Prince Turki bin Saud, Vice-President for Research at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), has announced that the Kingdom will, within a year, launch six more mini-satellites for a range of applications, including the location of water and mineral sources, environmental pollution control, urban planning, agricultural production and weather observation. They are part of a series of 24, all manufactured and designed in the Kingdom by Saudi scientists and engineers, as part of a program to harness space technology for commercial purposes.
Prince Turki was addressing the international seminar on remote sensing and its applications that opened on Saturday. About 500 experts from 29 countries are attending the five-day event, which is sponsored by KACST in collaboration with International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and the Global Sensing Group (GSG).
Two major satellites (Saudisat-A and Saudisat-B) are already in orbit, launched by a Russian rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. A third communications satellite has also been placed in orbit with the help of a Russian rocket. Another satellite is tracking lunar sightings and relaying information on the new moon; and another is collecting data on weather and oil reserves and monitoring vehicular movement in remote areas.