The Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA) AVM AA Shinkafi, represented by the Acting Deputy Chief of Defence Space Administration Maj Gen IG Lassa extolled the Directorate of Navigation Positioning and Timing (DNPT) for the successful conduct of the seminar with the theme “Enhancing Military Application of Global Navigation Satellite Systems with the Integration of Artificial Intelligence”. The Defence Space Administration’s (DSA) first seminar for the year 2024 was held at the General Irabor Hall. The CDSA said it was indeed an educational event as it enlightened the participants on the benefits of Artificial intelligence (AI) to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The event commenced with the Acting Director of the hosting Directorate, Air Commodore EO Iduh delivering the opening remarks. He buttressed on the ever-improving and bustling enigma of AI and how it has been used to enhance the activity of the military in various fields. The Director further stated that the seminar was focused on bringing out the various patterns of AI, usage and implementation of algorithms in the military as it relates to GNSS.

The Facilitator, Mr. Yusuf Abdulganiyu, a Space Science and Technology Officer with the hosting Directorate, delivered an excellent presentation on the theme. The scope of the paper included the Application of AI-driven Global Navigation Satellite Systems in the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Limitations of AI-Powered Satellite Navigation such as Data dependency, Cost and Infrastructure, and privacy issues, amongst others. In his recommendations, he suggested training and enforcing data security protocols, Data governance and quality management, among other relevant suggestions, to mitigate the limitations of AI-Powered Satellite Navigation.

The seminar dovetailed into an interactive session. The panelists for the interactive session comprised the moderator, Major OW Olayeye, two discussants and the presenter, the Guest Discussant, Surveyor Ibrahim Samir Suleiman from the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF), the second discussant, Engineer Salisu Abubakar and the Facilitator, Yusuf Abdulganiyu. The session further enlightened participants on how AI has been augmenting human activities and achieving superhuman performance that cuts across almost all industries, such as agriculture, education, health, science and technology, research and development, the power industry, the distribution and generation of electricity, and military operations, amongst others. AI is the hub of the industrial revolution, integrated into spacecraft and satellite operations as well as unmanned aerial vehicle operations.

The history of AI lies between ancient Greek and Egyptian myths. The term was first coined in 1952 and is now abbreviated to AI. It has become more popular today with improved algorithms and computing power, as well as storage improvements. In the military, the potential benefits include target recognition, surveillance, homeland security, cybersecurity, transportation and logistics, and combat training, among others. There has been increased efficiency, accuracy and improved decision-making capabilities in military applications of GNSS with the integration of AI. It is worthy of note that the challenges and potential risks associated with AI were also discussed.

In the course of this session, the discussants answered questions from the participants to clear doubts and grey areas. Additionally, salient contributions were made by Directors and participants. It was indeed a thorough session, as no stone was left unturned.

The Representative of the Chief of Defence Space Administration, Major Gen IG Lassa summed up the session with more insights on AI. He said that the expertise and knowledge sharing indeed increased the knowledge of the participants on AI as well as improved the operationality of the troops, giving them an upper hand over the adversary. He also reiterated that Artificial Intelligence is not a new term, neither is it a new technology for researchers. He thereafter delivered the closing remarks for the event and made a presentation of souvenirs to the guest discussant, Surveyor Ibrahim Samir Suleiman. The event ended with a vote of thanks by Miss Adediji Folashade Esther, a Space Science and Technology Officer 1 also with the hosting directorate.