Tod’Aérs is an international non-profit organization focusing on research and development for Sustainable Space Studies. Their studies are on 8 thematic areas which include:
- Space Engineering and Technology
- Space Applications
- Space Sciences
- Space Law and Economics
- Space Business and Management
- Space Medicine
- Space Humanities and Arts
- Space Entrepreneurship
Space in Africa had an interview with the Chairman of Tod’Aérs, Manuel Ntumba to discuss the current state of the organisation including ongoing projects and its plans for the future.
Can you give an overview of Tod’Aérs?
Tod’Aérs is an international network for Sustainable Space Studies, Research and Development. We provide our members with the opportunity to belong to a fast-growing global network that brings researchers, professors, university students, professionals, company executives, diplomats, and entrepreneurs to collaborate on sustainable research projects. We aim to apply Research and Development (R&D) in Space Studies to enhance Global Sustainable Development.
What is the meaning of Tod’Aérs?
Tod’Aérs is french for “Transparente Organisation d’Aéronautique et des Recherches Spatiales” —Transparent Organisation for Aeronautics and Space Research.
What is the scope of your audience?
It’s international! We started at the international level, having members worldwide: France, Netherlands, UK, US, UAE, Mexico, India, Nepal, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Togo, Australia, etc. We have a board of directors which constitutes eight chairs from over all the world, overseeing our eight research divisions mentioned above. These chairs are either university leading professors, company executives or government diplomats.
For how long has the organisation been running?
We started in February 2020, but it wasn’t until August 2020 that we went public, creating numbers of social media pages and hosting a website. We spent the first six months, immersing ourselves in preparations for our research projects.
Do you have any specific projects already?
We are currently working on two research programs, namely “Geospatial Technologies & Applications for Global Sustainable Development” (GeoTA-21) and “Commercial Space & Policy for Global Sustainable Development” (ComSP-21).
GeoTA-21 is a STEM-based research program that combines space engineering & technology, space applications, space sciences and space medicine. Our research teams working under the GeoTA-21 program, are currently working on research projects such as space robotics & mining, ion propulsion, green propulsion, nano-thermal control system, satellite communications & remote sensing, orbital debris, space & renewable energy, data processing & computer vision, space big data analysis & cybersecurity, machine learning & artificial intelligence, planetary defence, deep learning & neural networks, computer networks & cloud computing, internet of things, space for climate change, astroparticle, space agriculture, quantum engineering, deep space communication, nanotechnology & materials, bioastronautics & spacesuit design, telemedicine, space psychology, space for global health, etc.
ComSP-21 is a non-STEM research program that combines space law & economics, space business & management, space humanities & arts and space entrepreneurship. our research teams working under the ComSP-21 program, are currently working on research projects such as space & digital economy, policy & human rights, space & geopolitics, recovery of space resources & regulations, space traffic management & regulations, commercial space & finance, space logistics, sustainable budget analysis for space missions, space ethics, space education, space broadcasting & movies, sustainable space investment 47- sustainable entrepreneurship for space industry 2025, etc.
How do you secure funding for your research?
We are currently working on partnerships with some companies, universities, government agencies and other international organisations. But up untill now, we haven’t required research grants. But in the future, when our research has gotten to a certain level, we will need research grants.
Before you came on board, were there any space activities in Togo?
Compared to our other African counterparts like South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Morocco, I can say that there were no space activities in Togo before us. Although there were few teams, not much has been heard from them for a while. In 2020, when we received a research counsel on Space Studies from the Togolese Government, we officially became the first space institution recognised by the government. On our board, we have the Minister of Communication of Togo, Prof. Akodah Ayewouadan as Chair of Space Law & Economics.
What is the future of Tod’Aers?
In the future, we aim to work side-by-side with the United Nations to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Research and Development in Space Studies. We aim to develop a global network with our partners and sponsors, to provide Sustainable Education and Research over all the world.
David is a space industry and technology analyst at Space in Africa. He’s a graduate of Mining Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Akure.