The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in collaboration with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) on Tuesday announced the development of HCT-Sat 1, an Earth observation CubeSat.
With the payload of the satellite set to be developed by the students of HCT, under the guidance of the Centre’s team, HCT-Sat 1 is expected to be launched by the end of 2024.
HCT-Sat 1 will be a compact satellite design of unit size 1U (10cm x 10cm x 10cm), with the team at MBRSC spearheading a broad range of operations, including assembly and integration to the stringent testing of the satellite as well as overseeing the payload launch and ensuring the seamless provision of all essential communication services.
The partnership between MBRSC and HCT also entails a comprehensive educational experience, empowering both students and faculty members with expert training, and delivering substantial support in the immersive CubeSat curriculum.
Commenting on the announcement, Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General, MBSRC, said: “MBRSC has established fruitful partnerships across diverse sectors, which have enriched our journey so far. We believed it was essential to extend our commitment to the educational sector, as we have done with HCT through this project. Empowering students and instilling the seeds of curiosity, innovation, and a deep understanding of space technologies is pivotal to ensuring a sustainable future for the UAE’s space programme. The development of HCT-Sat 1 transcends beyond a mere educational initiative, it represents a powerful catalyst to propel the UAE’s space programme into the future. We are nurturing the future architects of our space sector — today’s students who will transform into tomorrow’s pioneers.”
Collaborative projects such as the development of HCT-Sat 1 aims to integrate space technologies within educational programmes, catalysing a new era of innovation and learning in space science and exploration. The initiative, designed to reach out to a broad spectrum of academic institutions, from universities to local high schools, is seeking to ignite a passion for STEM education among the youth within the UAE. Additionally, it ensures a unique opportunity for the students to be introduced to the world of miniaturised space technologies, simultaneously enhancing the depth of understanding of the budding talents in the field.
Dr Faisal Alayyan, President & CEO of HCT, said: “The UAE is currently making significant progress, accomplishing milestones, and leaving lasting marks in the field of outer space, highlighting that HCT, as a leading educational institution in applied education dedicated to cultivating specialised and professional competencies across various crucial domains, including the space sector, strives to attract students with a keen passion for studying disciplines that cater to this industry. Additionally, HCT encourages its students to engage in projects that deepen their awareness and comprehension of space science, empowering them to make future contributions to the field.”
Dr. Alayyan emphasised that HCT takes pride in its collaboration with MBRSC to execute the HCT-Sat 1 satellite development project. He highlighted that this initiative would facilitate the incorporation of space technologies into HCT’s educational programmes, providing students with opportunities to engage with leading partnerships in the space industry and relevant government entities. Dr. Alayyan stated that this aligns seamlessly with HCT’s mission to contribute to the UAE National Space Programme, foster a culture of innovation, and advance technological progress. He underscored that this partnership is consistent with HCT’s newly launched strategy, aimed at bringing about a transformative shift in the concept of applied education.