The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) is also embarking on the next generations of satellites: a communication satellite to be called NigcomSat-1 and a high resolution African Resources Management Constellation (ARMC) satellite, NigeriaSat-2. This joint satellite program proposed by South Africa and supported by, Nigeria, Algeria and Kenya and still open to any other interested country in Africa. It would form the cornerstone of the African Resource Management (ARM) Constellation satellites, to make African user community have access to real-time, unrestricted and affordable satellite data, thereby ensuring effective resource and environmental management in Africa. The countries involved would collaborate in building capacity to support and transfer space technology, building forth on the existing indigenous knowledge. Participating counties to agree on modality for the building and launching of the satellites and coordination of the constellation.
Since his election in May 1999 (and re-election in April 2003), President Obasanjo was faced with ongoing inter-ethnic tensions and persistent political and ethnic strife in the Niger Delta region, including violence, kidnapping, sabotage and the seizure of oil facilities, often disrupts Nigerian oil production. In an effort to stop vandalism, the Nigerian government ordered satellite equipment from the United States to monitor pipeline and oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
Nigeria is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world by international watchdog groups. It is estimated that U.S. business and citizens lose an estimated $1 billion per year to fraud, scams, and corruption of various kinds in Nigeria. Nigeria is considered Africa's largest market for pirated products. Losses from inadequate intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, though difficult to quantify, are very substantial.
On Oct 10, 2006 British satellite specialists Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) signed a contract in Abuja for the supply of the NIGERIASAT-2. The selection of SSTL by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria follows a detailed technical evaluation and due diligence undertaken by NASRDA's procurement advisor, Telesat of Canada, confirming the UK company's position as the world-leading supplier of advanced operational small satellites.
The new 300kg satellite, for launch in 2009, will provide Nigeria with valuable geographically referenced high-resolution satellite imaging for applications in mapping, water resources management, agricultural land use, population estimation, health hazard monitoring and disaster mitigation and management.
By signing this contract with SSTL, Nigeria takes another large step in the development of their National Space Plan, building upon the existing NIGERIASAT-1 Earth Observation microsatellite supplied by SSTL in 2003 and the NIGCOMSAT-1 communications satellite currently being built by China for launch in 2008.
Commenting on the contract with SSTL, NASRDA's Director General, Professor Robert Boroffice, stated that "this contract is the next step in Nigeria's long term plans to use space for the benefit of Nigeria and Africa. We are convinced that space provides a cost-effective means of addressing many of the issues facing African nations - such as mapping, water resources management, agricultural land use monitoring, population estimation, health hazard monitoring and disaster mitigation and management".
SSTL will develop NIGERIASAT-2 based upon its new generation of high-resolution Earth observation satellites to provide affordable access to space, using the latest advanced small satellite technologies developed from the TOPSAT and Beijing-1 missions launched successfully last year.
Commenting on the contract award, SSTL's CEO Sir Martin Sweeting noted "I am delighted that NASRDA has decided to continue its successful partnership with SSTL on such a critical operational and training programme for Nigeria. Nigeria is a very valued member of the DMC and its continued cooperation with SSTL and DMCII ensures the operational status of the international DMC is extended even further. NASRDA's decision also confirms SSTL as the world-leading supplier of operational small satellites."
NigeriaSat-2 is designed to have more powerful and flexible capabilities to support the NGDI (National Geospatial Data Infrastructure) project. NigeriaSat-2 earth observation system was planned to be implemented as a stand alone system that will, at the same time, have the capability to interface with existing NASRDA data collection, dissemination and analysis infrastructure. This is achieved using significantly more powerful and flexible payload. Camera-based; 2.5 m GSD panchromatic; 5.0 m GSD in 4 spectral bands and 32 GSD also In 4 spectral bands. Swath width is 20 x 20 km (2.5 and 5.0 GSD) and 300x300 km (32 GSD). The 32 m resolution imagery ensures compatibility with the NigeriaSat-1 imagery while the high resolution imagery of 2.5 m and 5 m GSD, with improved geolocation accuracy supports several new high/very high resolution applications including those in the NGDI project.
The E-OP shall operate as a pushbroom scanner. Images in the several modes shall be constructed from sections of a pushbroom scan A Strip Mode the width of the images shall be equal to the Swath Width (SW) and as long as needed. The capacity of the image memory, which is in the spacecraft bus, shall be the limiting parameter on the length of the image. No aspect of the design of the cameras shall limit the length of a continuous image. The E-OP shall be capable of generating images of areas several swath widths wide and long by scanning a set of contiguous strip images. The area shall be limited only by the rotation times between strip images. The use of the on-board memory shall be managed so that available memory does not limit the imaged area. The E-OP and ground processing shall be capable of producing stereo images of selected areas on a single orbit. To record the first image the spacecraft is rotated in pitch and roll to the desired position, stopped, and the image recorded. To record the second image, the spacecraft is rotated in pitch and slightly in roll, stopped, and the second image of the same area recorded. It shall be possible to record a stereo triplet, i.e. three images of the same area in a single pass.
Imagery is captured for specific areas and application needs. NigeriaSat-2 can provide data to meet data requirements for the following
- Urban mapping (2.5m panchromatic)
- Oil spills: detection, extent and location (2.5m or 5m)
- Land use change in rural/urban areas (5m)
- Hydrology (irrigation, fadama projects)
- Crop production and forest monitoring
- Security monitoring (2.5m panchromatic)
- Structure mapping and terrain analysis
- Road/railway development and maintenance
- Pipeline monitoring
- Detection of such things as illegal mining, fire, etc
Imagery data as downloaded from NigeriaSat-2, is not of much use unless it is further processed using appropriate application software into useful information yielding formats. Application packages that turn the raw data into information are the key to deriving maximum benefit from the satellite payload. The enormous information derivable must be stored and managed in an information management system adequately integrated into communications networks that users can readily access, either for free or by paying some prescribed fees.
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