Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Nigeria’s Upcoming Entry into the Space Age
Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.
Burtonsville, MD, USA
August 25, 2003
I believe that we have all read the good news
Nigeria to launch own satellite
next month: minister
ABUJA (AFP) Aug 20, 2003
Nigeria will next month launch its own satellite, to be used for surveillance and data gathering, Science and Technology Minister Turner Isoun said Wednesday.
"I can confirm that everything is set for the launching and the date is September 26," the minister told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.
The remote sensing satellite will be launched in Russia but mission control and ground station monitoring will be based in Abuja, he said.
He said a deal for
the 13-million-dollar project was sealed in November 2000, adding that 15
Nigerian engineers and scientists had been trained to handle it.
July 31, 2003
Nigeria now goes into space Sept 28
•Launch rescheduled to fit into Russia’s programme
By ABIODUN OBIMUYIWA, Abuja
IN its determination to take the country into the space, the Federal Government has set September 28 for the launch of the Nigerian satellite, a device that will enhance communication in various sectors.
Science and Technology Minister Turner Isoun told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, that rescheduling of the launch was necessitated by the adjustment in the Russian Space Agency programme.
Fifteen Nigerian scientists would be involved in the project, earlier scheduled for launch in July and would be done in Russia with the active connivance of the scientists. The scientists are drawn from research institutions, universities and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to him, “we are rescheduling, not because we defaulted, it is rescheduling that has affected other countries like UK and Turkey because those launching it had to reschedule it to fit in to their own programme. And, we have rescheduled for September 28. Just a delay of two months.
“We are saying that the Russians, who are going to launch it have a different programme. To be specific, they are launching a military satellite and they do not want other satellites to be launched during this period. To put it in a diplomatic way, it is a schedule not only for Nigeria but also for other countries that wanted to launch satellite,” he said.
The minister said the engineers, who were in Russia for the launch had all returned to the country and might not be required to return to the country during the launch in September, adding that the scientists were working on the ground station in Abuja.
Isoun added: “We are working on the ground station, so that when the satellite is launched we will be monitoring it and receiving information here in Abuja.”
Nigeria to launch military/oil satellite in Sept
ABUJA, Aug. 22 — Russia will launch Nigeria's first satellite in September, boosting surveillance of the West African country's military and crude oil facilities, Information Minister Chukwuemeka Chikelu said.
''Some of the functions of the satellite will be
defence and security surveillance, pipeline surveillance, population surveying
and soil mapping,'' he told reporters.
Nigeria, the world's eighth biggest crude oil
exporter, loses between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels per day of crude to thieves
who puncture pipelines in the Niger Delta.
The satellite was built by Nigeria's National
Space Agency and Russia's Rowbrow Export and will be launched on September 26.
Chikelu said the $13 million satellite will be launched by a Russian Cosmos launcher. The ground station in Abuja will be manned by Nigerian scientists.
Very well then, based on the above reports, and
like almost everyone except a tiny cynical few, I am very excited about
Nigeria’s prospects for entry into the Space Age, with the prospective launch of
its own satellite, NigeriaSat-1, now scheduled for September 26, 2003. That at
least is what the latest official word from Nigeria is.
Let us hope that the launch goes on very well.
However, it is important to get a few facts
straight, because there has been some obfuscation about those facts lately:
It is one of such
microsatellites to be built as a result of a unique DMC (Disaster Monitoring
Consortium) collaboration –
organisations from Africa, Asia and Europe [having] formed a "DMC Consortium"
which agreed to contribute microsatellites into the constellation. The DMC
Consortium comprises a partnership between organisations in Algeria, China,
Nigeria, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. The objective of the
Consortium is to derive the maximum mutual benefit from the constellation
through collaboration and cooperation between the DMC partners. The
international partners in the DMC Consortium have agreed to exchange their DMC
satellite resources and data to achieve a daily Earth observation imaging
capability for disaster monitoring and other dynamic phenomena as well as for
national and commercial applications.
Thus, by itself, Nigeria’s satellite has limited
information to provide. However, when considered along with the constellation
of 5 – 8 satellites, all the information that it and other satellites provide
will give a composite picture is whatever is fully desired.
I thought this clarification should be made, so
that we do not think that this particular micro-satellite will solve all of our
democracy, hunger, weather, NEPA and (oil) security problems.
But it is a very good start, assuming every works
out fine. One hopes that Nigerian universities will become more intimately
involved in this project as has hitherto been the case, what with the University
of Surrey in the UK being the parent organization of SSTL.
Have a good week.
IN RELATED NEWS……..
Cosmos-3M rocket launches with three satellites
BY STEPHEN CLARK
Posted: June 28, 2000 (updated 0917 GMT, June 29)
A trio of satellites for Russia, China and the United Kingdom soared into Earth orbit today aboard a Cosmos-3M rocket.
Liftoff occurred on schedule at 1037 GMT (6:37 a.m. EDT) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in far northern Russia. The spacecraft were later deployed into a 400-mile high (650 km) sun-synchronous orbit, project officials said.
The main payload of the mission is the Russian Nadezhda-M COSPAS/SARSAT military navigation satellite. It will be used with several similar satellites to locate ground, air and sea traffic in distress. These spacecraft also work within the international system for search and rescue.
Although these satellites are built and mostly used by the Russian Ministry of Defense, civilians will also have limited access. Nadezhda spacecraft are built by AKO Polyot.
The other two satellite passengers carried by the Cosmos rocket, SNAP-1 and
Tsinghua-1, have different purposes but should remain close to each other even after arriving in space. Both were built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. of the United Kingdom.
The first Surrey Nanosatellite Applications Platform, or SNAP-1, is a 6.5 kg spacecraft with advanced GPS navigation, computing, propulsion and attitude control technologies. Its primary mission is to rendezvous with Tsinghua-1 satellite, demonstrating orbital formation flying for the first time.
Officials say such a high-flying ability could eventually lead to developing a way to de-orbit space trash. Nanosatellites, meanwhile, could be used for scientific research by launching swarms of spacecraft or providing high risk technologies in space cheaply.
SNAP-1 will also feature state-of-the-art navigation systems, a new attitude control system and cutting edge cameras capable of imaging other satellites.
The Tsinghua-1 satellite was built by SSTL for Beijing's Tsinghua University. This microsatellite is a demonstrator for a planned constellation of five similar spacecraft that would provide worldwide imaging of disaster areas. Tsinghua-1 is also slated to conduct communications research in low-Earth orbit.
SNAP-1 will link up with Tsinghua-1 to test its new propulsion and imaging systems.
Ground controllers at TsingHua University reported they received telemetry from Tsinghua-1 about seven hours after launch and all looked normal. Surrey's mission control made contact with SNAP-1 at 0140 GMT on Thursday.
"The telemetry indicates that all parameters are nominal," said Dr. Craig Underwood of SSTL. "As you can imagine the team here is delighted with the dual success of the SNAP-1 and Tsinghua-1 satellites. We are now in the process of commissioning the spacecraft and their payloads."
SSTL works from the Surrey Space Center at the University of Surrey. The company's satellites serve both the commercial sector and the university's students.
The Cosmos-3M rocket is built by NPO Polyot of Russia. It is a two-stage design with a re-startable second stage. The vehicle is just under 90 feet in height. The first stage is powered by an RD-216 engine that is fueled by Nitric acid and Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), a form of hydrazine. The second stage is fueled by the same propellant mixture.
Developing Nigeria Embarks on Space Program
ABUJA, July 4 (Reuters) - Nigeria, one of the world's poorest countries, is to launch its own space program in the form of an agency that will develop rocket and satellite technology, Transport Minister Ojo Madueke announced on Wednesday.
He said the government had allocated three billion naira ($26.7 million) for the program and that the agency will receive 2.5 billion naira ($22.4 million) annually in the next three years with the aim of becoming self-financing.
Although Nigeria is the world's sixth largest oil exporter, it has an external debt of $28.5 billion, according to government figures, and is struggling to provide its citizens with roads, education and basic health services.
With a per capita annual income of $300, it is one of the world's 20 poorest countries, according to World Bank figures.
July 26, 2002
New space project by Russia, Britain
Surrey Buys Multiple Cosmos
Rockets For Microsat Launches
Farnborough - Jul 24, 2002
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) of the UK and Rosoboronexport of Russia today signed a contract to launch 8 microsatellites on 3 Cosmos rockets from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome during 2002-2004.
Seven of the advanced Earth Observation microsatellites will be injected into the same orbit by the three Cosmos rockets in order to form the first international constellation dedicated to monitoring natural and man-made disasters.
The eighth microsatellite is a demonstration high resolution Earth Observation microsatellite for the UK British National Space Centre. Seven of the microsatellites are being constructed by SSTL in the UK in collaboration with its international partners.
Cosmos and RBE were selected by SSTL for this important mission due to their capabilities to achieve the necessary orbital injection accuracy into a sun-synchronous orbit within the timescales needed by SSTL and at an affordable price.
Cosmos, built by Polyot of Omsk, has an excellent record and was previously used by SSTL to launch successfully its SNAP-1 nanosatellite and the Tsinghua-1 microsatellite for China in June 2000.
The first launch for SSTL, carrying the first DMC microsatellite AlSAT-1, is scheduled for autumn 2002.
In a remarkable example of international collaboration in space, seven organisations from Africa, Asia and Europe have formed a consortium and agreed to contribute microsatellites into the first dedicated Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). The DMC will comprise seven Earth observation microsatellites launched into low Earth orbit to provide daily imaging revisit anywhere in the world.
The DMC Consortium comprises a partnership between organisations in Algeria, China, Nigeria, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Each organisation is building an advanced yet low-cost Earth observation microsatellite to form the first ever constellation specifically designed and dedicated to monitoring natural and man-made disasters.
The first DMC microsatellite is scheduled to be launched for Algeria in autumn 2002 and subsequent microsatellites into the same orbit in spring 2003 & 2004.
The objective of the Consortium is to derive the maximum mutual benefit from the constellation through collaboration and cooperation between the DMC Partners.
The partners in the DMC Consortium agreed to exchange their DMC satellite resources and data to achieve a daily Earth observation imaging capability for disaster monitoring and other dynamic phenomena.
The DMC will enable the monitoring of any rapidly-changing phenomena by providing daily revisit multispectral imaging worldwide at resolutions from 32-metres multispectral down to 4-metres panchromatic.
Current Earth observation satellites offer only infrequent image revisits and the delivery of critical information may take months due to periodic cloud cover and tasking conflicts. Images of disaster-stricken areas are often made available too late to be of real use to relief co-ordination agencies on the ground.
The processed images from the DMC will be distributed to relief teams by the Reuters AlterNet Foundation. The Reuters Foundation launched AlertNet in 1997 to help the work of relief professionals around the world.
Each year natural and man-made disasters around the world cause devastation, loss of life, widespread human suffering and huge economic losses. The DMC will provide a service that will greatly aid the response, management and mitigation of disasters whenever, and wherever, they occur.
The DMC is an international project proposed and led by SSTL at the Surrey Space Centre, which has developed highly capable microsatellites that provide high quality multispectral imaging at a small fraction of the cost of a conventional satellite, thus making the constellation and this humanitarian service both practicable and affordable.
The DMC partner organisations are: Centre National Techniques Spatiales (Algeria) Ministry of Science & Technology (PR China) National Space Research & Development Agency (Nigeria) TUBITAK-ODTU (Turkey) Mahanakorn University of Technology, Bangkok (Thailand) National Centre for Science & Technology (Vietnam) British National Space Centre (UK) Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (UK)
Six of the seven microsatellites for the DMC are being constructed at SSTL in the UK. The first satellite of the constellation, AlSAT-1 for Algeria, has been completed and is currently undergoing final tests in preparation for the planned launch in autumn 2002.
Construction of BILSAT-1 (Turkey) is underway at SSTL, along with the UK-DMC microsatellite funded through the BNSC and NigeriaSat-1. The satellites for Algeria, Turkey and Nigeria are being built under a Know-How Transfer and Training (KHTT) programme at Surrey.
The seventh microsatellite (Thai-Paht2) is being built at the Mahanakorn University of Technology (MUT) in Bangkok, Thailand. This follows MUT's successful KHTT programme with Surrey and the launch of their first microsatellite (Thai-Paht-1) in 1998.
The Chinese and Vietnamese satellites are in the final stages of contract negotiation with SSTL and both are planned to be built at Surrey.
Friday, 8 November, 2002, 15:53 GMT
Nigeria to enter space age
Nigeria is hoping to launch its first satellite in July 2003, its science and technology minister has said.
The satellite, which will be built in partnership with a British company, will be used for weather observation, and will later become a communications satellite, Professor Isoun Turner told the BBC's Network Africa programme.
In July 2001, the Nigerian Government formally adopted a National Space Policy with the objective of launching its own satellite and space research programmes.
With the initiative, which will cost about $2.5m a year, there are hopes that the launch of dedicated satellites will greatly improve communication links - Nigeria has notoriously bad phone lines.
Weather prediction satellite
Initially, the remote sensing satellite will be used to solve practical problems for agriculture, forestry and oceans by scouring isolated parts of the country for signs of fire or flood.
The minister said
the $15m micro-satellite will be built in partnership with a UK-based company,
Surrey Space Technology Ltd.
Fifteen Nigerian engineers currently being trained in Britain will be involved in the design and production of the satellite.
The minister dismissed suggestions that the project was just one of Nigeria's "white elephants".
"I think it is one of the best things Nigeria has done," he said.
"Because in the current globalisation, Nigerians should be boasting their hi-tech and appropriate technology so that we can now work together and take advantage of where we're strong.
"And we believe that it is critically important that Nigeria should be present in this area."
He said that this was not a one-off project.
"We are getting the know-how and the product; we are part and parcel of space technology," he said.
"We are in the space programme for a long time."
SSTL Readies First DMC
Satellite For November Launch
Guildford - Nov 25, 2002
AlSAT-1, the first satellite in the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) led by SSTL, has arrived today at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome to be prepared for a 28 November launch.
The 90kg enhanced microsatellite is Algeria's first national satellite and has been designed and constructed by SSTL at the Surrey Space Centre (UK) within a collaborative programme with the Algerian Centre National des Techniques Spatiales (CNTS).
AlSAT-1 is part of a wider international collaboration to launch the first constellation of Earth observation satellites specifically designed for disaster monitoring.
The AlSAT-1 enhanced microsatellite carries specially- designed Earth imaging cameras which provide 32-metres resolution imaging in 3 spectral bands (NIR, red, green) with an extremely wide imaging swath of 600km on the ground that enables a revisit of the same area anywhere in the world at least every 4 days with just a single satellite.
AlSAT-1 is the first satellite in the Surrey-led Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) which will comprises 5 microsatellites in low Earth orbit by the end of 2003.
A joint British-Algerian team of SSTL & CNTS engineers successfully completed the manufacture and pre-flight testing of the enhanced microsatellite during a 15-month programme which included know-how training for the 11 Algerian engineers and scientists at SSTL in England.
A mission control groundstation has also been installed by SSTL at CNTS in Algeria and engineers are carrying out final checks there in readiness for the launch.
Earlier this month, AlSAT-1 left SSTL on its journey from the UK, via Moscow, to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia where it is now being readied for launch on a Kosmos 3-M rocket.
A joint SSTL & Algerian team has travelled to Plesetsk to prepare the spacecraft for launch -- scheduled for 0700 GMT on 28th November 2002 into a 686km sun-synchronous orbit.
The launch, which has been arranged by SSTL for CNTS, is being provided by Rosoboronexport in conjunction with the Russian Space Agency, Polyot and the Russian Space Forces.
In mid-2003, following the validation of AlSAT-1 in orbit after launch, a further 4 microsatellites will be launched into the same orbit as AlSAT-1 to complete the constellation and provide a daily imaging revisit capability worldwide. SSTL is building these microsatellites in collaboration with Nigeria, Turkey & the UK.
SSTL is also leading a follow-on DMC-2 constellation, including higher spatial resolution down to 2.5-metres GSD panchromatic and 5-metres multispectral, in collaboration with China, Thailand, UK & Vietnam with a first launch into the same orbit already arranged for mid-2004.
The Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) is a remarkable example of international collaboration in space. The concept of the DMC, whereby each satellite in the constellation is built & owned by an individual organisation but launched into the same orbit and operated co-operatively, was conceived and first presented in 1996 by SSTL at the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Congress held in Beijing. This novel form of collaboration enables smaller organisations to achieve the benefits of a constellation of satellites in orbit whilst at the same time maintaining independent ownership and low cost. The DMC will be the world's first civilian Earth Observation (EO) constellation to provide a daily imaging revisit capability of this resolution anywhere on the Earth's surface.
Led by SSTL, seven organisations from Africa, Asia and Europe have formed a "DMC Consortium" and agreed to contribute microsatellites into the constellation. The DMC Consortium comprises a partnership between organisations in Algeria, China, Nigeria, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. The objective of the Consortium is to derive the maximum mutual benefit from the constellation through collaboration and cooperation between the DMC partners. The international partners in the DMC Consortium have agreed to exchange their DMC satellite resources and data to achieve a daily Earth observation imaging capability for disaster monitoring and other dynamic phenomena as well as for national and commercial applications.
Each year natural and man-made disasters around the world cause devastation, loss of life, widespread human suffering and huge economic losses. Images of disaster- stricken areas are often made available too late to be of real use to relief co-ordination agencies on the ground as current Earth observation satellites offer only infrequent image revisits and the delivery of critical information may take months due to periodic cloud cover and tasking conflicts. Due to its daily imaging revisit capability, the DMC will provide a service that will greatly improve the response time to aid the management and mitigation of disasters whenever, and wherever, they occur. The processed images from the DMC satellites will be distributed to relief teams on the ground by the Reuters AlterNet Foundation -- formed in 1997 to help the work of relief professionals around the world.
The DMC has been made possible - and affordable -- by the highly capable microsatellites developed by Surrey that provide high quality multispectral imaging at a small fraction of the cost of a conventional satellite, thus making the constellation and this humanitarian service actually practicable.
The DMC partner organisations in the Consortium
· Centre National des Techniques Spatiales (Algeria)
· Ministry of Science & Technology (PR China)
· National Space Research & Development Agency (Nigeria)
· TUBITAK-ODTU (Turkey)
· Mahanakorn University of Technology, Bangkok (Thailand)
· National Centre for Science & Technology (Vietnam)
· British National Space Centre (UK)
· Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd(UK)
Four microsatellites for the DMC are being constructed at SSTL in the UK. The first satellite of the constellation, AlSAT-1 for Algeria, has been completed and is undergoing final preparations at the launch site. Construction of BILSAT-1 (Turkey); the UK-DMC microsatellite (BNSC-UK) and NigeriaSat-1 are well underway at SSTL. The fifth microsatellite (ThaiPaht-2) is being built at the Mahanakorn University of Technology (MUT) in Bangkok, Thailand by a team previously trained at Surrey and follows MUT's successful Know-How Transfer and Training (KHTT) programme with SSTL and the launch of their first microsatellite (Thai-Paht-1) in 1998. The satellites for Algeria, Turkey and Nigeria are also being built under a KHTT programme at Surrey.
DMC-2 constellation, including higher spatial resolution down to 2.5-metres GSD
panchromatic and 5-metres multispectral, is being prepared by SSTL in
collaboration with China, Thailand, UK & Vietnam -- with a first launch into the
same orbit already arranged for mid-2004. The first 2.5-metre resolution
microsatellite is already under construction at SSTL whilst the Chinese and
Vietnamese satellites are in the final stages of contract negotiation with SSTL.
CONSTELLATION FOR REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS
Dr. W Sun, Prof.
MN Sweeting, Mr. A da Silva Curiel
REMOTE SENSING USING THE UNIVERSITY OF SURREY'S
Marc Fouquet, Prof. Martin N Sweeting
SCRS’95 Conference, Xi’an, China.
Past, Present and Future
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.