Home >> News: June 29th, 2016 >> Story
Satnews Daily
June 29th, 2016

The First Nanosatellite For The UAE Is Now Built + Ready For Launch

Trade Arabia News Services is reporting that the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the American University of Sharjah (AUS) have completed the design and building of the communication nanosatellite, Nayif-1.

The satellite has also successfully passed all stages and tests and is now ready for launch into space aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The UAE's first nanosatellite was developed by Emirati engineering students from AUS under the supervision of a team of engineers and specialists from MBRSC within the framework of a partnership between the two entities, aiming to provide hands-on experience to engineering students on satellite manufacturing.

The Nayif-1 smallsat.

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director general of MBRSC, said, “This achievement reflects the determination and commitment of MBRSC to develop Emirati talent specialised in satellite manufacturing and space science. Sustainable development deliverables and the post-oil phase require building specialized human capabilities, where entities and institutions have to launch programs specialised in the science and technology sectors to achieve educational goals in line with the UAE’s plans and strategies. The Emirati university students possess the required skills and capabilities to design and build a CubeSat as a result of a knowledge transfer strategy and cooperation between academic and professional institutions that are launching real space projects, enabling students to see the product of their work as a reality in space."

Dr. Björn Kjerfve, chancellor of AUS, added, “Satellite technologies are destined to become an important part of the future of the country and we are pleased to see our students and faculty play their due role in making it happen. Together with partners such as MBRSC, I am sure our future endeavors in this field will go from strength to strength.”

Ibrahim Al Qasim, project manager of Nayif-1 at MBRSC,  relayed that Nayif-1 went through several stages. As is typical in most satellite projects, MBRSC started out with the initial design phases and then moved into further verification of these designs by assembling and testing some of the components. Once those designs were finalized and verified, the move was made into the assembly, integration and testing of the satellite flight model and readiness for launch.

He continued by stating that the flight model of Nayif-1 successfully completed all testing necessary to ensure that the main components of the satellite were working properly. This included tests on all subsystems such as the power subsystem, control subsystem, the satellite antenna and communication subsystem. These stages were followed by the control system calibration and environmental tests, including thermal and vibration tests, in addition to the final tests for the satellite systems, and measuring its final weight and size. The installation of the ground station was completed at AUS, which will operate and control the satellite throughout its journey in space. Nayif-1 is ready for launch now and it’s scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of the year. However, he noted, the launch date depends on the launch provider, bearing in mind that Nayif-1 is considered a non-primary payload, being a nanosatellite.

He concluded by saying that Nayif-1 is characterized with a number of advanced features, most notably that the smallsat is programmed to transfer messages in Arabic and also contains an active control system. Usually satellites with a unit size of 10x10x10 cm, known as 1U nanosatellites, use a passive control system due to their smaller size. The control system works accurately to determine the satellite’s position and direction in space in order to maintain its balance attitude during operations.



Dates Set For The SmallSat Symposium—2017—Prepare To Be Wow'd

To assist in acquiring the knowledge and expertise to enter and/or continue the acquisition of technology and product to become a successful smallsat actor, Satnews Publishers is delighted to announce that the SmallSat Symposium workshops will be held on February 6, 2017, and the conference will be conducted from February 7 to February 8, 2017, at the Computer History Museum, which is located at 1401 North Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View, California.

A veritable "Who's Who" of subject-matter experts have already committed to presentations during this impact-filled symposium:

  • Chad Anderson, Managing Director Space Angels Network
  • Jason Andrews, CEO Spaceflight Industries David A. Anhalt, Vice President and General Manager Iridium PRIME
  • Chris Baugh, President NSR - Northern Sky Research
  • Peter Beck, CEO & CTO Rocket Lab
  • Dr. Sami BenAmor, Director of Marketing Thales Alenia Space
  • John Booher, Partner Hogan Lovells
  • Dr. Sean Casey, Managing Director Silicon Valley Space Center
  • Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner The Tauri Group
  • Craig Clark, Founder Clyde Space Ltd.
  • Mike Collett, Founder and Managing Partner Promus Ventures
  • James Crawford, Founder and CEO Orbital Insight
  • Randy Culver, CEO AMERGINT Technologies
  • Stuart Daughtridge, Senior VP Advanced Technology Kratos
  • Dr. Lars Dyrud, CEO OmniEarth
  • Dr. Shahin Farshchi, Partner Lux Capital
  • Dr. Jenny Gautier, Director of Commercial Programs The Aerospace Corporation
  • Dr. Steve Goldberg, CEO & Co-Founder Venrock
  • David Hartshorn, Secretary General GVF - Global VSAT Forum
  • Susan J. Irwin, President Irwin Communications, Inc.
  • John P. Janka, Partner Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Adam Keith, Managing Director Euroconsult Canada
  • Debra Facktor Lepore, VP and GM of Strategic Operations Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp
  • Tony Lin, Counsel, Washington, DC Hogan Lovells
  • Dr. Clare Martin, Vice President of Programs Surrey Satellite Technology US
  • Clayton Mowry, President Arianespace
  • Carlos Niederstrasser, Business Development & Special Initiatives Orbital ATK
  • Sunil Nagaraj, Vice President of Marketing and Communications Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Dara A. Panahy, Partner Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
  • Will Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects Virgin Galactic
  • Dr. Alex Saltman, Senior Vice President GeoOptics Inc.
  • Randy S. Segal, Partner, Co-Lead Satellite Practice Hogan Lovells
  • David Strobel, CEO and Program Manager (PM) Space Micro
  • Chris Stott, Chairman & CEO (PM) ManSat
  • Tom Stroup, President SIA - Satellite Industry Association
  • Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Founder and Executive Chairman Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
  • Stig-Are Thrana, U.S. Sales Director and Head of Kongsberg Silicon Valley Office Kongsberg Satellite Services
  • Dr. Joe Thurgood, Vice President Corporate Development and Marketing Hera Systems
  • Dr. Marco Villa, President & COO Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
  • Tony Wilkey, Senior Vice President AvL Technologies
  • Bruce Yost, Project Manager NASA Ames Research Center
  • Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)


Bonus—the first 100 registrants will qualify for a $200 discount on the standard event admission... take advantage of this offer... don't dawdle... and register now at this direct link.