Aug 16, 2011

FG to Launch Two Earth Observation Satellites Wednesday

Estimated Article Reading Time: 3 min.

The launch of NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X has been scheduled for this Wednesday 17 August in Russia, Prof. Ita Ewa, the Minister of Science and Technology, has said.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the minister said the satellites would be launched simultaneously using a launch vehicle that had successfully launched more than 55 satellites into the orbit.

He said the new satellites would replace NigeriaSat-1 to ensure data continuity and to meet both local and international demand for high resolution images.

“The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has received confirmation from the launcher in Russia that the two satellites are now set for launch on the already scheduled date, having made all preparations both human and logistics for a successful launch,” he said.

Ewa said that the NigeriaSat-1, launched in 2003 with a life span of five year, had exceeded its designed lifespan in orbit and still working in full capacity.

He added that the satellites would also provide a high resolution imagery to map Nigeria once in every four months and to enhance food security by monthly crop monitoring.

The minister, who disclosed that he would be leading the Federal Government delegation to Russia, solicited the prayers of Nigerians for a successful launch.

Dr Seidu Mohammed, the Director-General of NASRDA, had earlier announced that the satellites would be launched on July 7.

Mr Felix Ale, the NARSDA’s Head of Media and Corporate Affairs, who announced the postponement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the delay was a common phenomenon in satellite business. (NAN)

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*SSTL’s very high resolution satellite NigeriaSat-2 prepares for launch
15/8/2011*

The latest Earth observation satellite from UK small satellite manufacturer SSTL has successfully completed pre-launch tests and has been integrated with a Dnepr launch vehicle. NigeriaSat-2, one of the most advanced Earth observation small satellites ever to be launched, will lift-off from Yasny in southern Russia on 17 August, together with NigeriaSat-X, which was built under a training and development programme.

Designed and assembled at SSTL in Guildford, the satellites will provide the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) with very high resolution imaging capability. The highly agile NigeriaSat-2 is based on the latest SSTL 300 platform and will deliver multiple viewing modes to a maximum 2.5 m panchromatic (black and white) ground sample distance (GSD) and 5 m multispectral (colour) GSD across a 20 km swath width.

A second 32 m GSD, 300 km swath width multispectral imager will provide data continuity with Nigeria’s previous SSTL-built satellite, NigeriaSat-1, launched in 2003 and still operational.

NigeriaSat-2’s very high resolution imagery gives the ability to pinpoint individual buildings, roads or fields of interest from space and will be used to provide data for urban planning, important to Nigeria’s rapidly-expanding cities. NASRDA plans to use the satellite to map the entire country in detail every four months as well as to enhance food security for Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country, through monthly crop monitoring.

NigeriaSat-X was constructed through an SSTL training and development programme at SSTL in Guildford. In total, 26 Nigerian engineers participated in the project, working on the satellite for 18 months throughout the design and test phases. The satellite offers 22 m multi-spectral GSD across a 600 km swath width.

“NigeriaSat-2 is defining new standards in Earth observation and avionics, providing a highly capable and flexible multi-mode operation” said Dr Matt Perkins, CEO of SSTL. “SSTL provides unique training and development programmes. Teaming up with Nigerian engineers in this latest programme will ensure that NASRDA ground controllers are able to oversee both of these advanced technology satellites and make full use of the image data.”

NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X will add new, higher resolution imaging capability to the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, a fleet of separately owned small satellites, coordinated by DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) for daily global monitoring.

The SSTL 300 platform provides high agility with the capability to roll up to 45° off-centre, possessing extremely accurate geolocation performance using a combination of onboard GPS receivers, star trackers and compact MEMS gyros adapted from terrestrial automobile control systems.

NigeriaSat-2’s innate agility enables a variety of viewing modes, including stereo imaging, artificial image widening and fast response, with the ability to image any spot on the Earth within two days.

Built for a 7 year operational lifetime, NigeriaSat-2’s very high resolution imagery will see it acquiring and downlinking 20 times more data per day than its NigeriaSat-1 predecessor, providing large quantities of data for sale on the commercial market.

To find out more about NigeriaSat-2 and its future operations, visitwww.sstl.co.uk/nigeriasat-2-mission-objectives
To follow the latest launch updates, go to: http://www.sstl.co.uk/launches/nigeriasat-2—-nigeriasat-x