MBRSC Signs MoU with Strata to Develop Local Manufacturing Capabilities for MBZ-SAT

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Strata, a leading composite aero structures manufacturing company based in the UAE, to work jointly on developing local manufacturing capabilities for MBZ-SAT, the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery. Aligned with the Centre’s vision, the agreement includes cooperation across various areas of mutual interest.

The signing is part of MBRSC’s collaboration with local companies within the space sector, to manufacture and supply the components of MBZ-SAT and its efforts to build a local hub for space-related manufacturers, with the aim of benefitting from Strata’s manufacturing capabilities. The strategic cooperation also enhances the sustainability of the national space sector in the UAE. Through this agreement MBRSC aims to develop a manufacturing eco system for transfer of space technology as well as manufacture of space related technology and systems. The Centre relies on partnerships, especially between the government and private sectors, and considers them an essential and strategic component to support the development of new space technologies.

Salem AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs MBRSC, said: “Through this agreement, we aim to enhance the space sector’s contribution to the national economy and promote the UAE’s regional and international presence in the space sector in line with MBRSC’s 2021-2031 strategy.”

He added: “MBRSC aims to support collaboration with private companies that are focused on emerging trends of space manufacturing, expanding the horizons of the space sector and adding further momentum to the UAE’s economy. We continue to create strategic alliances to encourage data studies, launch testing centres in the UAE, produce benchmark products for satellites, space systems and technology, reduce expenditure arising from imports and set up a strong local space-related manufacturing hub within the UAE. This is in line with strengthening specialised national competencies, developing scientific and technical capabilities, spreading the culture of innovation and national pride as well as consolidating the role and position of the UAE regionally and globally.”

“The UAE’s aerospace industry continues to achieve great progress, and Mubadala has made long-term commitments in the form of investments, manufacturing capabilities and upskilling Emirati engineers to ensure an active role in shaping the future of the industry. Strata’s partnership with the MBRSC is an exciting step forward in our journey which first began with manufacturing parts for aircrafts and will now extend to satellite components. We believe that national champions such as Strata inspire future generations and can unlock new opportunities to propel the UAE’s space ambitions further,” said Badr Al Olama, Head of Aerospace at Mubadala Investment Company.

Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata, said: “The agreement between Strata and MBRSC marks a significant milestone for the manufacturing sector in the UAE. As a company that aims to solidify the ‘made with pride in the UAE’ brand across the globe, we are proud that Strata will contribute to the UAE’s efforts to develop the space sector in the region by utilising its manufacturing capabilities and expertise to manufacture components for MBZ-SAT.”

He also added: “Since inception, Strata ensured that its aero-structure components are being delivered to its customers according to the highest global quality standards. The collaboration between Strata and MBRSC demonstrates the value of leveraging local capabilities within the UAE to ensure economic resilience and sustainability.”

Engineer Amer AlGhafri, Senior Director of the Space Engineering Department and Project Manager of MBZ-SAT, MBRSC, said: “The MBZ-SAT satellite will set new standards in the space imaging sector, making the MBRSC among the few centres in the world, capable of developing advanced satellite imaging technologies for commercial use. We are committed to working with industry professionals, as part of our efforts to bring positive benefits to communities by sharing valuable data and knowledge with companies and institutions. In addition to providing a comprehensive source of space imagery, we will also have a specialised team within our Centre to analyse the data collected by the new satellite.”

The MBZ-SAT will be the first satellite capable of detecting a larger number of man-made as well as natural elements with a higher rate of precision and resolution, as compared to the current range of Earth observation satellites. Furthermore, the raw data gathered by the new satellite’s system will be able to process better AI functionality that can assist in quicker analysis and processing of satellite imagery.

Fourth Earth observation satellite

MBZ-SAT, which will be launched in 2023, is the fourth earth observation satellite and the second to be fully developed and built by a team of Emirati engineers after KhalifaSat. The satellite will be equipped with an automated system for arranging images round-the-clock, ensuring that it provides the highest quality standards of satellite images intended for commercial use globally. MBZ-SAT will contribute to meeting the growing demand for high-resolution satellite images that will show details within an area of less than one square meter, which will be one of the most advanced features ever. For more than a decade, MBRSC has been providing detailed, high-resolution satellite images that have been captured through satellites DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2 and KhalifaSat, according to the requirements and needs of government institutions and private sector companies around the world. The Centre is also part of the International Disaster Charter and Sentinel Asia, playing a crucial role in disaster relief and management globally.