Busitema installs global space system receiver 

Students of space science at Busitema University Nagongera campus with stakeholders after concluding a global navigation engagement on Wednesday. PHOTO | JOSEPH OMOLLO

What you need to know:

  • The deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Samuel Baker Kuchel, revealed during a stakeholders’ engagement on global navigation system at the faculty of science and education at Nagongera campus in Tororo District on Wednesday.

Busitema University has installed a state-of-art global positioning system receiver as part of efforts to establish a centre for space science.

The deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Samuel Baker Kuchel, revealed during a stakeholders’ engagement on global navigation system at the faculty of science and education at Nagongera campus in Tororo District on Wednesday.

Prof Kuchel said the global navigation server will pick information from available satellites to be used by government and citizens.

“The equipment will be used to inform research as well as teach students offering space science programmes,” he said.

The establishment of the system was done with support from South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

Prof Kuchel said the university through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has sent two of its lecturers to Russia for benchmarking.

According to Dr Amabayo Emirant Bertillas, the university will be able to predict and detect weather situations and subsequently inform communities and government to avoid damages.

“The system will receive information from 32 navigation satellites and the equipment will also enable the university to give accurate weather predictions, early disaster information, among others,” Dr Bertillas said.

He said the installed global navigation server will capture information from the satellites of the United States, Russia, China, that of the European Union, among others.

The Dean of Nagongera campus, Prof David Olema Kani, said the faculty has finalised modalities with Council of Higher Education and National Curriculum Development Centre to consider incorporating it into the secondary education syllabus.

He, however decried the insufficient funding to public universities by the government, saying it has crippled their operations.

“Space is the future, and Uganda should have its place in the future,” Prof Olema said.


Space science developments

Last month, the government said it intends to spend a total of Shs104.5 billion to develop, launch and operationalise two satellites, including the one recently launched on its behalf by the American space agency.

The budget is for the national Innovation, Technology Development and Transfer Programme Implementation Action Plan for 2020 to 2025.

According to the document obtained by this newspaper, of the Shs104.5b, Shs15.5b will be spent on the establishment and operationalisation of the Space Science and Aeronautics Technology Agency to lead the advancement.

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