Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has disclosed that the university is the only institution in Africa to house a Digisonde.
It was reported that Digisondes are special radar for the examination of the ionosphere. They use pulsed signal that can gather more radar information than a traditional ionosonde sweep.
Egbewole stated this in Ilorin during a meeting with experts on Ionospheric and Space Weather Research, who visited him in his office.
The experts were in Ilorin for the 7th edition of the International Colloquium on Equatorial and Low Latitude Ionosphere (ICELLI) hosted by the Department of Physics at Unilorin.
The vice chancellor, who expressed his delight at hosting scientists specialising in Ionospheric and Space Weather Research at the University, highlighted the significance of this remote sensing device.
He explained that the device studies ionospheric variations and provides essential data for research in ionospheric and space weather Physics.
Egbewole encouraged the experts to consider linking any data collected during the programme to the university, stressing that this request is essential for evaluating the institution’s impact in various research areas.
“The fact that experts are willing to travel from France, Italy, Norway and Egypt to our campus is highly significant to us because it shows your recognition of our contributions to your endeavours.
“We hope that the outcomes of your engagement on our campus also positively influence the research projects we undertake and potentially attract more grants to our University,” he said.
Egbewole also called for greater collaboration among scientists worldwide in areas of expertise that can contribute to global sustainability.
He said: “As a University, we uphold our core values. The steadfast integrity with which we have overseen the repository observatory for over 30 years serves as evidence that we contribute value to your collaboration”.
According to him, the institution’s research endeavours are advancing more rapidly than in most other institutions.
The Vice chancellor advocated for enhanced engagement and collaborations between the Unilorin and researchers worldwide.
Earlier, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, the Executive Director, UN-African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English domiciled at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, disclosed that the varsity was considered the host of the programme because it is the only institution that is hosting a functional Digisonde in sub Saharan Africa.
Rabiu, who is an alumnus of Unilorin, said the institution is well known for ionospheric research.
He added that the Digisonde in Kenya was just installed and it is less than three months and there is no historical data there yet.
Also speaking, Prof. Abdullahi Alafara, the Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Unilorin, said the 2023 edition of ICELLI held at the university would be of assistance to the Ionospheric and Space Weather Research team of the Department of Physics in data gathering and applications.
The dean added that the only Digisonde in the West Africa sub-region is domiciled at the Department of Physics, Faculty of Physical Sciences, at the instance of the United States Air Force and Lowell Digisonde.