King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) focuses its activities in both space sciences and explorations on developing and innovating new technologies to achieve scientific discoveries through low-cost space missions.
In this regard, KACST has concluded several partnership-agreements with international scientific centers to verify the validity of scientific theories and send missions to explore space, using satellite- engineering innovative solutions where missions are designed and formed in accordance with the requirements of the scientific payload, which require knowledge of the mission target and also the efficient understanding of experiment challenges of in space.
KACST carries on its program of space explorations making use of a highly sophisticated satellite program with basic prototype along with highly dependable retrofitting space-systems that are tailored to meet the requirements of each space mission.
This space policy of the Kingdom is supported by constant development of the basic systems through qualifying these systems and testing them in space, along with the efficient planning and design of the mission side by side with technology retrofitting which, is by its turn enables a huge reduction in the mission cost. Reducing the cost of design and manufacturing in addition to the cost-effective cost of launching small satellites reduce the total cost of the mission to 10% of the cost of the traditional scientific space missions.
The ambitious space program of the Miniaturized Autonomous Distributed Space System (MDSS) is the result of a series of joint ventures between KACST from one side and international partners including Ames Research Center of the Department of Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Stanford University and the Centre of the German Aerospace Research (DLR) from the other side. KACST and its partners are so much keen to develop and manage Miniaturized Autonomous Distributed Space System that can be retrofitted for future cosmic explorations in areas of science and space sciences in particular.
The first experiment in this program, the Ultra-Violet Light Emitting Diode (UV LED) was launched on board of the Saudi satellite (Saudi Sat 4) on June 19, 2014. Various tests and experiments were successfully conducted on the payload and results were identical to those of previous ground tests and experiments. Saudi Sat 4 is controlled through the ground-station at KACST in Riyadh which operates the satellite and the load in accordance with operating models appropriate for the load.