Nigeria: The Nigerian-built satellite, NigeriaSat-X, acquired its first satellite image. Revealing buildings and the landscape surrounding the city of Auckland, New Zealand, this image demonstrates that the satellite’s enhanced 22m wide-area multi-spectral imagery for mapping, agricultural monitoring and disaster relief programmes is working well.
NigeriaSat-X was built by engineers from Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) under the supervision of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). The new generation of Nigerian scientists and engineers trained up under the NigeriaSat-X project will continue to support Nigeria’s space programme, ensuring its continued success and sustainability. In total, 26 Nigerian engineers were located at SSTL’s facilities in Guildford for 18 months throughout the design and test phases.
Currently two joint NASRDA-SSTL teams are working in parallel in Abuja and Guildford to commission NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2, which was launched at the same time. After the initial commissioning phase is complete, the NASRDA team in Guildford will return to Nigeria to continue NigeriaSat-X operations from the Abuja ground station.
SSTL Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting, commented, “NigeriaSat-X is the product of Nigeria’s training and development programme here at Surrey. It is a great credit to NASRDA and their engineers that this satellite is performing well and its operations are progressing so quickly. These highly skilled engineers will not only help Nigeria to manage its resources, but also bootstrap its fledgling high tech economy alongside a growing nucleus of highly trained people.”
The launch of NigeriaSat-X adds a third 22m imager to the seven-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation that is coordinated by DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) to provide governmental and commercial imaging campaigns.