SUMMARY OF CESRA’S ACTIVITIES FROM JANUARY 2016 TO DATE
1.0 Collaboration with other Institutions
The 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 sets of students on FUTA/RECTAS Masters programme got matriculated and signed their Matriculation Oath. This programme was coordinated by the School of Postgraduate Studies and all the Principal Officers of the University with the staff of RECTAS were in attendance. The 2014/2015 set of students also came for their one month programme as part of their graduating requirement for the programme. They had time to interact with their supervisors and presented their Project proposal seminar. The 2015/2016 set of students of FUTA/ARCSSTE-E Masters programme have completed their first semester and have resumed for second semester at ARCSSTE-E Ile- Ife.
2.0 Industrial Training for Students
The Centre receives regular request for industrial training from individual students and Departments from within and outside the University. The 400L students of the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology are presently undergoing their industrial training in the RSG/GIS laboratory. A total of 60 students are being trained.
3.0 National Workshop on Astronomy for Teachers
On the 22nd and 23rd of June this year, the National Workshop on Space Astronomy for Teachers titled “Promoting the Teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through Astronomy” was organized in collaboration with The African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English (ARCSSTE-E) and the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and teachers from all over the Country attended the workshop. The guest speaker, Mr. LeRoy Larry made it known that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are the tools to create awareness on outer space.
He also added that astronomy has been able to explain our space in the universe. The Vice Chancellor, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Development said that the workshop is to assist the teachers improve on their teaching skills in other to address the failure of students been recorded annually in sciences. The Director, CESRA in his welcome address said that the workshop is first of his kind in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He added that the workshop is designed to enhance and promote the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. A total of 150 teachers and students of FUTA participated at the workshop.
4.0 Cube Satellite Development and Launch
CESRA continues to make progress in its program titled “Pioneering International Cooperation in University Satellite Technology Development in Nigeria”. The programme is geared towards capacity building in Satellite Technology in FUTA, with the emergence of building a CubeSat as a hand-on project. The proposal for the building of the Cube Satellite submitted to TETFund has been approved by the National Assembly which also instructed TETFund to release the fund for the building of the Satellite. Also, Mr. Tejumola a Senior Scientific Officer in NASRDA and graduate student of Kyushu Institute of technology, Japan is one of the team members representing Nigeria and mandated to join in the building of the Cube Satellite. He gave a summary report of how far the team has gone with the project.
He made a presentation titled: “Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite for Developing Nations tested towards Sustainable Space Program”. He made it known that the BIRDS project is a timeline project which has to be delivered as scheduled in the timetable. In his report he advised FUTA to send more students for internship to the collaborating Institution: Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan; because more FUTA students are required to participate in the project. Work has reached an advanced stage on the cubesat development and will be ready for launch in the first quarter of 2017. Similarly the proposal for the establishment of the ground station in FUTA for acquisition of data from the Cube-Sat is being considered.
5.0 ESRI’S ARCGIS Software Training
The user group has successfully carried out school by school seminar on the introductory applications of the use of ARCGIS 10.2.1 Software package in various fields of study. During this training the participants agreed that a more comprehensive training for each School should be organized. In addition, the new version of the ESRI product which is ArcGIS 10.4 is now available for installation.
6.0 International Grant
Oniosun Temidayo Isaiah, the president of the University Space club under this Centre has emerged as one of the 14 Global winners of the 2016 International Astronomical Federation (IAF) Emerging Space Leaders Grant instituted by the International Astronomical Federation, Paris, France. He will participate in the 67th International Astronomical Congress, Space Generation Congress and UN/IAF Workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico between 21st September and 2nd October, 2016.
7.0 Earth Day 2016
Earth Day: Climate Action 2016 was held on the 15th of January, 2016 at the Theodore Idibiye Francis Auditorium, Federal University of Technology, Akure. A huge turn-out of students and young professionals came from across the world to learn about climate change, its effects, how it can be reduced and how the Earth can be made a better place to live in. World Earth day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson and first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on planet and to create awareness on the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. The 2016 Earth Day was an initiative of FUTA’s Space Club, in collaboration with the ENACTUS, FUTA Team. It was held to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. Top dignitaries of the University present at the event includes: Dean of Student Affairs, FUTA, Prof B.K Alese who represented the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. G A Daramola; Dr. Mrs. Ajayi, the Registrar, FUTA and the Director of the University’s Centre for Space Research and Applications (CESRA), Prof. J.O Akinyede.
The programme featured two major events, alongside a panel discussion including talks on Climate Change mitigation and the exhibition of projects, products and inventions for mitigating Climate change. Speakers at the event include the founder of Green Campus Initiative, Miss Adenike Akinsemolu, Founder of ENACTUS, FUTA from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Toluwanimi Kolawole, Daniel Thorpe from the University of Edinburgh, Manchester and Prof Ahmed Balogun of the department of Meteorology and Climate Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure. The Speakers gave presentations and educative information on the need to prevent climate change. Emphasis was laid on the fact that humans feel that once they are able to go out and come home safely every day, the world is fine not realizing that we are all at risk of Climate change.
8.0 Yuri Night 2016
The Space Club of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, also hosted the only registered Yuri’s Night Event in West Africa on 22nd April 2016. Yuri’s night is a globally celebrated event in memory of the first man in Space, a Russian Cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin. The event which had in attendance both staff and students of the University was declared opened by the University Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Olatunde Arayela. Speaking at the event the Director, Centre for Space Research and Applications (CESRA), Professor Joseph Akinyede said from the 1960s to now, humanity has intensified efforts on interplanetary research, having explored all the nine classical planets, comets, asteroids, the moons and the sun and even, interstellar space beyond the sun’s stronger influence.
Going down memory lane, Professor Akinyede stated that on the 4th of October, 1957, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), celebrated the success of the launch of the first artificial satellite (SPUTNIK-1) and some years later precisely 12th April, 1962, the global community received the news with ecstasy of the first human space flight undertaken by young cosmonaut called Yuri Gagarin. To prevent the use of the outer space for any military adventure the Director said that the United Nations established a Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) to regulate outer space activities and to ensure that space remains a domain for peaceful purposes. According to Prof. Akinyede, the advent of space exploration and exploitation of space resources have given rise to the provision of platforms for skills development and knowledge acquisition, the creation of opportunities for new discoveries through the solar system, observations and exploration to deep space and the emergence of a new era of space technology applications with invaluable benefits to the society.
Declaring the event open the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academics), Professor Tunde Arayela, said FUTA is a specialized University of Technology that exposes its students to all the dimensions of tertiary education by equipping them to be versatile in the fields of science, art and technology. He commended the giant strides of the Director of CESRA in projecting the image of the University and his ingenuity in bringing intellectual expatriates to partner with the University resulting in fruitful collaborations. The major feature of the event was a Stage Drama titled “Voyage to Mars”; a fictional story of a Nigerian scientist at the Federal University of Technology, Akure that came up with the theory and equation that will later land man on Mars.
In the Story: Federal University of Technology, Akure is depicted as the World number 1 University of Technology where inventions are birthed and World Renowned scientists are made. The scientist is a Professor in the University whose ambition is to win the year’s Nobel Prize award in Physics– He has been working on the theory for years – Since his PhD days. This event occurs at a time when there is competition between USA and Nigeria on who the leading Space Agency in the world is – the first to land man on Mars – A time when the Earth is no longer habitable as a result of Climate Change/Global Warming. The Stage drama was acted by the Students of the University and Directed by a 300 level Student of the University named Ajayi Ayowole Damilola. The event ended with an award presentation to the person that has contributed more to Space Science and Technology development in the University in the past one year. The Space Person of the Year award is an annual award opened to the University Staffs and students, an award to celebrate whoever contribute most to Space Science in the University and this year’s award was presented to Prof. J.O Akinyede, the Director of the Centre for Space Research and Applications of the University.
9.0 Asteroid Search Campaign 2016
The Space Club in collaboration with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration held the First Asteroid Search Campaign in West Africa. The International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) is an educational outreach program for high schools and colleges. It provides high quality astronomical data to students around the world. Students are able to make original astronomical discoveries and participate in hands-on astronomy. This service is provided at no cost to the participating schools.
Asteroids are small rocky bodies that are leftover building blocks from the formation of our solar system. Many of those can be found in the asteroid belt orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Others have different orbits around the Sun and can come close to Earth, in this case they are called Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Their size ranges from meters to kilometres in diameter. Due to the potential danger they can pose, it is important to know our cosmic neighbourhood very well. The more objects we are aware of and know about their orbits, the better we are prepared in case one of them gets too close. As mentioned, it is important to know how many asteroids are out there and what characteristics they have (size, orbit, etc.). Asteroids are discovered with the help of (optical) telescopes by amateur astronomers. In most cases, pictures of a certain region of the sky are taken a few minutes or hours apart. Since stars do not change positions relative to each other, every moving object is potentially an asteroid (it could also be a satellite). Using special software. We can make such a discovery. Space Club FUTA gave Students the opportunity to take part in an Asteroid Search Campaign, partnering with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration. The club also trained the teachers who participated at the National Teachers Workshop on Astronomy on how to search for Asteroid using the special software.