SCASS: UAE- Japan Space Exploration Symposium

18 Feb 2018

Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences

UAE- Japan Space Exploration Symposium

The Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SCASS) at the University of Sharjah (UoS) hosted a “Space Exploration Symposium” in collaboration with the UAE Space Agency, and a delegation from the University of Tokyo and Chiba Institute of Technology of Japan. His High Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the UoS, and General Director of SCASS attended the opening ceremony of the symposium. Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Ms. Shaikha Al-Maskari, Chief Innovation Officer at the UAE Space Agency, and Mr. Kotaro Suzuki, Charge d’Affaires – Japan Embassy in the UAE attended the symposium along with various professors and researchers from the UoS, the UAE Space Agency, and Japan.


The symposium aims to build closer scientific relations between the UAE and Japan and allow for knowledge and experience exchange in the field of space sciences and exploration. It addressed various topics regarding space exploration and its advances including new space technologies and projects undertaken by the UAE in collaboration with Japan. This follows the Memorandum of Understanding that the UAE and Japan signed two years ago to enhance research and work on space exploration projects. One of the discussed projects was the plan to build a Meteorite Monitoring Network of three towers in the UAE with one located at SCASS to detect space debris over the UAE sky. The researchers also reviewed the findings from their experiment done at the Maliha Desert in Sharjah to search for meteorites using drones equipped with infrared cameras that would distinguish between the temperature of the meteorite and sand, thus help in finding the meteorites.


Prof. Maamar Bettayeb on his part addressed the significance of this symposium as an opportunity to discuss the new University of Sharjah space sciences and exploration research endeavors at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences. He also talked about the importance of knowledge and experience exchange between all three parties involved in this program with the aim of finding mutual interests in the field of space sciences. Dr. Ilias Fernini, SCASS’s Deputy General Director for Research Laboratories and Observatory, added that this initiative presents an opportunity to examine ways of cooperating with each of the UAE Space Agency and Japan in the space exploration program.


And from the UAE Space Agency, Ms. Shaikha Al-Maskari reasserted the Agency’s interest in building and strengthening international relations as well as her admiration of Japan’s accomplishments in the space sciences and innovation fields. She also addressed the significance of the “Space Exploration Symposium” at the University of Sharjah as an opportunity for exchanging ideas and finding solutions for possible challenges in space exploration.


On behalf of the Japanese Embassy in the UAE, Mr. Kotaro Suzuki reasserted Japan’s interest in this program and their admiration of the UAE’s vision, commitment, and plans for space exploration. He also complimented the UAE for its presence as one of the most active participants in the space field in the world and expressed his wish to take this cooperation partnership between the UAE and Japan to the next level by mutually working on future space exploration projects.



Program of the Symposium:

February 18, 2018 – Workshop on Space Exploration


48:30 – 9:00:                   Registration

49:00 – 09:10                   Prof. Maamar Bettayeb – Vice-Chancellor for Research and Graduate

Studies – University of Sharjah

409:10 – 09:20                Ms. Sheikha Al-Maskari – Chief Innovation Officer. – UAE Space Agency

409:20 – 09:30                Mr. Kotaro Suzuki – Charge d’Affaires - Japan Embassy at UAE


409:30 – 09:50                Talk  1: Space Sciences Research at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and

Space Sciences  - Dr. Ilias fernini (Deputy General Director – SCASS)

409:50 – 10:10                Talk 2: “Japan’s Policy on Space and Planetary Exploration” – Prof. Yasuhiro

Yukimatsu (Cabinet Office of Japan - Deputy Director General – National

Space Policy Secretariat)

410:10 – 10:30                Talk 3: “Importance of Planetary Science and Mars Exploration” – Prof.

                                                Hiroki Senshu (Chiba Institute of Technology – CIT - Principal Staff Scientist –

Planetary Exploration Research Center – PERC)


BREAK = 10:30 -10:45      Coffee Break


410:50 – 11:10                Talk 4: “Introduction of Meteorite Science and Meteors” – Prof. Tomoko

Arai (CIT - Principal Staff Scientist – PERC)

411:10 – 11:20                Talk 5: “Meteor Observation by 3U-CubeSat” – Prof. Ryo Ishimaru 

(CIT - Principal Staff Scientist – PERC)

411:20 – 11:40                Talk 6: “Meteorite Search in the UAE Desert” – Dr. Shusaku Yamaura

(CTO - Space Entertainment Laboratory)

411:40 – 12:00                Talk 7: “UAE Mars Exploration Program” – Dr. Abdullah Al-Marar (UAE

Space Agency)


LUNCH BREAK = 12::00 – 13:00 (Building M11 – 3rd Floor)


413:00 – 13:20                Talk 8: “GNSS and Ionospheric Research at SCASS” – Dr. Mubasshir Sheikh


413:20 – 13:40                Talk 9: “Proposals Towards UAE’s Mars Exploration and Development” –

Prof. Hiroaki Akiyama (CIT – Principal Staff Scientist – PERC)

413:40 – 14:10                Talk 10: “Proposals on 3-U CubeSat for UAE Universities” – Drs. Shinichi Nakasuka and Toshihiro Obata (University of Tokyo)

414:10 – 14:30                Talk 11: “Next UAE-Japan Collaboration in Space Sector” – Prof. Takayoshi

Fukuyo (University of Tokyo)


Informal Discussion  14:30 -15:00              Coffee Break

« Back to News list