31 December 2019
The Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology (SAASST) at the University of Sharjah organized the UAE-Japan Workshop on Planetary Exploration, in cooperation with the UAE Space Agency, the Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT), and the Japanese Manned Space Systems (JAMSS). The workshop aims to introduce specialists and amateurs of space sciences and astronomy to the developments and achievements in the UAE and global space sectors, and present some scientific research results and meteorites that were monitored using the UAE Meteor Monitoring Network Towers to monitor meteors in the country. This in addition to adding to the scientific knowledge in the field of space sciences and astronomy, and to empower students and researchers to study this field through exchanging experiences, knowledge and publications, and working on joint scientific projects. The Workshop also aims at establishing the Academy as a leading scientific research center that serves the UAE space sector and the international sector, and strengthening scientific relations between the United Arab Emirates and Japan.
His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah and General Director of the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology, started the meeting by welcoming the attendees and extending the highest thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah, for his gracious and continuous support of the University of Sharjah and SAASST. His Highness, he continued, founded the Academy as a national development project and a scientific research headquarters seeking to serve and educate the community in all aspects of space science, to strengthen the UAE and global space sectors, and to establish the Emirate of Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates as a leading scientific center in space science and astronomy research in the Gulf region and the World. His Excellency the Chancellor of the University and the General Director of the Academy stressed the keenness of the Academy to achieve the goals and aspirations of the blessed vision of His Highness through working on a number of scientific and applied research projects in cooperation with the leading scientific institutions and bodies in the country and the world. This in addition to establishing research laboratories such as the CubeSat Laboratory, Radio Astronomy Laboratory, Meteorite Center, Space Weather Laboratory, Sharjah Optical Observatory, and High Energy Astrophysics Laboratory, which enabled the Academy to occupy a unique platform in space research in the Arab Gulf region, and to have published more than 30 scientific research papers and articles in prestigious international journals during the past two years. His Excellency added that SAASST operates in line with global developments and national visions in the space sector and astronomical scientific culture.
His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: "Our participation in organizing this workshop comes as part of our efforts aimed at raising awareness and disseminating knowledge about the space sector. This supports us in achieving our strategic goals to build the future generation of Emirati astronauts and scientists, as well as enhancing and highlighting the UAE space sector's presence on a regional and global level."
Al Ahbabi stressed the importance of the workshop and its role in introducing space experts and space enthusiasts to the UAE's achievements in the space sector, which was accomplished with the agency's support as the regulator of the space sector. The agency is also keen on contributing to the national economy and sustainable development, creating a generation of qualified talents, enhancing scientific research, developing space programs, and building strategic partnerships in the space sector.
His Excellency added: "Collaboration between local and international entities in the space sector in organizing space events and workshops provides participants with an opportunity to showcase their expertise in the space sector, as well as exchange knowledge and promote partnerships."
The Workshop included a number of topics in the field of space and astronomy, which researchers discussed at the Academy with a number of University professors and specialists from the UAE Space Agency, the Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT), and the Japanese Manned Space Systems (JAMSS). Topics includes research and projects on astronomy and space sciences at the Academy, the International Space Station and the scientific experiments ongoing in it, the UAE Meteor Monitoring Network, future Mars missions, the UAE Mars Hope Mission, detection of meteorites using machine learning, and survey and analysis of meteorites. The Workshop program also included a trip to the Maliha Desert to search for meteorites and participation in the special observation of the partial solar eclipse at the Sharjah Observatory on Thursday.