Nanosatellites to support the digitalization of Dubai’s power, water networks

Nanosatellites to support the digitalization of Dubai’s power, water networks

/ Technology & Smart Cities / Wednesday, 22 December 2021 11:44

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has selected NanoAvionics to design, build, test, and manage the launching of two nanosatellites 3U and 6U. This is part of DEWA’s space-D program that seeks to enhance operational efficiency and reliability, and promote preventive maintenance for the planning, generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water networks.

Through this program, DEWA will lead the industry in improving the operations, maintenance, and planning of its networks with the support of nanosatellite technology. Space-D supports DEWA’s grid digitalization program by using IoT and remote sensing technologies.

In line with its digital transformation, DEWA will use a 3U satellite with an Internet of Things (IoT) payload as well as a 6U satellite with an Earth Observation (EO) payload from NanoAvionics. Using satellite network connectivity, IoT terminals, satellite imagery, and applying AI to the captured data will bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to DEWA’s operations, maintenance, and planning. The agreement with NanoAvionics also includes launch management, construction of the ground station, and an extensive training program for Emirati professionals to facilitate know-how transfer and support in expanding DEWA’s future space capabilities.

“This is a fantastic project for NanoAvionics to be involved in and a great example of how satellite technology improves our lives and helps us to become more sustainable. The knowledge transfer, in addition to satellite integration and mission operations for DEWA, also shows the capabilities and value that our expert team can bring to our customers,” said Vytenis J Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics.

DEWA’s Space-D project includes the launch of a satellite constellation to support its primary satellite. These will be manufactured by Emiratis at the Research and Development (R&D) Centre of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The system features a ground station at the solar park as well as IoT and AI technologies to support ground communication transmission stations in electricity and water networks.

By deploying this infrastructure, DEWA seeks to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its planning and operations, and enhance preventive maintenance at its production, transmission, distribution divisions as well as its smart grids, and electric vehicle charging stations. Specifically designed for use in electricity and water networks, multi-spectrum, high-resolution thermal imaging devices such as those used onboard spacecraft will be deployed to detect thermal fingerprints in high voltage transmission lines, substations, buildings, and solar power stations.

“DEWA’s space program will contribute to enhancing the UAE’s global competitiveness and strategic partnerships in the national space sector as well as paving the way for a new phase of Emirati capabilities in space exploration, technology, and related industries that will be used to strengthen electricity and water networks in Dubai,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

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