Dubai: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed an MoU with Eutelsat, the French global satellite operator, to provide technical support for DEWA’s Space-D programme and DEWA’s 3U nanosatellite DEWA-SAT1. This will help develop nanosatellite Internet of Things (IoT) terminals and enhance connectivity between DEWA’s assets and its nanosatellite.
The cooperation aims to explore the potential integration of Eutelsat Earth Low Orbit (ELO) satellites with the Space-D programme and expand the fleet of nanosatellites for both parties. The two parties will design, develop and implement the first use-case at DEWA’s Research & Development (R&D) Centre that combines using IoT sensors and Eutelsat ELO satellites and develop use-cases for advancing the utility sector worldwide.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that DEWA’s Space-D programme has contributed to promoting the resilience and agility of DEWA in managing and monitoring electricity and water networks, since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in January 2021. The programme also helps to reduce costs, improve its asset utilisation and management, and support its network proactively. DEWA was the world’s first utility to use nanosatellites to enhance the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks.
Launching the U3 nanosatellite has enabled the R&D team to gain the latest knowledge and experience to understand the effectiveness and value of the IoT nanosatellite constellation in supporting utilities such as DEWA to improve the management of their power grid and water transmission and distribution networks. The programme also aims to train Emirati professionals to develop a constellation of nanosatellites to serve the DEWA business and the global utility market. Al Tayer noted that IoT satellite technology is complementary to the terrestrial IoT communication network and will enable the expansion of IoT in the smart grid and water networks. This will improve the efficiency of DEWA’s operations, and support the digitalisation of energy, water transmission and distribution networks. It will also integrate IoT data using DEWA’s cloud services.
“Our goal after this success is that DEWA through our commercial partners, can offer Satellite-As-A-Service to the global utility industry leveraging the expertise developed in building the satellite technology, offering grid and water network operators data and niche utility use-cases to improve their operations, planning, and to support their digitalisation journey. Through Space-D, DEWA researches the use of space technology to support utilities to improve their operations and planning. This will support sustainable development and a green economy in the UAE and worldwide. DEWA’s researchers develop niche use-cases applicable to the electrical and water generation, transmission and distribution systems. We are taking advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, data analytics, AI and blockchain to provide value from the data received from our IoT terminals via the satellite constellation network,” added Al Tayer.
“The Space-D programme aims to build DEWA’s capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance electricity and water networks. The programme takes advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, AI and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies. The programme enables monitoring of the performance and effectiveness of solar panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world,” said Eng. Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA.
“Our R&D Centre works within the Space-D programme to develop several niche use-cases for grid and water networks. This improves power planning of generation and transmission,” said Dr. Ali Rashid AlAleeli, Vice President R&D, Business Development and Excellence at DEWA.