The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has declared that the current satellite of the country, Sat X, cannot be used to address insecurity because it can only deliver low-resolution images.
The Director General of NASRDA, Dr Halilu Shaba, stated this at the 7th annual lecture of the Nigerian Institution of Space Engineers (NISEng), where participants called for the deployment of space assets to address security and the country’s challenges.
Shaba noted that the country has begun the process of acquiring a high-resolution satellite that can be used for security purposes.
- “Nigeria Sat X is a remote sensing satellite with low resolution, we are thinking of high-resolution imagers that can pinpoint where problems are and solve them. You can pinpoint using 0.5 to 1 metre resolution and we don’t have a space asset that is of that resolution,” he said.
Plans to acquire new satellite
Shaba, who was represented at the event by represented by the Director, the Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), Dr Sadiq Umar, said:
- “We are working in collaboration with relevant agencies, the Presidency to acquire a high-resolution satellite that can pinpoint, show where problems are and give us pre-knowledge, movement of bandits, terrorist.’’
He added that the country also required a Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite that could see through the clouds even at night. According to him, without security, the country cannot grow, there will be food insecurity and a lot of challenges.
Satellite for security
Speaking on the theme of the lecture, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Space Infrastructure as a Critical Dual-Use Asset for National Security: Government-Industry Imperatives.’’ Shaba said space-based communication systems such as satellites enabled secure and real-time communication for military forces, government agencies, and emergency responders.
He enumerated that space assets ensured weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, secure data transmission, and cybersecurity, among other importance. He noted that the Nigerian space asset had been instrumental in monitoring disasters like floods, oil spillage, and forest fires, managing post-disaster recovery, among other goods.
Shaba recommended that there should be strategic planning and investment, space diplomacy, collaborative framework, international cooperation, risk management, and contingency planning to boost the use of space assets.
What you should know
Launched in August 2011, NigeriaSat-X is an optical imaging satellite that is operated by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria’s national space agency.
The satellite was deployed with the aim of assisting in the fields of disaster management, agriculture monitoring, and security.
However, it has obviously failed in the security aspect going by the reason cited by the NASRDA boss.