On April 15, two satellites developed by Kongsberg NanoAvionics were launched to an altitude of 500 km on SpaceX’s Transporter 7 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. One of the satellites is intended for the use by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and will serve the world’s largest solar park.
The DEWASAT 2 small satellite is a continuation of the previous DEWA mission. DEWASAT 1, made by NanoAvionics in Lithuania, was launched in January last year.
Both DEWASAT 1 and DEWASAT 2 are part of DEWA’s Space-D program, whose goal is to help utility companies in the United Arab Emirates enhance the operation, maintenance, and planning of electricity and water networks. One of the satellites will take photographs of DEWA’s infrastructure, while the other will receive and send text messages about the status of the networks as recorded by sensors.
The latter satellite acts as a communication device, providing communication in locations remote from terrestrial communication networks, which is particularly relevant in deserts. The satellites will be used to monitor Dubai’s electricity grid, which supplies more than 3 million people.
“Optimising electricity and water supply through satellite technology not only helps to reduce costs but also contributes to climate change mitigation. We are proud that the small satellites being developed in Lithuania give DEWA the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative satellite programmes,” says Vytenis J. Buzas, founder of NanoAvionics.
NanoAvionics is one of the world’s largest small satellite developers. The company currently produces more than 20 small satellites annually and expects to increase this number to 120 by 2025. NanoAvionics currently employs around 250 people across 4 locations in Lithuania, the UK, and the US. It has recently moved to new, larger premises in the Visoriai Information Technology Park.