Abu Dhabi: Engineers from 11 Arab countries will develop a new satellite named 813 at the National Space Science and Technology Centre at UAE University in Al Ain, the UAE Space Agency announced on Thursday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced on Tuesday the launch of the satellite as a gift from the UAE to the Arab countries.

The development of the satellite will take three years and will have a lifespan of about five years. It will be funded by the UAE Space Agency.

It will also have a polar orbit of 600 kilometres.

The announcement of the new satellite followed on from the signing of the charter for the establishment of the “Arab Space Coordination Group” at the second edition of the Global Space Congress, held in Abu Dhabi.

The 11 countries are the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco and Egypt. The member countries of the Group voted for the UAE to lead the new organisation.

The data from the satellite will be sent to a ground station in the UAE and receiving stations in some Arab countries for the benefit of a number of environmental authorities, municipalities and institutions concerned with the agricultural sector and urban planning industry.

The new satellite 813 is named in reference to the date that marked the beginning of prosperity for the House of Wisdom in Baghdad under the reign of Al-Ma’mun. Representing the region, the House embraced scientists, translated notable texts and produced scientific capabilities. The multi-spectral satellite will monitor the Earth and measure the environmental and climatic elements in a number of Arab countries, as well as vegetation, soil types, minerals and water sources, measuring greenhouse gases, pollution and dust levels as well.