Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French company Thales/Thales Alenia Space and French engineering university MINES ParisTech to develop applications for the StratobusTM drone-satellite hybrid airship.
Masdar is presently working on research projects involving deserts and arid climate such as urban heat island studies; monitoring oil spills, dust storms land-atmosphere interactions and climate change studies.
The StratobusTM is a type of aircraft currently being developed by Thales Alenia Space together with French and European partners that functions as a hybrid between a drone and a satellite. It will carry technical equipment that allows it to perform surveillance of borders or land or sea sites, environmental monitoring of climate change impacts and provide telecommunications services.
As per the agreement Masdar will work to develop the environmental applications of StratobusTM for the UAE. The first six-month phase of the project will define the needs of StratobusTM’s UAE users. In the second phase, the Institute will be tasked with interfacing with the various UAE users to define their environmental application needs, developing detailed specifications and technical processes, and defining and developing the specific software algorithms to be included in the StratobusTM control centres.