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UAE’s Sirb project anticipates first satellite launch by 2026

The Sirb project is a part of the $816 million investment in the UAE’s private space sector announced last year in April.

UAE’s Sirb project anticipates first satellite launch by 2026
[Source photo: UAE Government Media Office | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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The UAE Space Agency, in collaboration with Edge, Yahsat, Bayanat, and the National Space Science and Technology Centre, is developing the Sirb project, aiming to launch the first satellite by 2026.

The Sirb project, which translates to “a flock of birds” in Arabic, was initially announced in 2022. It aims to develop a constellation of three synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites to create detailed images of land use, ice cover, and surface changes, using imaging technology to provide high-precision results in all weather conditions.

The first satellite, launched in 2026, will complement the UAE’s investment in remote sensing technologies that serve different sectors using various satellite images. Radar satellites are capable of capturing images, day or night, irrespective of atmospheric conditions. This project marks the development of a constellation comprising three synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, utilizing imaging technology to achieve high-precision results in all weather conditions.

The project aims to enhance the UAE’s efforts to find solutions to climate change challenges and environmental sustainability, contribute to urban development, integrate efforts to tackle natural disasters, and support food security challenges, by relying on qualified national talent and UAE companies.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, along with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, has launched the “execution phase” of the program.

“We will enhance local expertise in the field of space to support our ambitious vision for the UAE to become a global hub for manufacturing and operating satellites,” said Sheikh Khaled.

Sheikh Hamdan highlighted that empowering startups, SMEs, and entrepreneurs is a top priority, recognizing them as the main drivers of economic growth.

Last week, the UAE introduced an academy dedicated to supporting future Emirati generations in establishing careers in the country’s space sector.

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