The Philippines first micro-satellite, is set for launch this year.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has turned over the Philippines’ first micro-satellite to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for shipment to the US and launching into orbit by April.
Photo courtesy of YUYA SHINO, REUTERS
The Satellite is part of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippines Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite (PHL-Microsat) Program. Diwata-1 is designed and built by a team of nine Filipino engineers and scientists with the guidance and mentoring of aerospace experts from Tohoku University and Hokkaido University in Japan.
What’s the use?
Packed with tiny electronic components and high-capacity digital cameras that can capture terrestrial images that are at least three meters in dimension, Diwata-1 will transmit multi-spectrum images of the Philippines to a ground receiver in Subic to aid in weather forecasting, disaster response and mitigation, and even crop monitoring.
In a GMA Network News interview, Dr. Carlos Primo David of DOST, says that the name “Diwata”—a fairy-like creature from Philippine mythology—is apt. “It symbolizes our hopes and dreams to launch our own satellite. (In a way) it’s very magical for the scientists and engineers that will be using it.”
Philippines’ First Satellite
In 1996, Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation acquired Indonesian satellite Palapa B-2P from Pasifik Satelit Nusantara. The satellite was moved to a new orbital slot on August 1, 1996. The satellite is renamed Mabuhay and became the first satellite in orbit to be owned by the country. And following that year, Philippines launched its first satellite, Agila-2, with assistance of China. The communications satellite was launched through the Long March 3B at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on August 19, 1997.