UAE’s MeznSat is all set for launch today

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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MeznSat, the third mini satellite initiated and funded by the UAE Space Agency, is scheduled to launch from Plesetsk Space Center in northwestern Russia today, September 28, at 3.20 pm Gulf Standard Time. 

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The role of MeznSat project is important in contributing to the strategic goals of the UAE Space Agency, which is to develop national abilities and improve scientific studies,

MeznSat is a 3U CubeSat designed to detect concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) and to promote advanced and locally applicable space-oriented research, which is built by the students from Khalifa University and Ras Al Khaimah American University (AURAK).

The satellite will be launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Once the MeznSat reaches the orbit, the team of students will observe, process and analyze data to get more information. They will be tracking the satellite from the ground stations at AURAK and the Yahsat Space Lab at Khalifa University.

The UAE space center said, “Climate change has widely been attributed to the increase in GHGs in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. The impacts of climate change are expected to include the shortage of water quantity and quality in most arid and semi-arid areas, and low agricultural productivity throughout the tropics and subtropics, accompanied by damage to ecosystems and biodiversity in these areas and changes in forests and other ecosystems.”

“Methane and Carbon dioxide are the two common greenhouse gases and all emissions of these gases have to be discussed and monitored to efficiently reduce the climate change effects.”

“As a result, the primary scientific objective of this project is aimed at exploring the performance of sensing in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) region (1000–1650 nm) to detect the levels of CH4, CO2, and H2O to derive the atmospheric concentrations of important GHGs. The secondary/tentative scientific objective is to predict algal blooms in advance,” the space center added.