Nigeria: Nigeria is all set to launch its cube satellite, CubeSat, announced Chief Executive of the Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), Dr. Spencer Onuh. Cubesat is a kind of miniature satellite for space research that usually has a volume of one litre (10cm cube), a mass of not more than 1.33kg, and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf electronics components.
Speaking to NGOZI OBOH, Onuh said, “Cubesat is a functional satellite depending on the payload you have: it could be imaging; it could be earth observation; it can sensor; you can test; but we use it a lot for scientific purposes.”
“Cubesat is for scientific research purposes; if you want to study atmospheric pressure, density in the high end there, those are the things you use. They serve meteorological purposes but they are not 15-year or five-year life span type of satellite.” He added.
Cubesat does not last for long. Some last for about 18 months, some six or two months but that can give enormous information which can be used for further development of a sub- system.
CSTD is also slated to launch pico satellites which may cost the organisation around USD 30 million. However, Onuh noted that these satellites that can generate information worth than N 1 billion in a year when fully operational. The revenue will be generated from sales of satellite imagery.
As part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Education programme, seven CubeSats built by European universities were launched recently. The launch of these satellites highlighted the achievement of many young engineers across Europe who had an invaluable hands-on experience working on a satellite mission from its conception through to its operations in orbit.