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

Palace closely monitoring situation on avian flu
  • August 20, 2017
MANILA, Aug. 20 -- Malacañan on Saturday, August 19, reassured the public that it is keeping a close watch on the developments in Nueva Ecija following reports of poultry deaths, urging the people to refrain from spreading fake news which may cause distress and panic. “We are closely monitoring the situation in Nueva Ecija following the confirmation of poultry deaths in the province yesterday by the Department of Agriculture (DA). We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause undue alarm and panic,” Presidential Spoke...Read more
DPWH resumes road repair in Metro Manila this weekend
  • August 20, 2017
MANILA, Aug. 20 -- The Department of Public Works and Highways – National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) will take advantage of the long weekend to continue its road reblocking activities in 10 major thoroughfares in Metro Manila which began 11PM of Friday, 18 August 2017.   DPWH-NCR Director Melvin B. Navarro reported that road works will include major areas in Quezon City including second lane, northbound direction  of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue before North Avenue; second lane, southbound direction of A. Bonifacio Street between Del Monte Street after Binhagan Street; truck lane,...Read more
Mayor Beng reiterates: Avoid looking for jobs in risky areas
  • August 20, 2017
By Felipo David G. Malcampo ZAMBOANGA CITY, August 16 (PIA) – City Mayor Beng Climaco reiterated her warning to jobseekers to avoid looking for jobs in risky areas since there is plenty of employment opportunities in the city. “Please refrain from looking for work in risky areas because we have a lot of job opportunities in Zamboanga,” Mayor Climaco said during a press briefing Monday (August 14). Last month, four Zamboangueño laborers namely Jayson Vailoces, Joel Adanza, Felimon Guerrero, Jr. and Edmundo Ramos were abducted while doing construction and painting jobs in Sulu. L...Read more
DAR marks CARPER’s 8th Anniversary
  • August 20, 2017
By Alfonso T. Ruda   DIPOLOG CITY, August 16 (PIA)--- The Department of Agrarian of Agrarian Reform held a press conference with the local media in line with the department’s 8th CARPER Anniversary celebration.   According to DAR-Zamboanga del Norte PARPO II Mohammad Dassan Adju, the press conference was called to update the local media on the projects implemented by DAR in the province and to thank the media for their continuous support to its information dissemination campaign.   Adju said that apart from its regular project, presently DAR is implementing two (2) forei...Read more