First Philippine microsatellite ‘Diwata’ set to launch 

  • January 19, 2016

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 19 -- The potential uses of Diwata, the first all-Filipino assembled microsatellite, include: improved weather detection and forecasts, disaster risk management, detecting agricultural growth patterns, and the monitoring of forest cover, mining, protection of cultural and historical sites, and the territorial borders of the Philippines.

 

Diwata was turned over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to prepare for its launch into space in April. With Diwata, comes the Filipino dream to have its own Philippine Space Agency.

 

Officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), UP Diliman, Tohoku University (TU), and Hokkaido University (HU) handed-over the project following the completion of the assembly and testing of the 50-kg Philippine Earth Observation Microsatellite. It is set to be released into space from the International Space Station (ISS) later this April.

 

Recognizing the advantages of using satellite-based remote sensing, the government invested in the construction and launching of the Philippine scientific earth observation microsatellite, under the PHL-MICROSAT or Diwata program, with the budget of P800 million for three years.

 

Diwata is the country’s first microsatellite designed, developed, and assembled by Filipino researchers and engineers under the guidance of Japanese experts from Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. The satellite is designed to provide real-time images for disaster risk management and other applications.

 

Seven engineering students from the University of the Philippines and two science researchers from DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) were sent to Tohoku University and Hokkaido University in Japan to work on the microsatellite bus system and payload design while pursuing advanced degrees, as part of the PHL-MICROSAT program.

 

 

The bus development team worked on the design, the implementation, and the testing of various structural, mechanical, and electrical aspects of the microsatellite bus.

 

The payload and mission design team on the other hand contributed to the science mission analysis and objectives that lead to the specifications of the payload sensors and instruments. The team studied the technical specifications of the payload instruments towards proper testing and calibration of its outputs.

 

Part of the three-year program is the development of a second microsatellite (Diwata 2) to be launched in 2017.

 

The PHL-MICROSAT team also intends to develop course and training materials on small satellite technology design and testing, which are proposed to be incorporated into science and engineering undergraduate and postgraduate elective courses, as well as local industry short seminars. A microsatellite simulator and testbed, antenna design and testing facility and amateur radio satellite station are also currently being set up as part of the establishment of the local microsatellite research and instructional facility within UP Diliman.

 

The rest of the PHL-MICROSAT team at UP Diliman are focused on developing a ground receiving station (GRS) that will allow space borne images to be transmitted to earth. It will also be used to transmit commands from the ground to the microsatellite to carry out is mission effectively.

 

Diwata-1 is a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite set to fly 400km above the earth. It serves as a training platform and will pave the way for the Filipino team to further develop their skills in space technology.

 

More than this, the potential uses of Diwata’s images include improved weather detection and forecasts, disaster risk management, detecting agricultural growth patterns, and the monitoring of forest cover, mining, protection of cultural and historical sites, and the territorial borders of the Philippines. Diwata will be sending vital images and data back to Philippine Earth Data Resources and Observation (PEDRO) Center which was set up to receive data from the satellite.

 

DIWATA 1 is equipped with a high precision telescope (HPT) that can determine the extent of damages from disasters, like typhoons and volcanic eruptions. It can also monitor changes in cultural and natural heritage sites, like the Mount Apo or Mayon Volcano.

 

Its spaceborne multispectral imager (SMI) with LCTF will be able to monitor changes in vegetation and monitor oceans' productivity.

 

It also carries a wide field camera that will help scientists and weather forecasters better observe cloud patterns and more accurately predict weather disturbances.

 

Its middle field camera assists in determining the locations of images captured using the HPT and SMI. (PAGASA)


Other News

Application for foreign travel authority for LGU officials now online - DILG says
  • February 24, 2017
MANILA, Feb. 24 - Local government officials and employees who wish to travel abroad may now secure approval for their travel via a hassle-free and easy online application system developed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). DILG Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno said the web-based system called the 'Foreign Travel Authority (FTA) On-Line System of Local Government Officials and Employees' provides a centralized online solution for FTA application. "We are in an era where everything is done on the web, and this is basically the concept behind the FT...Read more
GSIS allots Php827.5M emergency loan for 11 more areas
  • February 24, 2017
QUEZON CITY, Feb. 24 - The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has earmarked over Php827.5 million in the emergency loan for active members and old-age pensioners in four towns in Ifugao, five areas in the Caraga Region, and two areas in Northern Mindanao that were recently declared under a state of calamity.   GSIS has opened the emergency loan after typhoons Karen and Lawin wrought damages in the municipalities of Lagawe, Hingyon, Tinoc, and Asipulo in Ifugao.  A total of 2,168 active members and 271 old-age pensioners in these areas may apply for the loan up to March 5. ...Read more
NDRRMC scales up preps for magnitude 7.2 earthquake
  • February 24, 2017
QUEZON CITY, Feb. 24 - National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) members convene to discuss plans and preparations for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Thursdays at the NDRRMC Conference Room, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.   NDRRMC Vice Chairperson for Preparedness and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Ismael D Sueno chaired the meeting attended by Vice Chairperson for Response and Social Welfare Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo and NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad. Directors of member agencies namely...Read more
ASEAN meetings in Boracay successful, peaceful, says PNP
  • February 24, 2017
KALIBO, Aklan, Feb. 24 (PIA6) --  The ASEAN meetings held in Boracay Island from February 13-21 were successful and peaceful, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).   In a radio interview, Police Regional Office 6 spokesman Police Sr. Supt. Gilbert Gorero said no negative incidents happened during the meetings.   Security in the island had been tightened even before the ASEAN meetings for the safety of delegates with forces deployed at airports, jetty ports, highways, billeting areas, and the surrounding seas.   The PNP said the deployment of thousands of poli...Read more