The first UAE multi-disciplinary space program - A CubeSat to demonstrate remote sensing and test a new battery technology

Bushra O. Alnaqbi, Hanan S. Al Messabi, Hamad Al Yassi, Mohamed Alawani, Mariam S. Mansouri, Thu T. Vu, Prashanth Marpu, Saif S. Al Mheiri, Efthymios Kontogiannis, Carlos Niederstrasser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In 2015 Yahsat, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Orbital ATK established the first Master's level, advanced space studies program in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. An integral part of this program is for the students to design and build a CubeSat in order to expose them to the broader issues related to systems engineering, and provide them with invaluable experience that they can utilize to expand the UAE's aerospace industry. For their first spacecraft, the students at Masdar have selected a vegetation monitoring payload. Vegetation in the UAE faces a number of unique challenges due to a desert environment, high temperatures, poor soil conditions, and rapidly expanding human impact. Utilizing commercially available technology the CubeSat will identify and locate areas of vegetation, track changes in those areas, and determine the health level of the green areas. In addition to its primary mission, the Masdar CubeSat will also flight demonstrate a unique Lithium-ion battery currently being developed by researchers at Masdar Institute. Although this paper will primarily focus on the earth observing mission of the CubeSat we will also highlight some of the challenges and successes encountered during the first year of this innovative project.

Original languageBritish English
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
StatePublished - 2016
Event67th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2016 - Guadalajara, Mexico
Duration: 26 Sep 201630 Sep 2016


  • CubeSat
  • Masdar Institute
  • MYSAT-1
  • Orbital ATK
  • UAE
  • Yahsat


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