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Egypt gears up for November satellite launch to improve border security

Egypt is gearing up to launch EgyptSat A (MisrSat A), a new reconnaissance satellite on November 22, 2018, that will primarily assist its military with monitoring security breaches especially from Libya and Sudan, while also helping to plan the country’s urban expansion better.

Built by Russia’s Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, the satellite is intended to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will provide important images and data about Egypt’s borders.

The Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences said that the satellite would start transmitting images of the border areas from January 2019.

The new USD 100 million satellite is an improved version of EgyptSat 2, Cairo’s first failed satellite. The new satellite is also based on Energia’s 559GK bus, which inherits technologies from their USP platform. The satellite features SPD-70 electric engines using Xenon. It features an improved opto-electronic system and onboard control system, high-speed on-board radio link and solar cells with increased efficiency.

The National Authority, however, reiterated that while the satellite will indeed help to protect its borders more efficiently, it is also intended to help Egypt take its urban town planning strategy forward.

“The satellite has development purposes by locating subterranean water and places that are fit for agriculture,” commented Mahmoud Hussein, Chairman of the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, the country’s national space agency.

“It will help national agencies better draw up the borders of the various provinces and formulate urban expansion plans.”

MisrSat A is Egypt’s third Earth remote-sounding satellite. It has been built jointly by Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences together with Energia, Russia. The imaging payload was developed by OAO Peleng and NIRUP Geoinformatsionnye Sistemy in Belarus.