18 July 2018
Under a fund from the UAE Space agency, the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SCASS) at the University of Sharjah inaugurated a prototype of the first "Decametric Radio Telescope" in the UAE. This prototype consists of two dipole systems tuned to observe the Sun and Jupiter at a specific frequency of 20.1 MHz. The first signal was from Jupiter, which was taken late afternoon Thursday, July 12 when Jupiter was quite high. Once finished, the full decametric radio telescope will consist of eight dipoles spread over more than 5000 square meters.
The "Radio Astronomy Laboratory" at SCASS is one of the six research laboratories being built at the center: the CubeSat Laboratory, the Meteorite Center, the Space Weather and Ionospheric Laboratory, the Radio Astronomy Laboratory, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the GIS and RS Center. In addition, the center has an astronomical observatory equipped with three different size telescopes: a reflecting 45 cm (deep-sky observations), a refracting 18 cm (lunar and planetary observations), and a refracting 10 cm (solar observations).
SCASS currently has more than 20 researchers including students working on different projects. The University of Sharjah fully sponsors the Center, with some projects getting funding from the UAE Space Agency such as the UAE Meteor Monitoring Network and the Decametric Radio Telescope.