Thursday, January 14, 2016

First Philippine Microsatellite, Unveiled

First Filipino microsattelite with Filipino Engineers. Photos from: Pinoy Science FB page
The 'Diwata-1', the Philippines' first microsatellite, was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 

"This is the first microsatellite that is built with Filipino engineers, and also the first microsatellite of the Philippines," said Dr. Rowena Guevara, Undersecretary for Scientific & Technological Services, DOST

Diwata 1 was developed and assembled by Filipino engineers specifically seven Filipino scholars in a span of one year.

The smooth, silver metal device is small in scale similar to a balikabayan box, weighing about 50 kilograms (110 lb).

The Philippines' Department of Science and Technology (DOST) funded the project entirely, investing 800 million yen or $ 6.8 million dollars for 'Diwata-1'.  That is roughly P3 million pesos.

The entire program has a total budget of P800 million including the ground receiving station located in Subic called the Philippine Earth Data Resources Observation (PEDRO).

This would help the government save some fund as compared with buying a satellite.

It will be used up to 12 to 18 months  which it will orbit the Philippines twice a day.

This will be used to analyze the climate condition and weather systems in the country.

It will also help in terms of national security as it could monitor the activities at the West Philippine Sea.

It could also detect conditions of forest fires and drought.

Prof.Kazuya Yoshida of Tohoku University Space Robotics, the microsattelite will be used for various missions. 

"The types of missions we're looking at include earth exploration, disaster monitoring, and weather monitoring,"

The device is scheduled to be sent to the International Space Station in March and launched in May.

Diwata-2', another microsatellite, is planned for a launch in 2017.

It will carry 3 main payloads used for measurement and detection: a High-Precision Telescope, a Spaceborne Multispectral Imager, and a Wide Field Camera.

It is expected to pass 4 times a day over the country once up in low-earth orbit (400 to 420 kilometers from the ground) at a speed of 7 kilometers per second. Each pass will last around 6 minutes – allowing it to capture up to 3,600 images a day.

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