DEWA’s Space-D project includes the launch of a satellite constellation to support its primary satellite. Image Credit: Devadasan K P/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has struck a deal with NanoAvionics, a smallsat manufacturer, to design, build, test, and manage the launching of two nanosatellites 3U and 6U.

The partnership is a part of DEWA’s space-D programme that supports DEWA’s grid digitalisation programme by using IoT and remote sensing technologies.

Through this programme, DEWA intends to enhance its flexibility and agility in monitoring and managing its electrical and water networks. With Space-D, DEWA expects to reduce costs, improve its asset utilisation and provide sustainable, efficient and reliable power and water services to its customers.

“The programme aims to build DEWA’s capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “The programme will take advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies.”

Space-D project
DEWA’s Space-D project includes the launch of a satellite constellation to support its primary satellite. These will be manufactured by Emiratis at the Research and Development (R&D) Centre of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The system features a ground station at the solar park as well as IoT and AI technologies to support ground communication transmission stations in electricity and water networks.

Multi-spectrum, high-resolution thermal imaging devices such as those used onboard spacecraft, specifically designed for use in electricity and water networks, will be deployed to detect thermal fingerprints in high voltage transmission lines, substations, buildings and solar power stations.

“The programme will enhance the performance and efficiency of the photovoltaic solar panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world.”

Nanoavionics partnership

DEWA will use a 3U satellite with an Internet of Things (IoT) payload as well as a 6U satellite with an Earth Observation (EO) payload from Nanoavionics. Using satellite network connectivity, IoT terminals, satellite imagery and applying AI to the captured data will bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to DEWA’s operations, maintenance and planning. The agreement with NanoAvionics also includes launch management, construction of the ground station, and an extensive training programme for Emirati professionals to facilitate know-how transfer and support in expanding DEWA’s future space capabilities.

“This is a fantastic project for NanoAvionics to be involved in and a great example of how satellite technology improves our lives and helps us to become more sustainable,” said Vytenis J Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics