Winners of 2019/2020 Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma – CBSS Research Grant for African Students in Space Science and Astronomy.

The National Space Research and Development Agency-Center for Basic Space Science (NASRDA-CBSS) through the director Dr. Boneventure Okere has announced the winners of the 2019/2020 Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma – CBSS Research Grant for African Students in Space Science and Astronomy.  The grant covers a tuition support award of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) payable to the winners. The research grant award winners were selected amongst many online applicants whose applications were reviewed based on a competitive selection process. This saw to the emergence of five (5) winners based on merit and best qualification criteria, the selected winners are ; Agu John-Paul Okechukwu: Masters Student the Faculty of engineering, department of Mechanical engineering, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Adefunrin Sunday Sefunmi: Master of Science Student, Faculty of Social Science, Department of Geography Obafemi Awolowo University, Ileife, Nigeria. Hendrik Petrus Nel: Master of Engineering Student, Micro Electronic Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Alemu Habtamu Marew: PhD. Student, Space Physics, Washera Geospace and Radar Science Laboratory, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, and Maxwell Ballot: Master of Engineering Student, Micro Electronic Engineering Department, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Further details about the profile of the award winners and different research areas are found below. The award ceremony was witnessed by Prof. Madu, from faculty of education, University of Nigeria Nsukka representing Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma the research grant donor, One of the award recipients in attendance and the research grant committee members.  It will be recalled that in 2019, NASRDA-CBSS put up the second announcement for the application of the research grant. further details on this can be found thus: click here

2019/2020 Award Committee Presenting the Research Grant Award to one of the Beneficiaries Present.
Agu John-Paul Okechukwu: Master’s Student-Benefactor

Agu John paul is currently a master’s student in the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nigeria Nsukka. His research work is focused on the Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Biomass Ash Content of Aluminum Matrix Composite On the Thermal Loading of Orthogonal Cutting Tools

In this research work, an experimental investigation will be carried out to determine the effect of varying factors such as the percentage content of biomass ash, spindle speed, depth of cut and feed on the thermal loading of orthogonal cutting tools during machining as a function of the machinability.

This experimental study when completed is expected to furnish engineers and machinists with relevant information on the thermal effects of machining aluminum-biomass ash composites of different volumes and also give information on the optimal combination of machining parameters; feed, spindle speed, and depth of cut for machining aluminum-biomass ash matrix composites.

Maxwell Ballot: Master’s Student – Benefactor

Maxwell Ballot is currently a master of Engineering Student, Micro Electronic Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

His research is focused on a Gallium Nitride low-noise amplifier with oscillation based built-in self-testing. It explores the viability of using oscillation-based built-in self-testing to increase the reliability of wideband GaN low noise amplifiers for electronic warfare applications. Presently, there is a very limited amount of Built-in self-testing methods for wideband systems. Current built-in self-testing methods, for low noise amplifiers, focus on relatively narrow band applications.

However, adding a reliable dedicated test source is not optimal, as it is subjected to the same harsh environment as the device-under-test, therefore oscillation-based built-in self-testing could address the need for a reliable wideband test method. This will be initially applied to a wideband GaN low-noise amplifier but could be expanded on to become a generalized wideband test method. When this research is completed, the system is expected to address the reliability problems of wideband EW LNAs and should also focus on producing a system that monitors LNA health consistently. Therefore, the OBIST system’s efficacy in monitoring degradation should be determined. It is also important that the test system maintains accuracy during operation and is also relatively immune to process variation.

The research result is also expected to produce better receivers and an OBIST method that could be applied to wideband amplifiers in general. This could provide testing methods for systems in space where accessibility is a constraint.

Adefunrin Sunday Sefunmi: Master’s Student – Benefactor.

Adefunrin Sunday Sefunmi, Master of Science Student, Faculty of Social Science, Department of Geography Obafemi Awolowo University, Ileife, Nigeria, is currently conducting research on the assessment of the Spatio-temporal effect of climate dynamics on biodiversity extinction of Okitipupa forest reserve in Ondo state. 

The research methodology will involve physical observation and a pilot survey to determine the effect of climate dynamics and the present nature of the biodiversity component of the forest.

The Global Positioning System will be used to take the coordinates and calculate the area of the forest reserve. High-resolution satellite images of Okitipupa area downloaded from Google earth in the interval of 10 years spanning 1998, 2008 and 2018 will be acquired and preprocessed using ARCGIS version 10.3 software. Classification (supervised and unsupervised) will be conducted on the images to determine the changes in terms of trend and pattern that has occurred in the study area over the spread of 30 years.  Spatial data analysis techniques such as krigging, neighborhood function, trend surface analysis, intersection analysis, and autocorrelation will be adopted to compare the changes that have occurred over time.

From the expected results, necessary inferences will be drawn objectively and recommendations will be made to all concerned agencies, authorities, government, corporate Organizations and potential users of the forest resource, on the condition of the bio-diversities in the forest. Strong emphasis will be made on the need to adopt tolerance, avoidance and adaptation approaches in order to ensure the sustainability of the forest ecosystem.

Hendrik Petrus Nel: Master’s Student – Benefactor.

Hendrik Petrus Ne, a master of Engineering Student, Micro Electronic Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa, is conducting a research on the Implementation and design of an oscillation based testing (OBT) architecture as a calibration strategy in radiometers, more specifically in mm-wave water vapour radiometers.

By using an automated calibration technique, through his research output, one can do calibrations of radiometers more frequently, achieve better accuracy and be able to effectively calibrate arrays of radiometers used in radio astronomy.

The research work is hoped to be very useful in SKA as a radio astronomy project utilizing large arrays of antennas and radiometers. Through this research, effective and accurate calibration of the front end electronics in a timely manner which is extremely important is hoped to be achieved. The project will also attempt to use a testing strategy as a calibration technique for automated calibration.

Alemu Habtamu Marew: PhD. Student, Space Physics, Washera Geospace, and Radar Science Laboratory, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

The focus of the research is to study and model ionospheric vertical drift velocity using the equatorial electric field and equatorial electro-jet observations of Swarm-constellation satellites (obvious missions of European space agency (ESA)).

The Swarm constellation data product of equatorial electric field and equatorial electro-jet is recently available for researchers. Using these opportunities we will develop a data-driven vertical drift velocity model and compare with the results we already obtained in earlier work (Marew et al, 2019) and to other recently developed models (e.g., Dubazane and Habarulema (2018), Habarulema et al. (2018), etc.) as well. Large data set will be introduced to study the seasonal and annual variations of equatorial electric field, equatorial electro-jet and finally the vertical ion drift.

Women and Girls in Astronomy Outreach Program Hosted in NASRDA-CBSS

NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science recently played host to Women and Girls in Astronomy. This was an outreach program done in support of The IAU100 celebration of Inclusive Astronomy in Nigeria which promote inclusivity, equity, and diversity in astronomy. The IAU100 Women and Girls in Astronomy Day is within the framework of the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The program was held in the newly completed Astronomy Observatory complex of NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science Nsukka Enugu State.

The programme was aimed at sensitizing women especially secondary school students (girls) in choosing career in space science and also to elucidate women’s roles in the development of astronomy and space science globally. Students and teachers from fifteen secondary schools drawn from within Nsukka environ were present to attend the program. in His opening speech Dr. B.I. Okere, the  Director for NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science of (NASRDA-CBSS) talked about the center and its achievement as well as encourage women and young secondary school girls to pick interest in astronomy and space science related subjects in their different schools.

Two keynote lectures  were delivered by female professors in physics:

Role of Women in Astronomy Development by Prof (Mrs.) J Ogwo (Abia State University Uturu)

Career Opportunities for Women and Girls in Astronomy/Space Science by Prof (Mrs.) F.N. Okeke (University of Nigeria Nsukka)

Another key lecture on Exoplanets was delivered by Scientific Officer Peter Offor (Nasrda-Cbss Nsukka)

The students and teachers were later taken on facility tour around the center where they were shown and educated on the following facilities; Automated Irrigation System (AIS), Optical Dome, Necop Station, Environmental and Pollution Monitoring Station (EPMS) and the meteorites.

Presented below are some pictures taken during the event.

Federal Government of Nigeria Commissions the Astronomy Observatory Complex of NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science, Nsukka in Enugu State.

The Astronomy  Observatory complex of the National Space Research and Development Agency-Center for Basic Space Science (NASRDA-CBSS) was commissioned on the 4th day of May 2019. The Astronomy Observatory Complex project was funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Science and Technology to provide enabling work environment for scientific research especially in the area of basic space science, astronomy development and other socio-economic development. 

The Honorable Minister of Science and Technology, His excellency Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who was present to commission the Astronomy Observatory Complex, said the Federal Government is set to boost investment in space science technology because of the tremendous benefits to the nation. The minister pointed out that government’s decision to accord priority to space science development was to improve the quality of life of Nigerians, adding that space science technology will boost telemedicine, agriculture, and manufacturing etc. For more details on his speech, please read more here.

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NASRDA, Prof. S.O Mohammed in his speech expressed his gratitude to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the Honorable Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for making it possible for NASRDA to complete the Astronomy Observatory Complex. More details of his speech can be found here.

In his welcome address, the director of NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science, DR. B.I. Okere expressed his profound gratitude to the Federal Government and all dignitaries who graced the occasion.  He used the opportunity to elaborate on the core mandate and vision of the space center, numerous achievements in Research and development of indigenous products, collaborations that has benefited many students through annual award of grants by Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma-CBSS research grant to deserving postgraduate students in different fields of space science related programs across different universities in Africa and other developmental initiatives of the Space Center. Further details of his welcome address can be found here.

The occasion brought home many dignitaries who came to grace the commissioning of the Astronomy Observatory Complex. It also afforded the visitors the opportunity to take a tough of the Space Center, witnessing the unveiling of the newly acquired Lunt Solar Telescope. The visitors also observed Optical Astronomy Dome, the automated irrigation system indigenously designed by the space center Engineers for improved agriculture and also the commissioning of the newly built Mechatronics Workshop with state of the art 3D printing facility in CBSS.  

Winners of 2018/2019 Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma – CBSS Research Grant for African Students in Space Science and Astronomy

NASRDA-Center for Basic Space Science, through the director Dr. Boneventure Okere has announced the winners of the 2018/2019 Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma – CBSS Research Grant for African Students in Space Science and Astronomy.  The grant covers a tuition support award of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) payable to the winners. The research grant award winners were selected amongst many online applicants whose applications were reviewed based on a competitive selection process. This saw to the emergence of four (4) winners based on merit and best qualification criteria, the selected winners are: Abbey Godson Fortune – Masters Student, Astronomy and Astrophysics department, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Obi Odinaka Patrick-Doctorate student, Department of Physics and Astronomy,University of Nigeria Nsukka. Ojo Taiwo Theophilus-Doctorate student, Atmospheric Science, Department of Physics and Electronics, Rhodes University South Africa and Idowu Temitope Ezekiel-Doctorate student, Environmental Science, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.  Further details about the profile of the award winners and different research areas are found below. The award ceremony was witnessed by Prof. Madu, from faculty of education, University of Nigeria Nsukka representing Chukwuka Cosmas Ezenma the research grant donor, two of the award recipients in attendance and the research grant committee members. 

It will be recalled that in 2018, NASRDA-CBSS put up the announcement for the application of the research grant. further details on this can be found thus: click here

Abbey Godson Fortune – Masters Student, Benefactor.

ABBEY, Godson Fortune – Masters Student, Astronomy and Astrophysics department, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Abbey Godson Fortune is conducting research in Exatra-Galactic Radio astronomy, focusing on the Unification of low luminosity radio sources. The project hopes to investigate approximately 100 different low luminosity Radio sources including Blazers and other Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). His research work hopes to characterize these radio sources based on their luminosity and also find some common property amongst them. The result will help scientists in the understanding of AGN. Though the knowledge may seem advance currently, however, this is an area of astrophysics, which will open new Windows to how Galaxies are formed and also enhance our knowledge of the Milky Way Galaxy. The social and economic importance of this work is that our results can be used by the institutions to further understand how galaxies form, This may eventually lead to building Radio Observatories which will save the government huge cost of sending students abroad to do astronomy related observations.

Obi Odinaka Patrick-Doctorate student - Benefactor.

Obi Odinaka Patrick-Doctorate student, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Obi Odinaka Patrick is conducting his doctorate research in atmospheric physics in the department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria Nsukka. His research was inspired by the search for the true mechanism between the moving earth system and space events accruing from solar variability. It is intended to contribute to the existing body of knowledge in related areas most especially the climate factor that threatens man and its environment in different parts of the world.

The aim of the research is to study the relationship between ‘solar output and its terrestrial effects’ and the atmospheric dynamics. Solar data, geomagnetic data and Ozone data are primary data to be used for the study, but not limited to them, as other atmospheric data can incorporated for the research. The results from the data analysis will be able to show the relationship between the heliospheric space event and our terrestrial space changes, such as ozone redistribution/variation and climate change.

Ojo Taiwo Theophilus-Doctorate student - Benefactor

Ojo Taiwo Theophilus: Doctorate student, Atmospheric Science, Department of Physics and Electronics, Rhodes University South Africa

Ojo Taiwo Theophilus is a doctorate student of Atmospheric Science studying in Department of Physics and Electronics, Faculty of Sciences, Rhodes University. Currently, he is conducting his research work in South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA). His research work is focused on neutral winds and tides over mid-latitudes using ionosonde, satellite, and Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) measurements. He is very passionate towards the research and intends to derive neutral winds using the South African ionosonde network. His research work will extract, verify and analyze tidal variation of the winds and determine their effects on the Ionosphere with the recently installed FPI in Sutherland as well as satellite measurements.

Although neutral winds and their tidal components have been studied for over several decades, this will be the first of such study conducted over the African region, furthermore, the newly installed FPI would be used to derive neutral winds over this African region for the first time. This research will in no doubt contribute immensely to the understanding and study of the behavior of thermosphere-ionosphere dynamics, as well as its effects on radio waves communication, navigation and aviation.

Idowu Temitope Ezekiel-Doctorate student - Benefactor

IDOWU Temitope Ezekiel – Doctorate student, Environmental Science, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.

This doctorate research work is focused on investigating the potentials of seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifers of kenya using a numerical model-based approach

The main objectives of the research are;

  • to assess and compare the impacts of sea level rise and groundwater abstraction rates on seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifers of two study areas- Mombasa and Malindi.
  • create a numerical model for predicting the impacts of sea-level rise and population induced groundwater abstraction and predicting possible scenarios
  • develop a new simulation-optimization methodology for managing possible impacts of sea-level rise and groundwater abstraction in the two study areas. 

The study is significant in that the outputs of the models and the new management methodology to be created will be extremely valuable for water resources and pollution management of the coastal region. Also, its objectives fit into the larger UN agenda of “ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water (Goal 6); making cities and human settlements more sustainable (Goal 11); and combating climate change and its impacts (Goal 13)” through providing empirical data that will guide decision making at the local as well as the national level. More importantly, the research will open further doors for advances in coastal water resources management in the region and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

NASRDA-CBSS STAFF WEEK 2018:

The Maiden Staff week for NASRDA-CBSS was held from Tuesday 4th Dec. to Thursday 6th Dec. 2018. The event started with staff sporting activities and lectures. Awards were presented by the Management of CBSS to deserving hardworking staff of CBSS. The event which was also graced by many diginities and founding fathers of the space industry in Nigeria featured interesting moments as captured in these pictures.

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