ABU DHABI, 15th July, 2018 (WAM) — Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a research university dedicated to the advancement of learning through the discovery and application of knowledge, and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, Yahsat, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, today jointly announced that the Yahsat Space Lab has successfully completed the Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) of the engineering model of MYSAT-1, the first satellite to be developed at the lab by the students enrolled in the Space Systems and Technology Masters in Engineering Degree at Khalifa University.
The ‘engineering model’ of MYSAT-1, an exact replica of the flight satellite model is built and rigorously tested for space environment conditions that envelop the actual conditions in space and launch. The engineering model and test results were presented to stakeholders at the Yahsat Space Lab in the presence of officials from Yahsat in addition to faculty and students of Khalifa University. The review board declared readiness for the production of the flight model.
MYSAT-1 flight model is scheduled for shipment to Launch Service Provider and NASA in September, in preparation for launch in Q4 2018 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), on-board Cygnus OA-10 flight to International Space Station.
Primarily an educational mission, MYSAT-1’s payload consists of a camera designed to take images of the UAE from space to demonstrate the process of remote sensing. The satellite will also test a novel lithium-ion battery designed and developed at Khalifa University.
The Yahsat Space Lab was launched in 2017 at Masdar Institute in collaboration with Yahsat and Orbital ATK – now called Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems – to develop and advance technologies within the space sector in line with the UAE’s advanced space ambitions. It is the first space systems lab in the UAE to be equipped with Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV) facilities that cater for nanosatellites “CubeSats” of up to 6U form factor, i.e size of 10x20x30cm and mass of 12kg. The lab also incorporates a VHF/UHF/S-Band ground station capable of autonomous operations.
Mona Al Muhairi, Chief Human Capital Officer at Yahsat said: “We are proud of the students remarkable achievement today, the completion of the MYSAT-1 engineering model marks a significant milestone for the Yahsat Space Lab. Yahsat is a proud contributor towards the UAE space agenda, through empowering national cadet with educational programs qualifying them to play an active role in further strengthening the UAE’s position in the space sector. The achievement today is the fruit of our partnership with Khalifa University and Northrop Grumman to create the regions first Masters in Engineering degree with a focus in Space Systems and Technology “
As part of the Master’s Concentration in Space Systems and Technology, students work on related research projects while building small satellites. The Yahsat Space Lab offers Khalifa University students and faculty the facilities required to construct and test miniature satellites “CubeSats”. The high-tech and specialized facilities serve as a platform for future research in space technologies, allowing entities like the UAE Space Agency to work with the faculty on collaborative projects.
Khalifa University also has a bachelor’s program in Aerospace Engineering, in addition to the optional Concentrations in Space Systems and Technology offered as part of several different Master’s programs. Other academic programs at the university that support research and education related to the space sector include Computing and Information Science, Materials Science and Engineering, as well as Water and Environmental Engineering.