MeznSat satellite built by students in the UAE
With funding by the UAE Space Agency, a team of students from AURAK and Khalifa University collaborated on building a satellite that can detect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations. The space capsule is set to launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket at 3:20 pm (UAE time) from the Plesetsk space centre in northwestern Russia tomorrow.
MeznSat’s purpose falls in line with the UAE Space Agency’s objectives to enhance scientific research, with students and graduates monitoring, processing and analysing the satellite’s data from the ground station at Khalifa University’s YahSat Space Lab, as well as from a ground station in AURAK.
Once in the orbit, MeznSat will closely monitor carbon dioxide and methane emissions, two of the most synthetic chemicals posing a threat to the ongoing climate change.
“Climate change has widely been attributed to the increase in GHGs in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. The impacts of climate change are expected to include the shortage of water quantity and quality in most arid and semi-arid areas, and low agricultural productivity throughout the tropics and subtropics, accompanied by damage to ecosystems and biodiversity in these areas, and changes in forests and other ecosystems. The State of the Environment (SoE) Report for Abu Dhabi highlighted key vulnerabilities associated with climate change, principally sea-level rise coastal flooding; increased salinity of coastal aquifers; impacts on the marine environment; heat stress; built environment impacts; more extreme weather events (floods, droughts, etc.); increased risk of dust storms; and risk from airborne contaminants (e.g. pesticides).”UAE Space Agency
It’s the second student-built satellite in the UAE, after the MYSAT-1 nano-satellite built by students from Khalifa University in 2018.
UAE makes a mark in space exploration
This year saw the monumental launch of the Hope Probe from Japan to Mars, marking the UAE’s first interplanetary mission. It’s on a seven-month journey to the red planet, to understand the planet’s climate dynamics, examine weather changes that impact the escape of Hydrogen and Oxygen and lastly, understand the structure and variability of Hydrogen and Oxygen in the upper atmosphere.
Photograph credit: WAM
What’s more, Emirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri created history in 2019 after embarking on an eight-day space voyage at the International Space Station, conducting earth observations and interacting with ground stations.
(Featured photograph credit: WAM)