The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced the scheduled launch date for the first mission of the Payload Hosting Initiative (PHI)-Demo.
The mission is set to launch on June 27, 2023, at 15:34 GST from Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome aboard the Soyuz-2 rocket.
The PHI-Demo mission is a joint initiative between MBRSC and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). It is designed to provide space access and accelerate the sustainable progression of novel space technologies. The mission will carry two partner technology payloads:
- An IoT communication payload developed by OQ Technology, a UAE-based start-up under MBRSC's Space Ventures initiative. This payload will enable the storage and forwarding of data collected from IoT devices in remote areas, industries, and autonomous vehicles, using state-of-the-art 5G technology.
- A green and safe propulsion subsystem developed by SteamJet from the United Kingdom. This subsystem employs water as the primary propellant, ensuring a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to space propulsion.
Once successfully launched, PHI-Demo will further contribute to the space technology landscape. Its innovative design and functionality make it the first of its kind in the region, positioning MBRSC as a frontrunner in the field of space exploration and satellite technology.
The launch of PHI-Demo is a significant milestone in MBRSC's ongoing mission to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and technology advancement. The mission will provide valuable insights into the performance of the 12U modular satellite platform and the two partner technology payloads. The results of the mission will be used to inform the development of future PHI missions.
The launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket carrying PHI-Demo is scheduled to occur within a two-hour window starting at 15:34 GST. The first major milestone of the launch will be the separation of the satellite from the rocket. This will be followed by a two-hour countdown for the dedicated team at the MBRSC ground station to establish the first signal from PHI-Demo. This critical first connection will serve as a health check for the modular satellite, confirming its resilience after withstanding the intense turbulence of the launch.
24 hours after reaching its orbital position, which is at an altitude of about 550 km, PHI-Demo will mark another significant milestone, the establishment of the second communication with the satellite. This communication will be operated from the labs of partner universities - American University of Ras Al Khaimah and Khalifa University. The successful inception of this communication will confirm the successful launch of the mission.
Post successful launch, the next significant milestone will be the deployment of the solar panel. This pivotal component provides essential power to the payloads. A meticulously planned five-day period has been allotted for this critical phase, during which the MBRSC technical team will maintain daily, precise 10-minute communications as the PHI-Demo traverses above the UAE. These moments of connectivity allow MBRSC to execute operating commands that initiate and establish a robust line of communication with the payload.
Upon successful completion of the five days, the team will embark on payload operations, a collaborative endeavour between MBRSC, Khalifa University, and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah. Command operations will be expertly handled from the ground stations located within the university campus, with the university's faculty members leading the operation. This mission is key, as its results will profoundly shape the future PHI endeavours.
MBRSC's Vision for the Future
With the launch of PHI-Demo, MBRSC is setting the stage for a new era of space exploration and innovation. The launch of this ground-breaking satellite platform marks a significant milestone in MBRSC's ongoing mission to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and technology advancement.
MBRSC is committed to developing and deploying innovative space technologies that can benefit humanity. The PHI-Demo mission is a key step in this journey, and MBRSC is excited to see what the future holds.
News Source: Emirates News Agency