Captured by the KhalifaSat, a remote sensing Earth observation satellite, new images of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been released by The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Considered to be the first entirely Emirati-made satellite, the KhalifaSat was designed and built at the Space Technology Laboratories of the MBRSC and has been in orbit since 2018. Using mosaic images, the latest photos of the two emirates were stitched together using a number of individual images. “The system captures a matrix of individual digital images to create a single high-resolution picture of the UAE’s terrain,” said the MBRSC. “This imaging system will provide a comprehensive view of the UAE’s topography, using remote sensing systems, image processing, geographic information systems and artificial intelligence.” While photos of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are amongst the first to be released, the space centre intends to release images of all seven Emirates soon.
Providing higher resolution and clarity on account of a geo-referencing mechanism, mosaic images vastly differ from other satellite images. Having collected images of multiple geographic locations over specific intervals, spanning days and months, the KhalifaSat combined the individual images resulting in one comprehensive, high-resolution image. Speaking to the quality of the images, Ammar Saif Al Muhairi, head of the center’s image-processing section said, “The mosaic imaging system at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre goes through systematic stages of image extraction.” “Firstly, individual images scattered over an area are taken by the satellite during a given period.” “The system then geo-assigns these images using a co-ordinate reference system to ensure the highest possible resolution,” he continued. “The image correction phase is followed by enhancing contrast and various corrections to make sure that all images are free of distortions. Finally, the colors of the satellite images are matched and blended, followed by the testing of the outcome by the relevant team, and ensuring its correctness before finally releasing it.”