UAE to launch navigation satellite next year

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The UAE is planning to launch a locally-developed navigation satellite next year, followed by a more advanced version in 2022.

According to national news agency WAM, it will be funded by the UAE Space Agency, and will be the first project to be carried out by the new Satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing Centre (AIT) in Al Ain.

The initiative's main aim is to enhance local research and design capabilities, and is not meant to replace any existing global systems.

"We try to select a certain technology, design and develop the satellite and payload here and will own the intellectual property rights," Dr. Khaled Al Hashmi, Director of the National Space Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC) at UAE University, told WAM.

"And if we are successful, the project can be expanded further," he added.

Navigation satellites offering positioning signals for car navigation systems and smartphones; and also play a key role in aviation and disaster management.

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