KAUST Launches Advanced 6U Satellite to Endorse Earth Observation Researches

KAUST Saudi Press Agency (SPA)18.04.2023 Aviation & Space
KAUST Launches Advanced 6U Satellite to Endorse Earth Observation Researches

KAUST Launches Advanced 6U Satellite to Endorse Earth Observation Researches

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King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Spire Global has successfully launched a CubeSat nanosatellite in cooperation with space-to-cloud data and analytics company Spire Global.

The launch of the 6U CubeSat took place through the SpaceX Transporter-7 rideshare mission that launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The satellite aims to collect high-resolution and high-quality data across the terrestrial, coastal, and ocean ecosystems around the globe in order to assist the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in monitoring its unique natural resources.

The satellite launched is equipped with an advanced hyperspectral camera, an advanced on-board processing unit, and a Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) of Spire Global.

These technologies will help in collecting detailed data about the earth’s surface, including the state of vegetation, soil, and water.

While the main duty of the 6U satellite is to take pictures and collect data about the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding areas, the satellite is also capable of collecting data and pictures from anywhere on Earth.

Director of the KAUST Climate and Livability Initiative (CLI) and Professor of Remote Sensing and Water Security Dr. Matthew McCabe, said the university’s launch of the nanosatellite reflects the growing interest in the space sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Space Commission has ambitious plans to develop the local space economy in the future, McCabe said, highlighting the need for developing innovation and technology, training a coming generation of scientists and engineers, and facilitating space exploration research in the kingdom.

Established in 2009, KAUST is a graduate research university devoted to finding solutions for some of the most pressing scientific and technological challenges in the world as well as Saudi Arabia in the areas of food and health, water, energy, environment and the digital domain. KAUST is a curiosity-driven, interdisciplinary problem-solving environment, with state-of-the-art labs, distinguished faculty and talented students.

KAUST brings together the best minds from around the world to advance research. More than 120 different nationalities live, work and study on campus. KAUST is also a catalyst for innovation, economic development and social prosperity, with research resulting in novel patents and products, enterprising startups, regional and global initiatives, and collaboration with other academic institutions, industries and Saudi agencies. 



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