By Usman Aliyu
Malete (Kwara) – Prof. Leonard Daniel of the Department of Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering, Kwara State University has announced that students in the department are designing an aircraft that can fly using car engine.
Daniel made the announcement on Thursday at the inaugural lecture of the university on Aeronautics and Astronautics in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that lecture is titled: “Aeronautics and Astronautics: The Paradigm Shift in Nigeria’s Space Exploration and Development’’.
He said that the team had employed a design and stimulation tools such as the American Computer-aided engineering software (Ansys), a software for finite element analysis (Abacus) and computer-aided engineering in its preliminary design evaluation of the future Aero Astro aircraft.
Daniel, who is the Provost, College of Engineering and Technology of the University, said that the students of the department had earlier designed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which was demonstrated at an exhibition in Abuja
He said that this was a milestone in the development of Aeronautic and Astronautic programme for the country.
He explained that with the advent of technological revolutions, the future aircraft would play an increasingly important part in lives than before.
“From silent, efficient global transportation to personal or on-demand flight that frees us from roads, and to autonomous air vehicles for delivery of information and goods, the future of flight promises to look very different from today.
“In partnership with our government and industrial sponsors, our aircraft design research team focuses on these enabling technologies and their application to future flight concepts.
According to him, the institution’s fundamental and applied research efforts in the area of autonomous system and controls focus on enabling greater levels of autonomy on land, sky and space.
“Our current applications of interest include robotic transportation networks, mapping and navigation in extreme environments, planning and control for agile robotic systems, air traffic management, and space robotics,” he said.
On cyber safety for transportation, the aircraft expert noted that technology was being incorporated in road and rail transportation using UAV systems for cyber safety.
“Transportation is changing dramatically. Soon, cars will drive while the enclosed human snooze or send text messages.
“Train will slow and speed, certain that they alone occupy the underlying track.
“Airborne drones will fly confidently between buildings to monitor air pollution and odour in our cities,” the don said.
In his remark, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdulraheed Na’allah expressed delight that the university was the first to offer programme in Aeronautics and Astronautics.
He solicited for partnership from relevant stakeholders to explore and develop Aeronautics and Astronautics in the country as well as develop the needed manpower required in the field.