First satellite developed by Bahrainis 40pc complete

THE first-ever fully Bahraini satellite, Al Munther, is 40 per cent complete.

National Space Science Agency (NSSA) chief executive Dr Mohammed Al Asiri revealed yesterday that the space object, being developed completely by Bahrainis, will be the first in the Middle East to use artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse images captured in space.

He added that Al Munther will provide space data on Bahrain that will be analysed using Bahraini innovations that will be part of the satellite’s payload.

A payload is the part of a satellite that performs the main function or purpose of the satellite. It usually consists of communications antennae, receivers, and transmitters that enable the satellite to send and receive data.

The mission of Al Munther will include capturing images of the kingdom and its regional waters, and collecting data that will feed into several sectors.

Bahraini innovations will be tested in outer space as part of this project, to further improve them before using them in upcoming projects.

Al Munther translates to ‘the herald or harbinger’ in English and is one of the names used to describe Prophet Muhammad in the Quran.

“Al Munther is a beacon for innovation and an elevation to scientific research focusing on sustainable development,” said Dr Al Asiri.

“It also presents multiple solutions to main challenges that face satellites in their orbits.

“This comes as Al Munther is the first of its type in the Middle East that uses artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse captured space images.”

He added that the technology also provides advanced cybersecurity.

“It is secure and provides privacy settings ensuring there are no breaches to system making Bahrain unique in this particular sector,” said Dr Al Asiri.

“The Bahrain Space Team is currently working on multiple assessment tests on payloads.

“We have completed 40pc of the project through a fully local team, which we are proud of.”

He praised space engineer Aysha Haram for designing the new logo for the satellite project.

“Each and every member of the team is working towards having the country make history in the sector, which today is an indicator for the progress and development of other countries.”

Al Munther project follows the successful launch of the first satellite, Light 1, and aims at optimising national capacity in designing, constructing, testing and operating satellites.

It will boost scientific research in the areas of space, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity in Bahrain.




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