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Satellites for Africa

ICTP to advise on Nigerian satellite system


An international partnership that includes ICTP has been asked by Nigeria to advise the country on ways to augment its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to improve the positioning accuracy of navigation in the country.

The request follows on ICTP's Workshop on Satellite Navigation Science and Technology for Africa, carried out last spring in Trieste with Boston College (BC), USA. The workshop featured formal lectures and hands-on practice in GNSS architecture, signal structure, hardware, state-of-the-art applications and scientific exploration using GNSS. Participants were selected from African universities with a commitment to establish GNSS research programmes at the university level.

"As Africa begins to employ and benefit from GNSS applications, it is important to initiate programs in GNSS science and technology at the university level for capacity building," said Sandro Radicella, head of ICTP's Aeronomy and Radiopropagation Laboratory and co-director of the satellite workshop with Patricia Doherty of BC.

Radicella visited Nigeria from 16 to 19 November to participate in a "Nigerian National Meeting on GNSS Science and Application". Co-sponsored by ICTP, BC, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Nigerian National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, the meeting was attended by 25 professors and lecturers of 12 Nigerian universities and 6 experts from USA and Italy, including Radicella and Bruno Nava from ICTP. The Nigerian group has been asked to define a work plan for a national Nigerian GNSS augmentation project with ICTP and BC experts as advisers.

ICTP and Boston College will hold a second Workshop on Satellite Navigation Science and Technology for Africa in April 2010. For more details, see the workshop website.