The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto announced today the signing of a new contract to provide Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) with a microsatellite for aerosol and greenhouse gas monitoring. SFL’s Next-generation Earth Monitoring and Observation (NEMO) platform technology, which incorporates high-performance ground target tracking capability, is a key enabler for the mission.
The DMSat-1 (also known as “AirWatch”) satellite will leverage past developments at SFL for a rapidly developed mission that will incorporate two payloads. The primary payload is a multispectral polarimeter used to monitor aerosols – fine particles of liquid and solids in the upper atmosphere normally caused by man-made sources, but also correlating to natural phenomena such as dust storms.
The secondary instrument is a pair of spectrometers that will enable MBRSC to detect greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane over the United Arab Emirates. The study of aerosols and greenhouse gases will be conducted by researchers local to the UAE.
“We are pleased that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre has selected SFL as their spacecraft provider for this important mission,” remarked Dr. Robert Zee, Director, SFL. “We look forward to fruitful collaboration with MBRSC and this exciting mission that will benefit the UAE for years to come.”
In previous missions, the SFL NEMO bus has demonstrated precise attitude control and target tracking capabilities – rare among satellite platforms of this size – that will play a key role in the accurate pointing of the DMSat-1 sensors.
SFL, based at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), will highlight its nearly 20-year history of developing successful small satellite missions at the 2017 CANSEC Conference being held May 31 – June 1 in Ottawa. Visit SFL in booth 1036 at the EY Centre.