components of MBZ-SAT.

Commenting on the development, Salem AlMarri, Director General, MBRSC said: “The successful completion of the critical review design of the MBZ-SAT, marks yet another milestone in our journey towards the launch of the most advanced satellite from the region in 2023. The team has done a remarkable job, illustrating the expertise, skill and capabilities of Emirati scientists and engineers. We are also proud to have the Emirati private sector involved in the development of the MBZ-SAT, helping play a critical part in the progress of the project. We will now focus on the next stages of the mission, which promises to be yet another leap forward for the UAE’s space ambitions.”

Amer AlSayegh AlGhaferi, Senior Director of Space Engineering Department and Manager of MBZ-SAT, MBRSC added: “The critical design review for MBZ-SAT was conducted according to international standards and with the participation of over 100 engineers at MBRSC, in addition to international experts. The review confirmed the satellite’s readiness for the next phase, which is the development and manufacturing of the flight model that will be launched in 2023.”

MBZ-SAT, which is the second Emirati satellite to be built by a team of Emirati engineers after the KhalifaSat, will be equipped with an automated system for arranging images round-the-clock, ensuring that it provides the highest quality standards of satellite images intended for commercial use globally.

The satellite will improve image capture resolution by more than double compared to the previously launched system. It will also increase the downlink data transmission speed by thrice the current capacity.

The fully automated image scheduling and processing system of MBZ-SAT will also be able to produce more than 10 times the images the centre produces currently.