UAE Space Agency launches UAE Astronomical Camera Network
The UAE Space Agency has officially launched the UAE Astronomical Camera Network (UACN) in cooperation with the International Astronomical Center (IAC). The network, which provides a range of astronomical data and reports, is now fully operational and will offer invaluable support to scientific research.
The network, which provides a range of astronomical data and reports, is now fully operational and will offer invaluable support to scientific research.
UACN is designed to track coordinates of meteors and orbital debris, as well as calculating meteor trajectories in case of local impact. UACN will also contribute to discovering new meteor showers and following the movements of those already anticipated.
UACN consists of three operational meteor detection stations located throughout the UAE. UACN1 was set up in Remah on January 28, 2016, while UACN2 was established in Razeen on August 31, 2016. The final station was completed on October 1, 2016, after which the network became fully operational.
Each station contains 17 astronomical cameras that automatically record video imagery and photographs upon detection of meteors. As high precision is required for making precise calculations, 16 of the cameras capture narrow-field images that are capable of accurately analyzing meteors and their orbit paths. The stations also include one wide-angle camera that can cover almost all of the sky in order to identify and track meteors entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
Dr. Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The launch of UACN by the UAE Space Agency is in line with our long-term strategic goals and ongoing efforts to enhance national capacities for scientific research within the space sector.”
Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, added: “UACN provides astronomical research centers with state-of-the-art technology, which plays a central role in encouraging scientific research and innovation in the UAE. We hope that the network will make major contributions to the efforts of fostering the country’s leading position in the field of space research and exploration.”