On the tracks

Clarke Bond, a British engineering and management consultancy, has been appointed as project manager for the production of Al Yah Satellite’s (Yahsat’s) two ground-tracking stations in Abu Dhabi.

Clarke Bond’s contract follows Yahsat’s announcement that it has appointed Astrium and Thales Alenia Space to build, launch and manage two satellite systems for commercial and government use.

The satellite stations, which will house both technical and administrative buildings, will cover approximately 15,000m2. One station will be built near the city of Al Ain, with the other located around 40km from the centre of Abu Dhabi.

As project manager, Clarke Bond will be responsible for coordinating and managing the design and procurement process of both stations. Draft designs have already been completed with more detailed plans in progress.

The structures will house highly delicate equipment and must be strong enough to withstand sand storms and ground temperatures of  more than 60°C.

Clarke Bond will supply an on-site team to oversee the construction and commission process of the sites in time for the launch of Yahsat’s first satellite in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In addition to offering secure military satellite communications for international customers, UAE’s first satellite will provide the area with speed voice, data, video and internet connectivity capabilities.