Students and faculty from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have won top prizes for their innovative applications of high-resolution satellite data as part of a competition held by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, reinforcing Masdar Institute's commitment to develop the human and intellectual capital needed for the UAE's space ambitions.
Masdar Institute's project teams defeated 23 other teams to win three of the top five prizes at the ‘Remote Sensing Applications Competition 2014' (RSAC 2014).
The main purpose of the RSAC 2014, which was launched last September, is to enhance the research and development of advanced applications that use high-resolution satellite data provided by DubaiSat-2 – the UAE's second earth imaging satellite.
"Masdar Institute is committed to helping the UAE achieve its national space goals, primarily through developing the researchers who will help produce and operate the innovative space technologies," said Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute. "We are proud of our students' achievements and their success reflects Masdar Institute's support of innovative research that drives region-specific solutions through the use of advanced satellite technologies."
Dr. Al Yousuf added, "With the establishment of a dedicated graduate level space-oriented education specialisation, Masdar Institute will continue to train UAE nationals in fields relevant to the UAE space agency mission."
"The competition aims to promote the utilisation of the DubaiSat-2 mission data. The innovations developed through this competition use DubaiSat-2 data for a wide range of disciplines, spanning from land use and land cover, topography and geology, terrestrial (vegetation) ecosystem, agriculture and forestry, hydrology and climate, oceanography and coastal zone, disaster and natural hazards, resource exploration, and development of spatial data infrastructure," said Eman Saeed Al Tunaiji, Engineer, Application Development and Analysis, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
Al Tunaiji revealed that the prize-winning applications would be explored and implemented by the Centre to help it in its mission to inspire scientific innovation, technological advancement, and to advance sustainable development in Dubai and the wider UAE.
Masdar Institute is one of the seven universities on the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre science and research team dedicated to helping the UAE achieve its goal of sending an unmanned space probe to Mars by 2021. The research team is tasked with planning objectives, as well as gathering and analysing incoming data from the UAE's Mars mission.