Advancing Nigeria through innovations; satellite communication technology as a case study

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Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Advancing Nigeria through innovation
s
; satellite
communication
technology as
a
case study

Michael O. Kolawole
, PhD (UNSW)

Director & Professor of Electrical Engineering (Communications)

Emails:
m.kolawole@jolade.com.au
;
kolawolm@yahoo.com
;
mkolawole@futa.edu.ng


A presentation at the Federal University of

Technology, Minna
, Nigeria

7 March 2013


The Chairman

My Host


The Vice Chancellor

Principal Officers

Deans and Directors

Heads of Department

Fellow Academics

Staff of the University

Members of the Press (Print & Electronic Media)

Great Futmites

Ladies
and Gentlemen

I am greatly honoured to be invited to this University and to give this talk to my
peers

and others
.


2

1.0

Preamble

I
n any university

setting
s
,
like yours,
there are diverse
minds and

authorities.
Whatever
propels

individuals
, I believe,

invariably lead
s

to the
need to
contribute to knowledge

and societal needs,
which
,

in turn
,

may
le
ad to
advancing the community’s

social and economic value
s
.

In engineering and physical sciences, we learn the

fundamental t
heory that
illuminates our
world
s.

Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey [1] wrote in his book
Soul Searching
that the
inventors of modern science meant it to provide “a sufficient explanation for
everything that is or might be”:

“Two hundred years later this program for self
-
sufficient scienc
e succeed
beyond the dreams of its inventors… The major puzzles of existence have
been pulled to pieces [by] all
-
conquering and consuming scientific
rationality. Indeed, the basic laws that govern everything have turned out to
be fewer in number and, to th
ose who understand them, simpler and more
beautiful than anyone originally guessed.”

What does this mean? Talk of basic laws surely means physics; yet this seems
wild and weird to the novice. But as scholars of physics and engineering, the idea
that scienc
e is an all
-
purpose oracle dealing with every kind of question is not
odd. Through the physical science, we have provided a meaning to the irrational
through the ingenious exposition of three constitutive vector equations that
incorporate space, time, and
medium element
s
. These equations have
illuminated the way we view and develop our physical world: forming the

3

fundamental constituents of the electromagnetic theory.

As an illustration,
propagation of electromagnetic waves in any media

as compared to free
space

is governed by interactions of charged particles with electromagnetic
fields. At a given point
p
in space and for an operating radian frequency,

; the
waves are best described in the time domain by the following three constitutive
vector equations [
2]:

D
(
p
,t) =

(
p
,
E
, t)*
E
(
p

,t)

D
(
p
,t) =

(
p
,
H
, t)*
H
(
p

,t)

J
(
p
,t) =

(
p
,
E
, t)*
E
(
p

,t)

where * designates the convolution operator;


represents conductivity;


and


are permeability and permittivity
,

respectively; and time,
t
.

The vectors
E
,

H
,

D
and
J
are
electric, magnetic,
electric displacement and current density
,

respectively.

E

and
H
are orthogonal
to each other
.

These constitutive
parameters may be time varying quantities, may even
nonlinearly

depend on the
strength (magnitude) of the applied vect
or field
E
or
H
, and may display diverse
energy propagation behaviour in different media (including dispersive and non
-
dispersive) leading to quantification of refraction indices. These indices are
interpreted differently in many fields including meteorolo
gy, communication
and solid matter

[3
, 4
]
.



4

2.0

Transformative Technologies

Looking back into what has manifested in the past decades
would suggest a
divergence of applications of these electromagnetic fields into transformative
technologies, specifically
:



Radio technology; e.g. radar systems including
over
-
the
-
horizo
n
-
radar
(OTHR) [2], satellite [5
], digital broadcasting (e.g. DAB and DVB
-
T where
orthogonality principle finds home in their modulation and coding
scheme, especially
C/
OFDM

code
d
/
orthogonal
frequency division
multiplexing
),
wireless communication
(e.g.
cellular phones and
personal
communication devices)
,

automatic identification,

global positioning
system (GPS)
,
etc
. [6, 7
]
;
Also,
m
ultiple parallel processing and theory; e.g.
data fusion, ant
enna array,
multiple
-
input and multiple
-
output

(MIMO)
antennas,
multichannel multiuser detection

(MCMUD)

[
8
, 9, 10
]
, etc
.



Information theory; e.g.
chan
n
el

capacity
,
biometrics,
encrypt
ion/decryption [5
],
sensing systems
including remote sensing
systems,
etc
. [
11
-
14
]
. The boundary becomes blurred in classification. For
instance
, d
ue to reciprocity the fundamental bounds
being applied to
the
information capacity of a wave sensor of a given size, be it an antenna, the
eye, or
any wave field
-
measuring device
are

also appl
icable

to

multiple
systems;



Medicine; e.g.

o

Radiology, e.g. imaging
techniques
for diagnosing for instance
X
-
ray,

and
magnetic resonance imaging

(
MRI
)

[15
]
.


5

o

Biological systems, e.g. for diagnosis: electroencephalogram (EEG),
electrocardiogram
(ECG)

[16, 17
]
,

and

electromyogram (EMG)

[18,
19
]
.

o

Bio
-
molecular science, e.g. human genes (genome) mapping and
sequencing,
neuro
-

and neoplast
ic
-

cellular fusion of tissues

[20
].

o

Biomedical engineering, e.g. radiation therapy

electroconvulsive
shock
therapy (ECT)
--
, defibrillator, cardiac pacemakers, virology,
etc.

[21
]

o

Physiology, e.g.
Kinematic g
ait analysis

[
22, 23
]
, etc.



String theory;
this is an area that is creating waves: it attempts to
reconcile quantum mechanics and relativity theory; on the
basis that
electromagnetism has ripples with extra
-
dimension,

e.g. D
-
branes
wedged
in 3+1 dimensional sub
-
spacetimes. The jury is still out on string theory.

This
range

of scientific, transformative enterprises would not have occurred had
there not been closer attention to details, as well as deeper interpretation
coupled with brilliant manipulation of these fundamental concepts by
researchers and practitioners like you.

What is this telling, or has told, us?

Transformation requires sacrifice. These scientific feats and enterprises were
not achieved overnight: they require basic and applied research studies; studies
that are fundamental to advances in knowledge, commerce,

and standard of
living.

It could be argued that these discoveries and enterprises are spurn on by

6

advances in transformative technology. For instance,
the biotech revolution
(gene mapping and sequencing)

leading to
regeneration and manipulation of
life at

the most fundamental level

would not have occurred without
supercomputers. The supercomputers are by
-
products of derived components
based on the fundamental principle of linearity; a principle

that implies
achieving the desired closure property.


3.0

Sat
ellite and Associated Technologies

Radar and Satellite technologies

are

beneficiaries of applied research studies

and,
in truest sense, have been

a global catalyst for change
.
Basically, radar is
a
system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, an
d speed of aircraft,
ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high
-
frequency
electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source

[24
]
.

Satellites, on the other hand,
work by passively sensing energy.
A meteorological
satellite (or more broadly, an environmental satellite)
senses two forms of
energy, visible (reflected sunlight) and infrared (for example, microwave and
heat energy), from the earth’s surface, clouds, and atmosphere.
A
communications sate
llite

(e.g.
NIGCOMSAT
-
1R)

orbits around the Earth to

receive and retransmit radio signals, which are amplified, sorted and routed.
New generation communications satellites have onboard microprocessors that
facilitate switching, routing and rerouting of the

radio signals.
The designation of
satellites is dictated by the functions performed,

which are classified
as follows
[
2
5
]:


7

o

Research comprising
atmospheric science, marine science, and earth
science

keeping track of the Earth environment;

o

Navi
gational incl
uding positioning (e.g.

global positioning systems, GPS);

o

Earth observing

surface mapping and estimation;

o

Communications

transmitting and receiving voice, data and video
information;

o

Meteorological

weather forecasting and observations; and

o

Military sate
llites

including communication, guidance, surveillance

eyes in the sky.

Let us consider two
types

of satellites
whose effects

are
easily

recogniz
able

(and
if I may add,
have instant benefits
)
to us

individual
ly

and
the
nation
, these are

meteorological and communication

satellites
.


3.1

Meteorological (environmental) satellites

Meteorological (environmental
) satellites

are standard f
are for television
weathercasts.

The

significance
of accurate monitoring and reporting is played
out in
different settings internationally and nationally. T
o name a few, t
he
ferociousness
of
the

following events captured by satellites
:

(i)

Hurrica
nes Katrina and Sandy in USA, 30 Aug 2005 and 2 Nov 2012, (see
Figs. 1 and 2), respectively;

(ii)
Cyclone Monica

in Australia 19 March 2006, (
to be shown on slide
);


(iii)
2,968
-
metre high volcano

of Mount Merapi, Java, Indonesia
16 May

2006
,
(
to be shown on slide
);

and


8

(iv) F
lood in Nigeria 11 Oct 2012
(see Fig. 3
)

caused by the
devastating triple
actions of rainf
all, water releases from the Kiri Dam in Adamawa State
(Nigeria) and from Lagdo Dam in the Cameroun contributed to
the

swelling of
the Benue River and the ensuing
flood in the
wetlands
.
Figure 4

show
s
discernible extent of
the
swell of Benue River and wetl
ands saturation.

Aside the devastation,
satellites have enabled
other positive discoveries; for
example,
the Libyan Desert

underwater discovery
in late 1970.
Because of
security implication, th
is d
e
pth mapping

satellite was
switched off
in
early
1980, but
a gain for Libya.

These
afore
-
listed events
are clear examples of the use of
environmental
satellite
s

for timely and accurate prediction,
ev
ents

planning

(e.g. evacuation)
,
search and rescue operations,

and assessment of the damage caused by
ensuing event.


NARSDA
has
used available satellite imagery to map the extent of
2012

flood
and,
to my understanding,
using previous years’ and present satellite imagery
to predict future
seasonal
weather patterns and eventual flood plains.


9




Figure 2: Eye
-
of
-
storm as captured by GOES 13 satellite for Cyclone Sandy

2 Nov, 2012. (Courtesy: NASA)

Figure 1. Eye
-
of
-
the sto
rm as captured by satellite for Cyclone Katrina, Aug 2005. [Courtesy: NASA)


10



Figure 3: Satellite snapshot of flood
-
affected area in Nigeria

9 Dec 2012. [Source: www.aviso.oceanobs.com]



11


3.1.1

I
nterpreting Satellite Dat
a

and Computer Modelling

It is no
t easy interpreting satellite imagery with
out

knowledge of the science of
meteorology

that concerned with understanding the atmospheric pa
tterns that
produce our weather

and knowledge of the

fundamental physical laws to the
atmosphere
required to be applied
in its current state

to predict its future
evolution. Therefore, to accurately represent this current state, detailed
information is needed on how atmospheric pressure, temperature, moistu
re and


(a)
8/10/2012

(b) 11/10/2012

Figure 4: Time series satellite snapshots of Benue River & flooded regions on


(a) 8 Oct and (b) 11 Oct. 2012. [Courtesy: NASA]


12

winds vary with location and altitude. This

set of information requires both
meteorological observations (to describe the atmosphere), and advanced
mathematical models (to predict movement of significant weather systems

such as low pressure areas, h
igh pressure areas, and fronts).
As such
,

knowledge
(with its explicit and tactic constituents) is assumed to be p
resent in the
predicting organiz
ation.
These models require periodic recalibration and
innovation to ensure accurate predictions.


In Australia,
due to
the vast oceanic areas that surround it (and indeed, extensive
areas of the continent itself)
[
26
]
,

a large group of
dedicated
researchers work on
modelling

the
current atmospher
ic conditions

using r
adar and satellite weather
information
.
Meteorologists feed current data into computer models to help
Figure 5: Use of radar and satellite for Australia daily weather forecasting.


(Courtesy: Australian Bureau of Meteorology; accessed 9 February 2013)


13

them predict weather conditions (forecast) and make critical decisions.
Figure
5

is an example of daily weathercast, updated hourly.
In fact, Australians
have
commended the researchers

and meteorologists

at the Bureau of Meteorology
for their accurate predictions.


3.2

Communication

satellites

W
e observe
communication satellite in action

on our television when news
-
feed
ing

from different locations.
For exa
mple, t
he delay
in
responding to
question
s

indicates the news
is

fed through the satellite.

Detecting and tracking
enemy vessels
(fighter jets, destroyers,
unmanned aerial vehicle
s

(drones)
,

etc.)
entering our

territory

is an application area of satellite and associated
technology
. T
racking of misplaced or stolen mobile terminals (handsets)

e.g.

of
late

Cynthia Osokog
w
u

is
another example

of crime
-
watch via satellite and
associated technology
.

Another
very
important appl
ication area of satellites is in medicine.
The
integration of satellite
-
enabled communication with WiMAX
1

(
Worldwide
Interoperability for Microwave Access)
technology has been recognized, f
or
example in China [27
] as well as in Spain [
2
8
], as a major contributor to
delivering
universal
health services to their people in rural areas and
autonomous regions. This technology has been tagged “digital health” or
“eHealth”.
To think about it,
eHealth can be a source of wealth in any country: a



1

The
term
WiMAX
is used
generically to describe wireless systems based on the IEEE 802.16
-
2004 Air Interface Standard. Mobile WiMAX systems offer scalability in both radio access
technology and network architecture, thus providing a great deal of flexibility in network
deployment

options and service offerings

[29]
.


14

h
uge investment in employment and innovation. Understandably, a profitable
investment produces measurable benefits in the economy, increasing the
productive potential and employment. If eHealth technologies are properly
managed and integrated to existing ne
twork(s) of health services delivery
models (e.g. NHS in Europe, Medicare in Australia), they will improve quality,
safety and accessibility, and at the same time encourage innovation and
competitiveness between companies that have participated.

In essence
, whichever way we look at any innovations and advances, the truth is
nothing progresses without an understanding of the fundamental principles,

which are
then
imaginatively
stretched and
brilliantly

manipulated, within

plausible premise
(s),

to achieving b
reakthrough
.
Of course, where these key
concepts exist, they are not simply accepted (and have not been taken) as a given
.

From small beginning, big things grow into innovation.
Innovation
introduces
something new: for instance, a new idea, method, design
or device
,

or just a bit
different,
which may be
clearly complex or seemingly simple
.

The type, industry,
and style of innovation are irrelevant but their impact determines its
qualification.

In all civilizations, the engineering and sciences have provided

meaning
s

to

the

irrational
with governing basic laws and have always been in
the forefront of technology through applied research and development.


It requires the highly imaginative individuals that are dedicated and share a
common vision for the
advancement and continuity of the country

if we

are to be
able to harness our main asset:

the innovative edge and spirit
.
Surprisingly,
Satellites and their related services remain a good example of that

because of the

15

knowledge of certain highly imaginati
ve individuals that appear to share a
common vision for the continui
ty of the organization [30
]
.


4.0

Government Initiatives

and Technology Transfer

The current initiative of NARSDA

as

reported
4 January 2013

by

D
r S.

Onuh,
t
he
Director of the

Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD),

within
NARSDA

Abuja

that

capacity building and training


i
s central to

the

Federal
Government policy on satellites and related technologies

of acquiring indigenous
satellite technology
.
Whilst t
his
poli
cy direction is commendable,
acquisition
alone isn’t good enough but the pr
opensity to sustain and improve

on the
acquired knowledge
. S
pace systems are typically sophisticated, technologically
complex, and expensive, with long development times and small p
roduction runs

[
31
]
.
W
ith the acquired knowledg
e, as a nation,
we must

consider “chang
ing the
economics on satellites


and

promote

the concepts of building, deploying and
maintaining, low
-
cost small satellites and satellite rideshare launches. For
instance, currently, satellite and launch cost for “big” satellite is between $500M
and $1500M, whereas small satellite and launch cost
2

a
bout
$140M

[
3
2]
.


must advance technology readiness levels for critical technologies, accept
experimental missions for iterative R&D, and
accept

failure as part of learning
process.

No nation has achieved greatness without its share of failure. Having p
layed
prominent roles in some defence
proj
ects, I talk from experience. Nigeria is a



2

Due to competition among nations with satellite technology capabilities, cost might be lower
than quoted. Nevertheless, satellite and associated launch costs make the whole venture an
expensive enterprise.


16

developing nation with huge
potentials to achieving greatness
. In a recent
dialogue with service personnel at the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna, I
emphasized th
at we, as a nation, shouldn’t be scared of reverse engineering
, and
improve on whatever we develop
.

We must be willing to sacrifice. Bilateral
relationships alone will not deliver us to greatness. Remember: no nation will
send her best brains or products t
o us in the name of ‘bilateral relationship’; we
will only receive technicians painted as engineers.

As we progress in our indigenization of spacecraft technology,
we should
also consider
hav
ing

rapid response launch and disa
ster management plan, and
aim

high to build redundancy with constellations of small satellites

for
communication, meteorology, and observation

including defence
.

Inaction is not an option.
We
daily
observe t
he rapid characterization of satellite
and
telecommunication industries by fas
t technological change, frequent new
product innovation, change

in customer requirements and expectations, and
evolving industry standards.

Our ability to keep pace with other nations
depend
in part on our ability to develop and introduce on a timely basis

new technology
that keeps pace with technological developments and emerging industry
standards, and
that
addresses the increasingly sophisticated and changing needs
of
the

customers.
If we cannot develop and sustain these evolving technologies,
we will de
pend

on
the
technologies being developed by third parties to
implement key aspects of our system

and economy
.
We must acknowledge that
t
he development of new technologically advanced services and equipment is a
complex and uncertain process requiring capit
al commitments

and high levels of
innovation
,

as well as the accurate anticipation of technological and market
trends.
Technological progress must continue to be made.
The Federal

17

Government should support an ongoing funded space capability development
pro
gram.
Our
universities must
promote innovative engineering and science
research for terrestrial and planetary space missions. There must be healthy
synergistic collaborations between educational, governmental, and corporate
institutions interested in space

exploration. Our

failure to keep pace with,
anticipate and respond adequately to
,

changes in technology or consumer
preferences could have a material, adverse impact
both on systems’ operation
and
on our
nation
’s
socioeconomic

fabrics
.


5.0

Research and D
evelopment and Linkages

Ladies and Gentlemen, a

nation’s standard of living (and wealth, if I may say) is
determined by the
productivity
with which it uses its human, capital, and natural
resources.
Basic research should be encouraged side
-
by
-
side with top
ical,
cutti
ng
-
edge research.

Externalities or linkages fundamentally enhance
competition

across sectors: public sector, industries, and associated institutions.
SuperDARN
3

(Super Dual Aurora Radar Network) is an excellent example of
international collaboration in scientific research. Linkages between universities,
polytechnics and/or reputable research institutions, if properly and
cooperatively

managed, would provide

seaml
ess integration of ideas and
systems, as well as
the
creation and flow of information, technology, and skills.
Unlocking skills is the key to prosperity. I would argue therefore that our
technological
-
future
depend
s

on the ability of innovative

studies rem
ain
ing in

an
area of intellectual vitality and advance
ment
, something
that

will require a clear



3

Currently

Australia, Britain, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and the
United States are contributing to the international effort.


18

recognition of existing limits and weaknesses, a
s well as a

clear willingness to
seek to overcome those limits.

Despite the divergence of scientific fields, the

converging indicator is the constitutive concept imbedded in the electromagnetic
theory. The desire to create and expand beyond our horizon has always driven
the human spirit. We are born of imagination; it is within our grasps to build this
imagination i
n reality.


6.0

My modest contribution to
R&D

overseas and in Nigeria:

Besides books publication, I

have

invented one of the real
-
time tracking
-
architectures that had been implemented on the Australian Defence
space
surveillance network
;
been
part of
satel
lite design team;

and
calibrated

satellite
data acquired from Chinese, Japanese, NASA, Russian, and European space
agencies.
Since 2008, I have

been contributing to educating and

supervising

undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral fel
low at the Federal
Univers
ity of Technology, Akure (FUTA) where

I hav
e graduated 2 PhDs

and 6
MEngs

in Communication Engineering
,

still continue supervising
,

and leading a
research team
. I am
instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Space
Resear
ch and Applications
(CESRA)
at FUTA leading to initial N20
M

grant from
the Federal Government of Nigeria.
I continue

to contrib
ute to the Centre’s
advancement, a
s well as A
djunct

Professor in
postgradu
ate
training
program
mes

of the
RECTAS (
Regional Centre

for Technology and Aerospace Su
rvey
) and
A
R
C
SST
E
-
E

(African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology
Education
-
English
) at the

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile
-
Ife.




19

7.0

Recommendations



Nigeria must have “d
o it yourself


policy: scout
ing
memorand
um of
understanding
(MoU) overseas is commendable;

homegrown

MoU should
be actively canvassed.



Encourage home coming of Nigeria
n

experts in diaspora who have t
he
brain copies of technologies

that
can be

trans
ferred when they come
home.



Where we cannot take

lead in innovations and inventions, we should
encourage reverse engineering.



Our training program in communication engineering, as currently done,
should sustain collaboration with satellite and defence institutions

local
and international

including NARSD
A for R&D relevance.


8.0

Conclusion

Satellite t
echnology has enabled mobility

the
ability to communicate with
anyone, anywhere, and at anytime

and sensing

the
ability to study
meteorological phenomena occurring in nature
.

This technology is borne out of
innovation
, which

is continuing to be made.

Nigeria

technological
-
future
depend
s on the ability of innovative

studies
remain
ing in

an area of intellectual vitality and advance
ment
, something
that

will
require a clear recogn
ition of existing limits and weaknesses, a
s well as a

clear
willingness to seek to overcome those limits.

Our

failure
, as a nation,

to keep
pace with, anticipate and respond adequately to
,

changes in technology

w
ould
have adverse impact both on systems’ op
eration and on our socioeconomic

fabrics
.


20

The Federal Government should support an ongoing funded space capability
development program.
Our universities must
promote innovative engineering
and science research for terrestrial and planetary space missions.
There must be
healthy synergistic collaborations between educational, governmental, and
corporate institutions interested in space exploration.


The desire to create and expand beyond our horizon has always driven the
human spirit. We are born of imaginat
ion; it is within our grasps to build this
imagination in reality.


Acknowledgment

Of mention is the
National Universities Commission (NUC) for converting what
hitherto used to be ‘brain drain’ to now ‘brain gain’, courtesy of its Nigerian
Experts in
Diaspora program.

I am g
reatly indeb
ted to the
Australian
government for granting this leave on an

an
nual basis to make modest contribution to my original home.

Equally of mention are Nigeria Universities and other institutions who are
receiving thi
s NUC p
rogram:

firstly my base u
ni
versity,

FUTA
,

for engaging my
service and providing enabling environment for me t
o operate; s
econdly,

o
ther
universities
,

including
the Federal University of Technology, Minna (
FUTM
)
,

for
charting the way forward for the country

to achieve greatness.

A
t this junction,
I
must commend the dynamic leadership of your able

Vice
Chancellor, Prof
essor

M. A.
Akanji,
who
,

after few months in office
,

is making
giant stride including this one.

I thank Prof
essor

(Mrs) Osunde
,

Chairperson

U
niversity seminar colloquium
committee

for making this seminar a reality and facilitating my travel.



21

Finally, but not the least, my
sincere appreciation and
thanks go to
Professor
S.O.E. Sadiku, a

respected, humble, and inquisitive colleague, one of yours
,

for his
relentless effort in making sure my knowledge is shared

beyond

FUTA
. He has
demonstrated
a good attribute of a

true

academic of repute and, most
importantly, of an
astute
academic planner.


I thank you for listening.


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