Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has launched the DEWA-SAT 1 nanosatellite in collaboration with NanoAvionics, becoming the world’s first utility to use nanosatellites to improve the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks.
DEWA-SAT 1 was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex (SLC-40) in Florida, United States. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, attended the launch along with officials from DEWA and NanoAvionics.
The authority also announced its next mission — a U6 nanosatellite to be launched later this year.
The nanosatellite was designed and developed at DEWA’s R&D Centre in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
“DEWA, in collaboration with NanoAvionics, has launched the first U3 nanosatellite as part of the Space-D programme that aims to improve the operations, maintenance, and planning of its networks with the support of nanosatellite technology, Internet of Things (IoT), and remote sensing technologies. The programme also aims to train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks and take advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer said that DEWA-SAT 1 uses LoRa IoT communication technology, which is a new wireless protocol designed for long-range communications that consume less energy, to expand the coverage of the existing terrestrial communication network.
Using satellite communications, IoT, and AI will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DEWA’s operations and support digitising energy networks, water distribution, and transmission networks. It also enables the integration of IoT data using DEWA’s private cloud.