The Emirates is continuing its space race and the country looks set to continue to achieve great success. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has become the first utility company in the world to launch the world's first nanosatellite. The project is the brainchild of DEWA and the US company NanoAvionics, with whom the department has collaborated in the past.
The satellite is called DEWA-SAT 1 and was launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex in the US state of Florida. The satellite has been projected into outer space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, a launch vehicle that is primarily used to transport cargo to the heavens.
DEWA-SAT 1 is a satellite that uses LoRa IoT communication technology, a new project consisting of a wireless protocol that specialises in long-range communications. The main benefit of this system is that it consumes less energy to establish network coverage for terrestrial communication. In turn, the use of this satellite communication plans to bring about an improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the department's operations. It is also added that this launch will modernise the digitisation of power, water and transmission networks, while enabling full integration of IoT data into DEWA's private cloud.
The event in the US was attended by leading Emirati faces, entrepreneurs and brands, as well as officials from DEWA and NanoAvionics. The most prominent of the guests was Sheikh Mohamed al-Tayer, director and board member of the Dubai City Department.
"Today, DEWA, in collaboration with NanoAvionics, launched the first U3 nanosatellite as part of the Space-D programme that aims to improve the operations, maintenance and planning of its networks with the support of nanosatellite technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and remote sensing technologies. The programme also aims to empower Emirati professionals to use space technologies to improve their electricity and water grids and leverage Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and observation technologies," said Al-Tayer.
Al-Tayer spoke about the development of the project and everything that went into its realisation. The CEO stated that this nanosatellite has been designed and developed within the facilities of DEWA's R&D Centre, within the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Solar Park, a plant just a few kilometres away from Dubai.
The director general of the Emirati department gave a speech in which he paid tribute to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum for the support he has always provided to the Electricity and Water Authority. "I extend my thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his unstinting support for DEWA and its innovative initiatives and projects, including its Space-D programme, which was launched in January 2021. The programme supports the National Space Strategy 2030 which aims to realise the UAE's vision in space sciences, technologies, applications and services."
NanoAvionics and DEWA have collaborated on a number of projects before. The latest of these was a modernisation of Dubai, using two 3U and 6U nanosatellites, which would improve power and water networks, as well as being planned for digitisation. If the plan is effective, supply costs would be reduced and there would be an improvement in the utilisation of assets that are necessary to provide sustainable electricity and water to citizens in a safe and secure manner. The satellites will have built-in high-resolution thermal imaging devices that will be able to detect thermal footprints on water and electricity transmission lines.