ABU DHABI --- The UAE Space Agency and the Abu Dhabi-based
International Astronomy Centre have signed an agreement to establish a meteor
monitoring and filming network.
As part of the agreement, at least
three monitoring stations will be built across the emirate containing
technology to monitor outer space. Command and control centres will also be set
up to receive and analyze the information. The stations are expected to be in
operation by the end of 2016.
The project will provide astronomical
reports and data around meteor and satellite movements in space, including
determining and tracking their co-ordinates, all of which will help support
dedicated scientific research.
A website dedicated to the space
monitoring stations will be launched to allow observers to see the pictures and
scientific results of the project.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Khalifa
Al Rumaithi, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, and Khalfan Al Nuaimi, general
manager of the International Astronomy Centre in Abu Dhabi.
"This project will help contribute
to raising awareness and the education of student and educational and academic
institutions around the topics of astronomy and space," said Dr. Mohammed
Al Ahbabi, director general of the space agency.
Mr. Al Nuaimi added, "Our
partnership with the UAE Space Agency for the establishment of a network to
monitor meteors is a key strategic project that will contribute to supporting
the state towards developing the space sector and building a base of statistics
and results that will without a doubt support the academic and research
Dr. Al Rumaithi explained that this
project falls under some of the Agency’s main tasks, which includes the
development of the national space sector, the formulation of space policies,
supporting the next generation of engineers and scientists, guiding national
space programmes that will benefit the national economy and the development of
He also added that the monitoring of
meteors supports the role of the UAE as well as other countries in promoting
space exploration and contributing to the global scientific space community.
The agreement states that the UAE Space
Agency will be the representative for the UAE Government with regard to issues
of funding and supervision of the project, which was proposed by the
International Astronomy Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Each station in the network contains
two cameras, the first of which contains a ‘fish eye’ lens which covers the sky
with a wide angle and the second has a narrower vision.
Each camera has a different purpose,
with the fish eye lens allowing the camera to capture the greatest number of
meteors appearing in the sky but the results of the analysis of the captured
video clips may be less accurate. The narrow lens will collect a smaller number
of shots but the results of the analysis will be more precise. It will
therefore be able to gain a clearer picture of the meteors and asteroids.
The cameras will also be able to mark
the location of meteors with greater accuracy.