This photo shows the moment when DMSat-1 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
DMSat-1, the emirate’s first nanometric environmental satellite, developed by Dubai Municipality in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), has reached its orbit 550 km above Earth, following its successful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz 2.1a space rocket.
The launch was supervised by a team of officials and engineers from MBRSC and Dubai Municipality.
The first signal from DMSat-1 was received at MBRSC’s mission control centre at 4:42 PM on Monday, signalling that the satellite had reached its orbit and begun its scientific mission.
Under the supervision of MBRSC, once the testing of onboard subsystems and instruments is completed and verified, the satellite will move into its operational phase, in which it will monitor, collect and analyse environmental data as well as measure air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
The satellite was fully manufactured and developed by the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto in Canada, and a team from MBRSC supervised the development and worked on the final testing of the satellite before being moved to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
A second team of engineers and experts from MBRSC joined the base team to complete final functional testing and integration of the satellite with the launch vehicle. The DMSat-1 carries state-of-the-art environmental monitoring equipment.
The satellite was installed onboard the Soyuz 2.1a rocket on 7 March and completed pre-launch tests on 12 March. The rocket carrying the satellite was then transported to the launch site on 17 March in preparation for the launch day.
After the successful launch, the DMSat-1 began the in-orbit testing, calibration and validation phase to ensure all systems and instruments on board are fully functional and ready for the next phase.
During the second phase, set to commence in the coming days, the satellite will monitor, collect and analyse environmental data, measure air pollutants and greenhouse gases, develop maps of the concentration and distribution of greenhouse gases as well as study and monitor seasonal changes of these gases.
The data provided by the satellite will be used to find solutions and develop long-term plans to confront the challenges of urban pollution and climate change and explore the future environmental reality in Dubai and the UAE.
DMSat-1 confirms the UAE's commitment to the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for the provision of information and data on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as building national capacities in the field of studying and analysing the phenomenon of global warming.
The launch of the satellite is part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and contributes to the implementation of the national system for managing greenhouse gas emissions within the UAE National Plan for Climate Change 2017-2050.
The DMSat-1 satellite launch project is an exceptional opportunity to build new research and technical capabilities in the fields of environmental scientific research at the local level. It will also contribute to opening new horizons for harnessing space technology to serve the environmental sectors and achieve sustainability.
Al Hajri also said those who managed the DMSat-1 satellite project are UAE nationals who have acquired high levels of knowledge and skills. He further emphasised that DMSat-1 will strengthen the UAE's accumulated experience in the field of satellites, enhance its achievements in the fields of space and satellites, and support the UAE’s unlimited aspirations and its goal of becoming one of the major players in this field.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman, MBRSC, said: “Today we have succeeded in adding a new milestone that reflects the UAE’s determination to be at the forefront of space research, and harnessing science and technology in the service of humanity. The vision of our leadership has always inspired us to achieve continued success, especially in light of the nation’s eagerness to embrace scientific efforts and provide all the necessary support to achieve leaps in the fields of space exploration and science. As we celebrate the launch of the first nanometric environmental satellite in the region, we express our gratitude to our leadership, which has taught us to be leaders in everything we do.”
He added: “The DMSat-1 satellite constitutes a new impetus for the UAE to achieve its developmental strategies and make it the leading country in the world capable of using the latest global technologies to build sustainable cities. The satellite will contribute to providing accurate scientific information that helps decision-makers take necessary measures to improve the environment.”
Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General, MBRSC, said: “Our goal at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is to move confidently towards achieving the UAE’s ambition to establish a strong technology and research base that will contribute to the implementation of the national strategy of building a knowledge-based economy, developing national cadres and strengthening the capabilities of local institutes in order to achieve future goals."
“Our co-operation with Dubai Municipality in launching the DMSat-1 satellite is taking place in this context. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is pleased to be part of any scientific space project that supports the nation’s institutions and helps build a better future in line with the vision of our leadership,” AlShaibani added.
Adnan AlRais, DMSAT-1 Programme Manager & Senior Director of Remote Sensing Department at MBRSC, said: "The launch of the DMSat-1 satellite will bring about a fundamental shift in the field of obtaining environmental data in the country and the region, as it contains the latest technologies in the field of monitoring air pollutants and greenhouse gases. The satellite consists of three advanced scientific instruments, a ‘Polarimeter’, a state-of-art device to detect and monitor pollutants, mainly PM2.5 and PM10, and two Spectrometers that will detect greenhouse gases (GHG), mainly Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and the concentration of H2O in the air. In addition it consists of advanced attitude control systems to perform fast maneuvers and collect accurate data in order to achieve the project's goals of developing a digital 3D model of the spread of air pollutants and supporting entities in decision-making processes in combating environmental and climate changes."
He added: “During the project development, MBRSC was keen on conducting accurate research and standard comparisons in a scientific manner in order to determine the best instruments, partners and work mechanisms to ensure the best results. Today, we celebrate the team of engineers and researchers at MBRSC and Dubai Municipality who worked tirelessly to make this launch a success."
Using state-of-the-art space technologies, DMSat-1 will monitor, collect and analyse environmental data as well as measure air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
The launch is part of a high-technology project undertaken to develop solutions to environmental challenges and address climate change. The satellite will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
MBRSC has given the online community a chance to direct questions to Hazzaa AlMansoori through the hashtag #AskHazzaa. He will then answer selected questions during the live sessions.
Welcoming the participants, His Highness said: "Dubai provides the safest environment for participants from around the world to discuss ideas and exchange knowledge and insights that contribute to creating a better future for humanity."
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