DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As part of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s Space-D programme, DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre has developed an in-house, versatile gateway that can connect terrestrial sensors to satellites and ground networks. The gateway has various physical, operational technology (OT) connectivity and IoT edge protocol libraries to support the latest IoT communication network like LoRa, Wi-Fi and BLE. The device is designed to suit various industrial applications such as utilities, infrastructure, asset-tracking, agriculture, smart cities, fleet management and others. The device has a long battery life to support various LoRa protocols and LoRaWAN to communicate directly with several satellites and terrestrial network, which contributes to a significant reduction in device and operational costs. The device complies with international IoT device security standards, including OT security. The device was fully designed, fabricated and tested at DEWA’s R&D Centre and its enclosure was manufactured at the R&D’s labs using 3D printing.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, praised the efforts of researchers and Emirati talents working at the Centre to benefit from space and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, and to employ advanced tools and the laboratories provided by DEWA to create the best solutions and technologies to support the space sector in the UAE. This is in addition to developing specialised systems for electricity and water generation, transmission, and distribution as well as enhancing the management of the power network and the water transmission and distribution network. This consolidates DEWA’s leadership and excellence as one of the most innovative utilities in the world.

“We support the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the Emiratisation of space industries, and to empower our Emirati calibre to continue developing the space sector,” said Al Tayer.

“Through DEWA’s Space-D programme, we aim for nanosatellite technology to complement terrestrial IoT communication networks and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of DEWA’s operations and support the digitisation of our electricity and water networks.”

Reducing cost, improving efficiency

He said this will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of DEWA’s planning, operations, and preventive maintenance for its production, transmission, and distribution divisions, as well as its smart grids and electric vehicle charging stations.

“It also reduces costs, improves asset use, enables knowledge and experience transfer, and trains Emiratis at DEWA. The R&D Centre contributes to achieving national aspirations in the space sector. DEWA’s 3U nanosatellite DEWA-SAT1 and its second nanosatellite DEWA SAT-2, a 6U nanosatellite, were designed and developed at the Centre, making DEWA the world’s first utility to use nanosatellites to enhance the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks,” added Al Tayer.

Waleed Bin Salman, executive vice president of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, highlighted that DEWA leverages the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to provide value from the data received from its IoT terminals via the satellite constellation network. DEWA uses the digital IoT platform hosted by its data centre operated by MORO hub, the backbone of digital DEWA, to enable the terrestrial IoT communications of the developed gateways and to visualise the collected data.