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DubaiSat-1 transmits images from Mirny Mine in Russia

posted on 29/09/2011: 838 views



DubaiSat-1, the UAE-owned and operated earth observation satellite, has relayed a pan-shaped, multi-spectral image of the Mirny Mine in Russia, the largest open pit diamond mine in the world.

The legendary mine, founded in 1957, was captured by the satellite on the 13th of September 2011.

Located in Eastern Siberia, the Mirny Mine is 525 metres deep and has a diameter of 1,200 metres. It is also the first and largest diamond mine in the erstwhile Soviet Union. Helicopters are banned from flying over the mine as there have been incidents in which they were sucked in by the downward air flow.

Surface operations in Mirny Mine closed down in 2001 but underground recovery of diamond had started in 1999. Explorations estimate production to continue for another 25 years and the town has been developed around the city to support diamond excavation and export.

The high spatial resolution images relayed by DubaiSat-1 are a valuable resource in infrastructure planning and development. The satellite images complement existing Geographic Information System (GIS) databases and enable more efficient monitoring of environmental changes and natural hazards.

DubaiSat-1 was a joint project between the UAE and South Korea, developed with a major focus on knowledge transfer to the UAE team that participated in building the satellite. EIAST had launched DubaiSat-1 in July 2009, and since then the satellite has been transmitting images that are of great value in several areas.

EIAST is currently working on DubaiSat-2, a joint development programme with the Satrec Initiative of South Korea. Sixteen UAE engineers, currently stationed in South Korea, have been working on the design, development, testing and manufacturing of the satellite. The participation of UAE engineers in the project has increased by 100 per cent compared to DubaiSat-1 and it is hoped DubaiSat-2 will take EIAST to the next level in satellite development.

DubaiSat-2 will be launched on board a Dnepr Rocket through the Moscow-based International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK) from Yasny Cosmodrome in Russia by the fourth quarter of 2012, as part of a clustered launch, in which DubaiSat-2 will be the primary satellite on board. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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