The United Arab Emirates will launch its fourth surveillance satellite into space at the end of this week. Having completed the final preparations for the launch, Falcon Eye 1 will be sent into orbit on Saturday, July 6th from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, South America at 5.53am UAE time (01:53 GMT), the Emirates News Agency (WAM) has reported.
The preparations for the launch of the satellite have taken four years and it was shipped from the French city of Toulouse to French Guiana on June 1st.
Characterised by a high-resolution imaging system, the satellite is designed to provide global coverage for the next ten years for military and civilian use. Once it enters its Low Earth Orbit at about 611 km altitude, it will relay its high-quality imagery of the ground below to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.
The satellite will make 15 orbital cycles on a daily basis. The images will be received directly by the Earth station of the Space Survey Centre, in addition to polar stations that contribute to the speed of the images.
Falcon Eye 1 will have a mobile station capable of sending and receiving images from any region in the world. The imagery will be used in the areas of mapping, agricultural monitoring, urban planning and urban regulation, natural disaster prevention and management and will monitor changes in the environment and desertification as well as borders and coasts. The satellite will also serve the armed forces by providing high-resolution images and maps to help them achieve their tasks efficiently.
With the launch of Falcon Eye 1, the UAE have reached a new level of achievement that will strengthen its position as an advanced satellite centre. The satellite will become the UAE’s fourth reconnaissance satellite, bringing its total number of satellites in orbit to ten. There are expected to be 12 UAE satellites in orbit by 2020.
UAE launched its first satellite built entirely by Emirati engineers last October. The KhalifaSat was the first UAE satellite to be entirely designed, built and tested by Emirati scientists. Assembled in half a decade at Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, it garnered five patents and developed a digital camera that rivals some of the most advanced remote-sensing observation satellites used today. The camera captures detailed imagery of the Earth in order to monitor environmental changes.