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Meteor monitoring network to be set up in Abu Dhabi

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Dubai: The UAE Space Agency has announced a joint venture to set up a meteor monitoring and filming network that will provide astronomical reports and data around meteor and satellite movements in space.

The deal with the International Astronomy Centre will witness the setting up and management of the network, to include a number of stations in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region of the country.

The project is expected to be ready before the end of next year. The network would consist of a number of cameras that film the meteors in space that then provide video clips, a statement released here said.

Each station contains two cameras, the first one contains a lens known as ‘fish eye’ which covers the sky with a wide angle and the second has a narrower vision.

The ‘fish-eye’ lens will allow the camera to capture the greatest number of meteors appearing in the sky but the results of the analysis of the captured video clips may be less accurate, while the narrow lens will collect a smaller number of shots but the results of the analysis will be more precise for a clearer picture the meteors and asteroids.

The Agency said this joint project will provide substantial astronomical reports and data around meteor and satellite movements in space, including determining and tracking their coordinates, all of which will help support the dedicated scientific research being carried out in this field.

As part of the agreement, at least three monitoring stations will be built with the exact locations of each to be confirmed. Each station will contain special technology dedicated to space monitoring and there will be command and control centres set up that will receive information and analysis including mechanisms for the presentation of results.

The agreement states that the UAE Space Agency will be the representative for the UAE government with regards to issues of funding and supervision of the project, which was proposed by the International Astronomy Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Both parties hope that, through this agreement, the project will help raise awareness on space matters and meteor monitoring amongst students and citizens.

This project will help contribute to raising awareness and the education of student and academic institutions around the topics of astronomy and space, Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency said.

Khalfan Al Nuaimi, CEO, International Astronomy Centre said this is a key strategic project that will contribute to supporting the state towards developing the space sector and building a base of statistics and results that will without a doubt support the academic and research sectors.

The agreement also provided for the establishment of a special website dedicated to the stations space monitoring stations. It will allow observers to see the pictures and scientific results arising from the project.