Space Science and the Environment

The National Space Science Agency (NSSA) was established by Royal Decree (PDF, 790KB, 8 pages) in line with his Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s vision “to promote Bahrain to a position of international prominence in the field of space science to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development”.

The NSSA is focused on harnessing space technologies for national development, promoting space science and applications, developing advanced space research programmes, capacity building in specialised fields, and creating a new space sector in the Kingdom.

The NSSA is also eager to play a role in protecting the environment and helping the Kingdom to achieve SDGs linked with its Vision 2030.

The NSSA works closely with ministries across the Kingdom, identifying their needs, and providing enhanced space-based technology services for governance and development. It also works alongside universities to advance research and development in space sciences.

University Collaboration

The NSSA and the University of Bahrain (UOB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the use of an electronic application enhanced by artificial intelligence and algorithms to locate oil spills in the Gulf region.

UOB researcher Dr. Fatima Abdul Qadir Al Balushi is implementing the project by designing an application that uses satellite images and data obtained from remote sensing satellites to detect oil spills.

Oil spills are one of the main factors that cause pollution in the Arabian Gulf environment, negatively affect its ecosystem, and harm marine life. Being able to identify and discover these spills promptly will enable the competent authorities to address them and prevent their spread.

Space Science to Monitor the Environment

A scientific thesis presented at the University of Bahrain has called for the creation of a geographical database that uses space science and artificial intelligence applications to monitor green spaces and agricultural areas, and predict their growth and decline rates.

Ebrahim Al Burshaid, a student at the University of Bahrain, submitted the thesis as part of the requirements for his master’s degree in engineering management. The thesis was able to achieve integration between the employment of space science, artificial intelligence techniques, and geographic information systems in developing an applicable economic solution in Bahrain to monitor agricultural lands and bridge the information gap in the field. This highlights the importance of adopting artificial intelligence techniques in the Kingdom and investing in space science.

The First Bahraini Satellite

The first Bahraini satellite is expected to be launched to the International Space Station during the third quarter of 2021, while the last quarter of the year will witness the launch of the satellite from the station into space.

The satellite will help implement projects related to IoT (monitoring of gas emissions from factories), utilising AI technologies and their applications in the field of remote sensing.

Through this satellite, the NSSA will generate data related to the environment, agriculture, and our climate, which enable the Kingdom to better utilise information and develop its big data analysis capabilities.

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Content Last Updated: 24 Aug, 2023

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