Salem Humaid Al-Marri is bullish on EIAST’s satellite knowledge and engineering capabilities. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Dubai: DubaiSat-2, UAE’s fourth earth imaging satellite being built by a team of Emirati engineers, will be launched by mid-2013, a senior official at Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) announced.

Engineers from the EIAST have confirmed that the DubaiSat-2 project has completed a crucial stage in the design phase, with the Structural Model of the satellite successfully passing a series of tests which simulated conditions during the launch of the satellite into space and is not ready for launch.

The tests conducted in Ukraine recently were conducted after fitting the Structural Model, which is a dummy satellite, on the Space Head Module or the head of the rocket.

Ahmad Al Mansouri, director general of EIAST, said: “I am delighted that the DubaiSat-2 project has passed this significant milestone, which reflects the dedication, expertise and commitment of our team of highly skilled UAE engineers working on the project. Through the successful implementation of this project, EIAST is aiming to enhance the position of the UAE in the scientific and technology arena.”

The first test conducted was a shock test which was to ensure that the satellite would be able to withstand the shocks it will be subjected to during launch and separation from the rocket.

The second was a separation test which tested the ability of the satellite to separate from the launcher and its adapter, a process that is key to the success of the mission.

In the final step the satellite was checked to make sure its dimensions are identical to the design dimensions. This step was also crucial to verify the satellite’s position and fitting in the rocket along with the other satellites.

“The successful completion of these tests is a source of great encouragement for our engineers. We are proud of the accomplishments made so far. The positive results of the shock tests show that DubaiSat-2 project is right on its track to achieve set targets in this mission,” said Salem Al Merri, DubaiSat-2 project manager.

EIAST, which was established in 2006 by a decree from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched DubaiSat-1 in July 2009 and it has since captured and processed more than 10,000 images of the globe.

The institution, which is currently manned by an 80 per cent Emirati workforce, is tasked with developing a fully-fledged space programme for the UAE.

EISAT, which is based in Khawaneej, Dubai, employ around 70 Emirati engineers, who process, develop and water mark the images captured by DubaiSat-1.

Another team also operates, monitors, communicates and maintains the satellite from a control room in Khawaneej, Dubai.