Saudi Arabia to launch space satellite for oil exploration
Saudi Arabia will launch its Saudisat-C space satellite that has as one of its primary functions the gathering of
data for oil exploration in the kingdom. Prince Turki bin Saud, supervisor of the Space Research Institute at King
Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology in Riyadh, announced that the Dnepr 1 rocket -- Saudi Arabia's third
satellite -- will be launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
Turki said the Saudisat-C satellite will orbit the earth at a height of about 650 km to collect data via remote sensing and spectrographic photography that will be instrumental in oil exploration as well as improved information on weather and remote area vehicular movements. It will be equipped with a camera to take photos, some of which will also be of the moon.
The focus of this third Saudi satellite on oil exploration is a direct consequence of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin
Abdul Aziz being a member of the 1985 US space shuttle discovery flight. Since that time, Sultan has been an active
member of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Research Institute.
The institute recently developed geophysical research to incorporate their new study of the Earth's tectonic plate movements via satellite.
The Space Research Institute of KACST has produced the Kingdom's first digital map, which can either be run on a PC or transferred to other software. It has also produced an integrated system based on remote sensing and GPS (Global Positioning System) in geological applications that use multi-spectral coverage that ranges from visible to thermal infrared, as well as radar images, to provide valuable data on structural geology for locating hydrocarbon deposits.