DEWA and Eutelsat develop Space-D programme together

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with French global satellite operator Eutelsat to provide technical support for the DEWA Space-D programme and the DEWA 3U DEWA-SAT1 nanosatellite. This will help to develop Internet of Things (IoT) nano-satellite terminals and improve connectivity between DEWA’s assets and its nano-satellite.

The collaboration aims to explore the integration of Eutelsat’s Low Earth Orbit (ELO) satellites with the Space-D programme and expand the nanosatellite fleet for both parties. The two parties will design, develop and implement the first use case at DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre, combining the use of IoT sensors and Eutelsat ELO satellites, as well as develop use cases for utility sector development around the world.

His Highness Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO of DEWA, said the DEWA Space-D programme has contributed to DEWA’s increased sustainability and flexibility in managing and monitoring electricity and water networks since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in January 2021. The programme also helps to reduce costs, improve asset utilisation and management, and provide proactive support for the network. DEWA was the first utility in the world to use nanosatellites to improve the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks. The U3 nanosatellite launch provided the development team with the latest knowledge and experience to understand the effectiveness and value of IoT nanosatellite constellation in supporting utilities such as DEWA to better manage their electricity and water transmission and distribution networks. The programme also aims to train Emirati professionals to build a nanosatellite constellation to serve DEWA’s business and the global utility market. Al Tayer said satellite IoT technology complements the ground-based IoT communications network and will enable the expansion of IoT in smart grids and water networks. This will improve the efficiency of DEWA and support the digitalisation of energy and water transmission and distribution networks. It will also enable the integration of IoT data using DEWA’s cloud services.

“The Space-D programme aims to build DEWA’s capacity and train Emirati professionals in the use of space technology to improve power and water networks. The programme takes advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, AI and blockchain to share information through satellite communication and earth observation technologies. The programme allows the performance and efficiency of solar panels at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world’s largest single-site solar park, to be monitored,” Eng said. Walid bin Salman, executive vice president of business development and excellence at DEWA, said.

“Our R&D centre is working with Space-D to develop several niche applications for the power and water grids. This improves power generation and transmission planning,” said Dr Ali Rashid Al-Aleeli, Vice President, R&D, Business Development and Excellence, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

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