UAE to begin building satellites in partnership with Yahsat

20 April 2017 | James Pearce

The United Arab Emirates is set to become a manufacturer for satellite technology, according to reports in the country.

News source Zawya cited a senior official, who claimed the UAE will move from just operating satellites to building them, using an advanced space laboratory in Abu Dhabi that was opened on Monday 17 April 2017.

The Yahsat Space Laboratory is being supported by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI), Orbital ATK, and communications satellite provider Yahsat.

"The UAE has been operating satellites, especially in telecommunication, for many years," explained Saif Al Mheiri, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at MI, and a manager of the newly launched Yahsat Space Laboratory.

"The Hope probe [Mars Mission] announced by the leadership will also help develop local expertise in satellite manufacturing and this lab will support that transformation."

A key focus for the lab will be on the consruction, testing and launch of miniature satellites, known as CubeSats, which are expected to play a key role in the growing satellite communications market. This was the view of Yahsat CEO Masood Sharif Mahmood, who also attended the launch of the lab.

The CubeSats, also known as nan-satellites, will be designed as part of a collaboration between the three partners involved in the lab, with different payloads included.

Yahsat recently unveiled plans to extend its reach to cover Brazil when it launches its Al Yah 3 satellite later this year. 

Topics: UAE, Yahsat, MI, Orbital ATK, satellite, Masood Sharif Mahmood