The Ghanaian space program is the youngest in Africa. Despite its tremendous progress, the program is a representation of the country's great ambitions.
It is managed by the Ghana Space Science and Technology Center (GSSTC), whose main tasks are to coordinate research across the West African country in key areas such as satellite communications and remote sensing. Here are 10 advantages of the Ghana space program for you:
Climate data contributes to good agricultural management. The University of Resources Natural and Energy in the central region of Ghana has also invested in the space to support local farmers. The university launched its scientific programs in 2012, then installed a weather station to collect climate information. It launched its first satellite in September 2016.
The satellite allows better quality weather forecasts. "In Africa these forecasts are an essential issue, because our source data is generally of very poor quality. The daily life of farmers could be transformed by reliable weather reports. " underlined Amos Kabo-Bah, Director of the Observation Center of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR)
Half of the population works in the agricultural sector and therefore improving weather and climate forecasts could have direct consequences on the country's economy. It is also possible to visualize wetlands and drylands, the distribution of types of plantations, which terrain is most favorable for agriculture, and even assess the pollution levels of rivers.
In Ghana, underground mining is destroying the environment. For this purpose, the satellite makes it possible to monitor the territory in order to quickly identify initiatives of this kind. Illegal gold mining is a major problem for this West African country, where hundreds of artisanal mines are active. Even though the government has a dedicated brigade, the satellite greatly facilitates the fight against smuggling.
The development of science education encourages young Ghanaians to invest in scientific studies or engineering courses.
The interest of the program Ghanaian space is not only educational. Society as a whole benefits from its satellites. In fact, the government employs around twenty officials within the institute, and the University of Ghana now offers astronomy courses, as does Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi. ANUC's space program currently employs six people, and the school plans to offer courses in astronomy and space science very soon. Primary schools have also included space in their curricula across the country.
Having your own network of satellites makes it possible to collect data essential for agricultural and environmental management, for preventing storms and many local problems can be easily resolved.
Satellite imagery and climate data help the country manage natural disasters. With a satellite, Ghana could have managed the disaster that ravaged the capital Accra last June 2016 where 25 people died in a flood.
The UENR observation center team converts the data it receives into what it calls "forest risk indices". With this they are able to monitor fires in real time, predict fire starts, and send the predictions to all agencies that need this information.
Space technology is playing an increasing role in achieving global health goals. In the areas of public health and global health including remote sensing, positioning and tracking and space research play a crucial role in supporting decision making, improving care, education and early warning measures.
The information provided by remote sensing is used to follow the evolution of pathologies, to
study the environmental triggers at the origin of the spread of the diseases, to
predict the zones at risk and to define the regions for which a plan of the fight
against diseases will be necessary. The Ghanaian space program plans to put satellites into orbit to improve health services in the country.
Satellites are used on a daily basis to inventory, monitor and protect the resources of our planet. The sustainable management of the world's natural resources must allow their natural renewal and conservation without overexploitation. This management is one of the conditions for the survival of humanity and other species. Ghana wants to ensure that these satellites intervene in a multitude of applications related to the management of resources such as those of water, vegetation, forests, pollution, oceans as well as fisheries.
Access to terrestrial networks is limited or non-existent in many parts of the world, especially in remote or sparsely populated mountainous areas. Satellite technologies, used alone or in conjunction with other technologies as part of existing infrastructure, are a good way to provide broadband services in these areas. Ghana understands this and therefore ensures that its program covers the connectivity aspect. Instead of the traditional network infrastructure used for high-speed connectivity, new network technologies often reduce infrastructure requirements and provide services at lower cost.
Beyond Earth observation and satellite communications, other space technologies such as satellite geolocation facilitate the management of transport, fleets and parks.
Without satellite, no need to try to chat with your friend by SMS or by calling him via your cell phone. Some would not have the possibility of receiving certain television channels or others would simply not have access to the Internet. This is one of the objectives of the Ghanaian space program.