Many universities worldwide are launching their own small satellites developed by their graduate students and academic experts.
We typically think of traditionally large satellites as big as passenger cars weighing about a ton or more when we think of satellites. However, years of advancements in technology resulted in the ability to design and build smaller satellites that can be held and handled by one person alone and are weighing about one kilogram. They are called Nano Satellites, in this case. There is a growing need for more of these smaller satellites as technology progresses and evolves. Satellites nowadays are even becoming a fundamental part of the Internet’s infrastructure. As a result, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), in collaboration with the MBRSC Lab at the University of Dubai, is currently working on a Modular Satellite.
The process of building a satellite is usually done using the following steps: First, the concept of operation and requirements for the satellite are defined. Second, the design and architecture of the satellite and the flight software are created and implemented. Next (or sometimes in parallel), the different building blocks of the satellite, which in space technology terms are called subsystems, are built and tested individually. Then the subsystems are integrated and tested as a whole together with the flight software to ensure the successful operation of the satellite.
Our researcher, Mohammed Eshaq, was mainly responsible for designing and implementing the flight software. However, the Flight Software Engineer is usually involved throughout the whole process. This also requires the Flight Software Engineer to understand the underlying technologies and awareness of the different subsystems used when designing the software. The flight software runs on the OBC (On-Board Computer). The OBC is the main component that will govern the satellite while in-mission in space.
The University of Dubai is proud to be part of such a project, and is keen on being a contributor to Space Technologies and future Space Missions.
Mohammed Eshaq received a Scholarship from the American University of Sharjah, from where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in ‘Computer Engineering’. Upon graduation, Mr. Eshaq pursued his Master’s in ‘Computer Engineering’ and was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the American University of Sharjah, where he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for more than two years. Lately, he was awarded a Certificate in ‘University Teaching’, from the University of Hong Kong.
His teaching areas and research interests cover a broad spectrum of computer science and engineering topics such as:
- Hardware Architecture, FPGAs, Embedded Systems, and System-on-Chip (SoC).
- Microprocessors, and Advanced Digital Systems (Verilog HDL).
- Requirements Engineering and Software Engineering.