Space Science and Application Research


Overview

Space science and application department was officially operated since October 2014 with Four PhD students and a few adjunct staffs, while the department was well grew with the accompany of EORC developing to ESSTI during 2017. Currently in September 2018 the department has seven staffs, seven PhD and four MSc students. Space Science and Application Research and Development (SSARD) strive in different scientific researches and technology development.

Mission of SSARD

The mission of SSARD at the Ethiopian space Science and Technology institute is to solve the societal and governmental gaps by conducting original researches in the areas of space technologies, climate and space science and its applications. Meanwhile the main objective of this department is to provide qualified and well trained human power in space science and its applications over Ethiopia.

Major Activity

SSARD is very wide field; it could address a very numerous multidisciplinary research fields. However SSARD research focus areas until 2020 are putted as:

   Ionospheric and magnetospheric Science:
  • Characterizing and modeling the regional ionosphere
  • Effects and Mitigations of ionospheric disturbance on Ethiopian HF radio communications (Military and other sectors)
  • Modeling and characterization of space weather elements
  • Space weather impacts
  • Sun and Earth interaction
   Atmospheric and Climate Science
  • Modeling to forecast regional climate change and shortage of rainfall
  • Coupling of ionosphere and lower atmosphere
  • Assessment spatial and temporal drought variability and its mitigation solution over East Africa region
  • Prediction of rain fall and drought reveals
   Technology and Software Development
    • Developing mobile application software for space weather application purpose
    • Launching space weather prediction center
    • Developing and assembling space radar
    • Atmospheric and space tracer sensor development
    • Helmholtz coil development for calibration of aviation magnetic compasses

Project on Progress

   Title: ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF GEOMAGNETIC STORM ON ELECTRIC POWER GRIDS OVER ETHIOPIA
   Principal Investigator: Tesfay Yemane

Description:

Space Weather refers to variations in the space environment between the sun and Earth (and throughout the solar system) that can affect technologies in space and on Earth. Space weather is primarily driven by solar storm phenomenon that includes coronal mass ejections, solar flares, solar particle events and solar wind. This can influence the performance and reliability of space-born and ground based technology systems and it can endanger for human Life. These phenomena can occur in various regions on the sun’s surface, but only Earth directed solar storms are potential drivers of space weather events on Earth. An understanding of solar storm phenomena is an important component to developing accurate space weather forecasts (event onset, location, duration, and magnitude).

Space weather is a global issue. Unlike terrestrial weather events, like a hurricane, space weather has the potential to impact in a wide geographic regions including Ethiopia. These complex events can have significant economic consequences and have the potential to negatively affect numerous sectors, including communications, satellite and airline operations, manned space flights, navigation and surveying systems, as well as the electric power grid.

Geomagnetic Storm is a temporary disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by the wind of electrically charged particles emitted by the sun. The Earth’s magnetosphere pressure can be compressed when there is an intensive solar wind emitted toward the earth.  Consequently the solar wind’s magnetic field interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, while an enormous energy can be permeated to the magnetosphere. Thus result into both interactions cause an increase in plasma movement through the magnetosphere which was driven by increased electric fields inside the magnetosphere and an increase in electric current in the magnetosphere and ionosphere. Geomagnetic field fluctuations  produce  DC currents  in power system. The Induced currents due to Geomagnetic Storm are called Geomagnetic Induced Current (GIC), and harmful to electrical transmission equipments, especially generators and transformer. Geomagnetic storm can disrupt power grids, interfere with high frequency air lines and military communication, disrupt Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, interrupt civilian communications, and Blanket the Earth’s upper atmosphere with hazardous materials.

Research status: Long time DSt, Addis Ababa Magnetometer data and Four years Ethiopian electric power data was collected.

   Title: Space radar (Beacon receiver installation project)
   Principal Investigator: Yekoye Asmare

Description:

Rational of the project: The project is important mainly for knowledge and technology transfer. It is also important to track a satellite of signal frequency150 and 400 MHz. Hence, this project includes designing, assembling and installing a passive radio beacon receiver at Entoto in order to track a satellite and receive a signal with frequency of 150 and 400 MHz which can be used to make observations that will advance our understanding of the ionosphere in our region, Ethiopia. The project is one of the 2011/2019 mega projects of the institute to be completed in one year regardless of unexpected events or uncertainties.

 Members of the project

  1. Yekoye A. (principal coordinator), yekoye2002@gmail.com
  2. Eskedar G.(Engineering them coordinator , filter designing and assembling), ea@gmail.com
  3. Biruke A. (Amplifier designing and assembling)
  4. Wondimagegn M. and Alazar (Antenna designing and assembling
  5. Tsega Zeab, Dawit Kassaw and Sebhat Tadesse (Signal processing and simulating)
  6. Bayile, Kaledawit and Abenezer (collaborators)
   Title: Characterizing Ionospheric Irregularities for the use of HF radio signals In Ethiopian Region
   Principal Investigator: Yekoye Asmare

Description:

Equatorial ionosphere is basically affected by numerous physical and photochemical processes including photoionization, spread – F and geomagnetic activities that creating unpredictable pattern of ionosphere leading for space vehicle deterioration and/or abort communication technologies permanently or temporarily. As it is known the differential heating effect of the sun which creates neutral wind, emission of energetic radiation and particles from sun, coupling of IMF with terrestrial geomagnetic field, fast recombination rates of ions with electrons in the absence and/or low sunshine are basic physical and chemical forces creating ionosphere which is subjected with different instrumental studies since its effect on transionospheric radio propagation has known. Ionosphere is not a uniform and stable medium with a potential to disrupt the detection and tracking of aircraft, missiles, satellites and other targets and interfering with global command, control surveillance operations typically communication and navigation and as per result of its non – stationary impact on the communication and navigation systems, the spatial and temporal characterization of ionosphere ahead of sending signal to devices located on earth or space is significantly important for making correction on the signal to be transmitted which remains to be fully understood due uneven distributions of instrumentation everywhere throughout the world. In doing so the present study has aimed to notify the temporal characteristics of ionospheric irregularity in Ethiopian region having close proximity to the equatorial ionosphere in association with its consequence on the scintillation occurrence on transionospheric radio propagation. Hence due coherent understanding of the phenomena particularly HF radio users including ministry of defense and aviation industry will be benefited in making appropriate mitigation while communicating according to the recommendations provided by the end of the study.

   Title: Evaluation of Ionospheric Electron density Model NeQuick 2 using GPS TEC and  Ionosonde driven data over Ethiopia
   Principal Investigator: Daniel Atnafu

Description:

The ionosphere causes errors and data loss for many communications, navigation, and radar systems. To predict such occurrences and, possibly, to mitigate their effects, ionospheric characterization is needed. With the increased demand for the satellite based communications and navigation system applications, modeling the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) has gained more importance.

 Particularly in the equatorial and low latitudes, the estimation of the true value of TEC has become a challenging task in view of the large spatiotemporal gradients in the presence of the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) (Appleton, 1946). The NeQuick 2 is a quick-run ionospheric electron density model particularly designed for trans-ionospheric propagation applications and has been developed at the Aeronomy and Radio propagation Laboratory of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) – Trieste, Italy and at the Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics and Meteorology (IGAM) of the University Of Graz, Austria.

   Title: Developing “Space weather display software
   Principal Investigator: Dawit Kassaw

Description:

Developing space weather display software, this software answers questions about what space weather is and what it does in space.

It includes our space weather app that displays movies and images of the aurora and of the Sun in various wavelengths.

“Space Weather” refers to conditions on the Sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground based technological systems and endanger human life. Adverse conditions in the space environment can cause disruption of communications, Aviation, and electric power distribution grids, leading to a panoply of socio-economic losses.

   Title: On-Board programing
   Principal Investigator: Dawit Kassaw

Description:

Developing software for Radar Technology project. It is implementation of major radar software functions — front-end and back-end — and the process for developing the software required for an operational system.

   Title: Release the second version of “Ethio_Space” mobile application
   Principal Investigator: Dawit Kassaw

Description:

The first version of Ethio-Space mobile application (V, 1.1) is already release for community, and currently in 2011 Ec. The second version will release with new features.

Staff Profile

NameTitleResearch AreaContact Address
Tesfay YemaneMSc space weather impact on power grid Email: tesfayy@essti.gov.et
tesfayphysics@gmail.com
spacescience@essti.gov.et
Yekoye AsmareMScionosphere and radar Email: yekoye2002@gmail.com
Samson TilahunMScspace Ionospheric IrregularitiesEmail: samsontmeba@gmail.com
Daniel AtnafuMScionospheric model validation Email: danielat2017@gmail.com
Dawit KassawBScsoftware and applications for space science Email: dawitkassaw60@gmail.com