Strata to produce more parts on UAE's Earth-imaging satellite

Aerospace manufacturing company signs contract with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre for work on MBZ-Sat

Ismail Ali Abdullah, chief executive of Strata Manufacturing. Pawan Singh / The National
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Mubadala Investment Company’s aerospace unit Strata has secured a new deal with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to produce more parts for the UAE's Earth-imaging satellite MBZ-Sat.

The agreement between Strata Manufacturing and the MBRSC extends an existing partnership between the company and the centre to develop the UAE's space industry, Ismail Abdullah, Strata's chief executive, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The signing of this contract demonstrates the value of collaboration among national industrial companies,” he said.

“In addition to supporting the UAE's aspirations in the space sector, Strata is pleased to be associated with the MBRSC as a trusted partner and collaborator.”

Strata's pivot into the space supply chain is part of Abu Dhabi's focus on high-technology manufacturing and the UAE's wider space ambitions. The move also underscores the company's efforts to diversify its operations with forays into advanced manufacturing, from biopharma to air-conditioning.

Strata's venture as a satellite parts maker builds on its aerospace experience as a supplier for the world's biggest plane makers Boeing and Airbus.

Its diversification into space is linked with the UAE's own plans to localise space manufacturing and the country's ambitious space plans.

“The MBRSC is dedicated to supporting national private businesses that will contribute to the growth of the UAE’s space industry,” Salem AlMarri, MBRSC's Director General, said.

“We have entrusted Strata to manufacture both mechanical and flat parts of MBZ-Sat, due to their high-calibre capabilities as manufacturers of a national product.”

The three-metre by five-metre satellite, weighing around 700 kilograms, will improve image capture resolution by more than double the capabilities of previously launched satellites.

It will also increase the downlink data transmission speed by three times the current capacity.

The fully automated image scheduling and processing system of MBZ-Sat will also be able to produce more than 10 times the images the Centre produces currently, the statement said.

The Centre is working with five private companies in the UAE to manufacture the satellite, including aerospace manufacturing company Strata, engineering solutions company EPI, Rockford Xellerix, Halcon and Falcon Group.

The UAE has laid out plans for growing the private space sector, and aims to attract companies to its planned space economic zones in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to set up operations.

Updated: July 20, 2022, 4:07 PM