The space and aeronautical industry has witnessed an increasing competition and a large technology development on a global scale during the past few years. This is attributed to the many critical applications that has been widely utilized in the industry, such as the unmanned space vehicles which are used in many applications related to atmosphere safety and monitor, climate, and natural resources. In this regard, light aircrafts are currently arousing interest among major aircraft producers in the world, as weight reduction is directly linked to reducing fuel consumption and the topic is of a global concern without a doubt.
The space and aeronautical sector is of strategic importance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of the fourteen-technology strategies set by the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (NPST). The Kingdom seeks through the space and aeronautical technology program to achieve a regional leadership in this vital sector relying on its preeminent position and vital capabilities that will allow the country to obtain its objective.
King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST ) works on strengthening the Kingdom’s position in relation to space and aeronautical technologies and systems through the country’s national and international cooperation in research and development programs, technology transfer and localization as well as through continuous coordination with the competent authorities in the Kingdom to develop the research and technical capacities of the governmental bodies while industrially focusing on the technical applications and commercial conversions which will provide a vital springboard towards the development of the space and aeronautical future.
The Space and Aeronautical Institute in KACST adopts essential trends in scientific research and technical development in line with the Kingdom’s national policy for science and technology and meet the requirements of national security and sustainable development. The institute also works to building qualified Saudi cadres to benefit from their capabilities in a way that serves and interacts with the national development plans and directions and their fundamental principles.
The strategic goals of the space and aeronautical program are:
- To position the Kingdom at the forefront of the providers of commercial and Earth observation products within the region.
- To significantly enhance the GIS capabilities of the kingdom in order to achieve national and regional developments.
- To implement an optimized, responsive, and advanced civilian Earth observation satellite system to provide key data for the region.
- To design and develop advanced aeronautical platforms for research and commercialization.
- To become a leading provider of numerical simulation services in order to meet the aerospace sector’s objectives in the region.
- To create a thriving commercial space and aeronautics sector in the Kingdom that is capable of executing advanced technology programs.
- To find and develop specific advanced technologies that enable the Kingdom to develop Intellectual Property for a long-term international collaboration, to be used as well for commercial exploitation, or to support the concerned stakeholders’ strategic programs.