LogisticsNews Middle East - - Regional News -

Emi­rates Skycargo has suc­cess­fully trans­ported Khal­i­fasat- the first satel­lite de­vel­oped and built by Emi­rati en­gi­neers in the UAE at the Mo­hammed Bin Rashid Space Cen­tre (MBRSC).

As the first step in its jour­ney to space, Khal­i­fasat was flown from Dubai to In­cheon In­ter­na­tional Air­port in South Korea on an Emi­rates Skycargo Boe­ing 777 freighter air­craft that was spe­cially char­tered for the oc­ca­sion. Emi­rates Skycargo also un­veiled a spe­cial branded truck to mark the event.

The Khal­i­fasat project was launched in 2013 by HH Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the aim of man­u­fac­tur­ing the first space satel­lite on the UAE soil. Fol­low­ing its launch in 2018, the re­mote sens­ing satel­lite will pro­vide im­ages of Earth for prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion in a va­ri­ety of in­dus­tries.

Na­bil Sul­tan, Emi­rates divi­sional se­nior vice pres­i­dent, cargo, re­marked: “Over the years, Emi­rates Skycargo has trans­ported a wide va­ri­ety of un­usual cargo but be­ing able to trans­port the first satel­lite man­u­fac­tured in the UAE is a unique hon­our. We are de­lighted to bring our ex­per­tise in air trans­porta­tion to the ta­ble on this his­toric and mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion.”

Salem Al Marri, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor-gen­eral for Sci­en­tific and Tech­ni­cal Af­fairs, MBRSC, com­mented: “It has been a jour­ney of nearly five years from the time the Mo­hammed Bin Rashid Space Cen­tre com­menced the man­u­fac­ture of Khal­i­fasat to now where we’re get­ting ready for the fi­nal launch. We needed a part­ner who had the ca­pa­bil­ity and ex­per­tise to trans­port Khal­i­fasat from Dubai with­out com­pro­mis­ing its sen­si­tive in­stru­men­ta­tion and com­po­nents. Emi­rates Skycargo worked with us over a three-month pe­riod to make sure that the en­tire trans­porta­tion process went smoothly.”

Given the ex­tremely sen­si­tive na­ture of the ship­ment, teams from Emi­rates Skycargo and MBRSC worked to­gether from Novem­ber 2017 to pre­pare and plan all the steps in the move­ment of the satel­lite from Dubai to In­cheon air­port. The satel­lite was first moved from MBRSC’S man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Dubai, to the Emi­rates Sky­cen­tral DWC freighter cargo ter­mi­nal at Dubai World Cen­tral air­port, on a ded­i­cated re­motely mon­i­tored Emi­rates Skycargo truck trav­el­ling on a geo-fenced route with a po­lice es­cort for max­i­mum se­cu­rity. A num­ber of trial load­ing ex­er­cises were also con­ducted by Emi­rates Skycargo and MBRSC, to en­sure that op­er­a­tions went smoothly dur­ing the ac­tual trans­porta­tion of the satel­lite.

The satel­lite was then loaded through the wide main deck doors on the Boe­ing 777 freighter air­craft. The air cargo car­rier’s team of cross-func­tional spe­cial­ists in­clud­ing spe­cialised load­mas­ters drew up an op­ti­mal load­ing plan on the air­craft for the safe trans­porta­tion of the satel­lite.

In ad­di­tion to load­ing and trans­porta­tion, de­tailed plan­ning was in­volved from Emi­rates Skycargo to en­sure air­craft and crew avail­abil­ity as well as ob­tain­ing all rel­e­vant per­mis­sions for op­er­at­ing a char­tered freighter flight to In­cheon In­ter­na­tional air­port.

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