Image credits: SpaceX.
Following the launch of SpaceX’s Transporter-7 mission, Kongsberg NanoAvionics (NanoAvionics) has reported the successful deployment of two nanosatellites the satellite bus manufacturer and mission integrator had built for DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) and an undisclosed company respectively. Communications with both satellites were established shortly after the deployment.
DEWA SAT-2, a 6U nanosatellite, features a high-resolution camera (4.7 metres) that is used for Earth observation missions. The high-resolution camera provides continuous line-scan imaging in seven spectral bands from an approximately 500km orbit. The satellite is also equipped with Infrared equipment to measure greenhouse gases.
His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said DEWA is keen to use the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain in exchanging information through satellite communications and earth observation technologies.
“DEWA’s Space-D programme, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in January 2021, aims to improve the operations, maintenance and planning of DEWA’s networks through nanosatellites and remote sensing technologies. The programme also seeks to train Emiratis specialised in the use of space technologies in electricity and water networks. Launching DEWA SAT-2, our second nanosatellite confirms that we are moving steadily towards leadership in utilising space technologies to enhance the efficiency of DEWA’s operations and providing electricity and water services according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, efficiency and quality, in addition to transferring knowledge and expertise and training our Emirati staff,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA aims to use nanosatellite technology to support its cloud computing network, thereby enhancing the digitisation of energy and water networks. The objective is to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of planning, operation and preventive maintenance of the production, transmission and distribution divisions, as well as smart grids, power stations, and EV charging stations. This approach is expected to reduce costs and improve the investment of DEWA’s assets. Additionally, this will help develop use cases that contribute to upgrading the utility sector worldwide.
Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, explained that the high imaging accuracy of DEWA SAT-2 will enable DEWA to improve the operational performance of power generation and water desalination plants. Multi-spectrum, high-resolution thermal imaging devices, such as those used on board spacecraft that are specifically designed for use in electricity and water networks, will be deployed to detect thermal fingerprints in high-voltage transmission lines, substations, buildings and solar power stations. The combined use of DEWA SAT-2 images and IoT measurements from DEWA SAT-1 will enable DEWA to improve the operational performance of power generation and water desalination plants by providing accurate estimates of seawater temperature, seawater salinity, detection of red-tide, as well as fog monitoring and forecasting.
Vytenis J. Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics, said: “With DEWA-SAT 1 and 2 now successfully in orbit, DEWA can begin its very advanced, ambiguous and forward-looking project. Improving electricity and water networks through satellite technology is an important element to mitigate climate change as well as cutting costs. We are proud to enable DEWA’a space infrastructure with our smallsat technology as well as expertise and be at the forefront of innovative satellite applications.”
About Kongsberg NanoAvionics (NanoAvionics):
Kongsberg NanoAvionics is a smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator currently based in four locations across the USA, UK and Lithuania. The company’s efforts are focused on enabling critical satellite functions and optimizing their hardware, launch and satellite operation costs by providing end-to-end small satellite solutions – ranging from single missions to constellations. Its core engineering team has implemented over 120 successful satellite missions and commercial projects during the past several years. With modularity as the fundamental principle of NanoAvionics system architecture, the company provides economic viability to a wide range of small satellite constellation-based missions, businesses and organisations worldwide.