Muscat: Multiple economic and sustainability benefits are expected to flow from the Omani satellite mission for which an initial agreement has been signed.
Under the auspices of Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology of the Sultanate Of Oman, ETCO has signed an initial agreement with TUATARA for Oman’s space mission: the Low Earth Orbit (with TUATARA), acting also on behalf of the other signees of Memoranda of Understanding from October 2021 and January 2022 - Virgin Orbit and
As part of this historic mission for the Sultanate, regarding the Low Earth Orbit project scheduled for this year, the group plans to launch the first Omani CubeSat satellite aboard a Virgin Orbit rocket that will conduct scientific research and capture space imagery.
The results will be digitally analysed, using computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) by TUATARA–the AI and data analytics company in strategic partnershipwith ETCO. The mission will be followed by a Deep Space launch, that will take place in the near future.
Under the agreement, the project will initially deliver a nanosatellite that will enable groundbreaking scientific research and capture high-resolution images during the Low Earth Orbit. The collected data and images, both from the Low Earth Orbit and Deep Space missions, will potentially allow for the detection of hidden patterns, identify trends and predict changes caused, for example, by the climate or by natural disasters. Such research would be cost-effective by increasing the sustainability of Oil& Gas exploration: minimising the time needed when choosing new well locations; reducing the risk of unmonitored leakage and predicting the environmental impact of natural resource exploration.
“Digital images acquired within the Low Earth Orbit mission can be further utilised by many other industries and used to detect seismic lines, document persistent offshore oil seepage, map rock formations, elevation, and major structures, identify barren and productive basin areas or perform noninvasive mapping to preserved areas,” Krzysztof Goworek, VP and Chief Innovation Officer at TUATARA said.
“We are proud that the we can be a part of Oman space programme and develop solutions that will translate outer space data into digital insights and provide scientific data which will boost not only the growth of the STEM industry but will also help Omani businesses in achieving more efficient, more sustainable growth.”
This partnership follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed during the International Astronautical Congress held in October 2021 in Dubai, establishing the co-operation of the parties to design, manufacture and launch the first Omani satellite, manufactured by Polish nanosatellite manufacturer and operator SatRevolution, on board Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne in the first ever launch from the United Kingdom’s Spaceport Cornwall in 2022.
Both the Low Earth Orbit project and Deep Space programme will contribute to the near-term goals of the Sultanate of Oman.
This exciting mission will also provide investment and research opportunities involving university Academic Exchange Programmes, thus unlocking new horizons for the next generation of world space explorers and innovators, while investing in national talent that will build a promising future for the Omani people.