Maliha’s Meteorites Drones Search

17 Feb 2018

Maliha’s Meteorites Drones Search - Feb. 17, 2018


The UAE Agency, in cooperation with the University of Sharjah, the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Astronomy and the Japan Chiba Institute of Technology, has organized a scientific initiative on the search for meteorites using drones, the first of its kind in the country, which comes within the framework of memorandums of understanding signed by the Agency for cooperation in space and scientific research with Japan.

The initiative included the participation of more than 100 students from the University of Sharjah in the exploration of the remains of meteorites through new techniques using drones, surveyors, and robots in the desert of "Maliha."

In this regard, Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: "This initiative is organized in cooperation with the University of Sharjah to activate memorandums of understanding signed by the UAE Space Agency with the Space Exploration Agency and some Japanese research, academic and scientific institutions. Scientific and space joint aims to improve the capabilities of the national space sector and the development of skills and the construction of specialized cadres in the sciences of space and astronomy.

Dr. Mohamed Al-Ahbabi added: "The extensive student interaction with this initiative is a testament to the broad interest of young people in identifying the various areas of the space sector and the increasing desire of students to study the scientific materials for future work in the sector. This is in line with the various government policies and strategic plans to develop capabilities In this sector in cooperation with international partners. "

Dr. Ilias Fernini, Deputy General Director of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, emphasized on the importance of the program with the Japanese because of their experience in space exploration using advanced technology in monitoring meteorites and meteors from space.    

The drones search consisted of using two drones and a flat wing small airplane to locate the thermal signature of meteorites. A sample meteorite was used to check if the drones can be used to efficiently recognize such a signature within a hot desert environment. The Japanese researchers along with the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences experts discussed the method for future use and came up with a research methodology to be applied for future field research trips.

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