The United Arab Emirates just launched its first environmental nanosatellite, which was developed by students of Khalifa University (KU) and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah(AURAK). This takes place as a part of the UAE Space Agency’s efforts to drive experiential learning in universities. The nanosatellite, MeznSat will be carried to a low Earth orbit altitude of 575km from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia by a Soyuz-2 rocket.
The students will oversee MeznSat’s control operations from the primary ground station at KU’s Yahsat Space Laboratory and from the secondary ground station in AURAK. The satellite’s design and development involved 30 students across both universities and was completed over three years. Their role included the design, development, testing, and verification of MeznSat. The aim of the environmental nanosatellite is to measure and detect the most prevalent greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane.
“We are delighted to see our students’ successful contribution to the new MeznSat nanosatellite, a collaboration with the UAE Space Agency. We plan to develop three more nanosatellites in the future. These achievements showcase Khalifa University’s dedication to enhancing innovation in sectors that are strategic to the UAE. Our students have the opportunity to contribute to these projects during their studies. Their research innovations will have a great impact on the future of the UAE’s space sector. We look forward to witnessing similar achievements, as we provide our students with an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities” said Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology.
“The launch of the MeznSat satellite on September 28, 2020, is a milestone for AURAK. It is the result of joint efforts between the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Khalifa University, and the UAE Space Agency, which supervised the project. This is a powerful example of how students could go beyond theoretical learning and prepare themselves for their future careers” said Professor Hassan AlAlkim, President of the American University at Ras Al Khaimah.