On November 15, 2021, Dr. Charles Elachi, a Professor (Emeritus) of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science at Caltech, visited Alfaisal University. Prof. Elachi gave a talk before a large audience, including Engineering students, under the title “Recent Advances in Earth and Planetary Space Exploration”. The talk was organized in collaboration with the Center of Excellence for Space and Earth Sciences at KACST.

During his talk, Prof. Elachi enlightened the students about the use of space technologies in day-to-day life such as monitoring daily changes in our planet in terms of topography and climate. He then went on to describe the projects that JPL have launched recently and are planning to launch soon; including Perseverance (newest American Mars rover), Europa Clipper (Jupiter’s moon’s satellite), and Ingenuity (Mars helicopter).

Prof. Elachi is collaborating with KACST to analyse data from satellites that use radar technology to map the kingdom every week and a half. The satellite monitors water pumped out of aquifers and tectonic activity around the Red Sea. Elachi is working with KACST to develop the techniques and capabilities to analyse the satellite data; that data would be accessible to researchers, and ministries through mobile phones. And the reports would be available in both Arabic and English for everyone to view. Finally, the collected data will aid engineers in NEOM to fortify buildings against possible risks such as floods and earthquakes.

HRH Dr. Maha Bint Mishari AlSaud, Vice President for External Relashions & Advancement, attended the seminar and recognized Prof. Elachi, the JPL and KACST delegations.