Osun: VP Osinbajo inaugurates first Equatorial Aeronomy Radar at Bowen University

VP Osinbajo inaugurates first Equatorial Aeronomy Radar in Osun

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has officially inaugurated the Virginia Tech. Nigerian Bowen Equatorial Aeronomy Radar (VT-NigerBEAR) at Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State.

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Osinbajo stated during the inauguration on Friday at the institution’s premises that it was the world’s first and only deployment of an equatorial-low-latitude SuperDARN.

Teams and organisations from both domestic and foreign locations were involved in the project, including those from Bowen University, the National Space Research and Development Agency, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Virginia Tech SuperDarn HF radar group.

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The VT NigerBear, also known as a SuperDarn, is the 36th Super Dual Auroral Radar Network in the world, according to the vice president.

“The SuperDarn, as we have heard, is a network of High Frequency (HF) radars that look into Earth’s upper atmosphere.

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“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. So all long distance High Frequency signals such as in ocean going vessels, aircraft, global broadcast communications and short wave radio communication may be affected by irregularities in the ionosphere.

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“These irregularities degrade HF and GPS signals; the SuperDarn discovers these irregularities so that remedial action may then be taken.”

He said that the first SuperDarn monitoring conditions of the near-Earth space environment in the high latitude regions achieved its official status in 1995.

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The “mid-latitude” SuperDARN started functioning in 2005, according to Osinbajo, at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.

The second, he claimed, was put into service in Hokkaido, Japan, in 2006.

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The project, according to Osinbajo, has the potential to significantly alter communications infrastructure, space research, equipment design, geo-mapping, forecasting, and prediction of atmospheric, climatic, and oceanic conditions in Nigeria and the surrounding low latitudes.

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