• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Bowen University receives praise for deploying high frequency radars

Bowen University receives praise for deploying high frequency radars

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday commended Bowen University for deploying the first and currently, the only equatorial low-latitude SuperDARN – a network of High Frequency radars in the world.

“Today is one of those days when I am extra proud to be a Nigerian,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said.

The Virginia Tech.- Nigerian Bowen Equatorial Aeronomy Radar (VT-NigerBEAR) – the 36th Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) in the world, is also the very first in the low-latitude part of the globe.

The SuperDarn is a network of High Frequency (HF) radars (atmospheric observatory) that look into Earth’s upper atmosphere. The radars operate round the clock and they observe the motion of charged particles (plasma) in the ionosphere and other effects that provide scientists with information on Earth’s space environment. Their work provides insights into space weather hazards, among others.

VT-NigerBEAR was developed by a team of scientists led from Bowen University and the Virginia Tech University, USA.

“ I congratulate this great citadel of learning and research -the Bowen University for this amazing achievement and for making us all so proud.

“We are all extremely proud of Bowen University and the team that has worked on this project, placing Nigeria on the SuperDARN global map and in the network of nations that play host to the international scientific radar network.”

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Speaking on the significance of the deployment of the technology, the Vice President said “…it is the first and currently the only deployment of an equatorial-low-latitude SuperDARN anywhere in the world. This is a major leap forward in finding solutions to degradations of HF and GPS signals and will directly impact so many aspects of life and commerce.”

“The extensive experience of the SuperDARN creates opportunities for Nigeria to leverage existing expertise, information, and data as she joins a global network with experience spanning decades,” the VP added.

The Vice President also noted that the project “can radically transform communications-infrastructure, space research, equipment design, geo-mapping, forecasting and prediction of atmospheric, climatic and oceanic conditions within Nigeria and the near low latitudes.”

Most significantly, Osinbajo said the project “could be useful for offshore oil exploration activities. It could also support the activities of the Navy by measuring ocean wave heights, surface currents, and surface wind directions over vast, remote areas on our waterways.”

For government agencies, the VP said “the data obtained from the VT-NigerBEAR will be useful in the design of resilient equipment for Nigeria’s communications industry, and for the work of Government agencies such as the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

“The data will also be useful for forecasting and prediction purposes for equipment manufacturers, because Nigeria’s growth in technology will also leave us vulnerable to space weather effects.”

The Vice President urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors to “take advantage of the data collected by SuperDARN worldwide, utilizing the data obtained and in collaboration with the network to contribute to the understanding of space weather and its impact on operations such as radio and satellite communications, oil pipelines and power grids.”

He noted that “the success of this project will serve as a template for other high-level research and scientific collaborations between Nigerian and international partner institutions by connecting results to industry and converting data to useful information for commercial and social good projects.”