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Kibo-ABC Member Countries' News: The Philippines

Last Updated: March 18, 2016

The First Philippine-made 50kg Class Satellite "DIWATA-1" Ready for Launch

The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft and Atlas V rocket are poised to launch at Kennedy Space Center ©NASA

DIWATA-1, the first Philippine-made satellite has been handed over to JAXA at Tsukuba Space Center on January 13, to prepare for its launch to the International Space Station, and from there into space in April 2016. The diligent students from the Philippines leveraged the technical guidance by Japanese universities to make this international collaboration project sponsored by the government of the Philippines succeed. The great success of this project has made its mark on the history of space development in the Philippines, which is currently planning for the creation of a Philippine space agency.

Filipino satellite development starts from Diwata-1

DIWATA-1 Installed to deployer case at Tsukuba Space Center

The Philippines often faces the risks of natural disasters such as typhoons, hence the need for the satellite data is increasing. However, as the Philippines did not have its own satellites, a government official says that they had to purchase satellite imagery from other countries costing millions of dollars annually. By having their own satellite, the Philippines can get data 365 days a year and task the satellite to take a picture of a particular location, to obtain information needed rapidly and more easily.

Diwata-1 has several scientific instrument such as the High Precision Telescope (HPT); Space-borne Multispectral Imager (SMI) with Liquid Crystal Tunable Filter (LCTF); and the Wide Field Camera (WFC). These instruments will monitor the surface of the lands and waters of the Philippines, to estimate damages from natural disasters, monitor vegetation changes, forecast weather and similar activities.

Collaboration with Japan for development and deployment

J-SSOD on ISS/Kibo

The development of Diwata-1 is part of the Department of Science and Technology's Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite (PHL-Microsat) Program which was initiated in 2014.. The project decided to choose Japan as a partner to develop their first Filipino-made satellite, and sent nine engineers and students from the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and the University of the Philippines to two Japanese universities, Tohoku University and Hokkaido University to learn satellite development. The program is also intended to build the capacity of young engineers and students in the Philippines. The microsatellite development was completed in December 2015, an astonishing speed for developing satellites.

The satellite will be deployed from JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) on Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" in the International Space Station (ISS), in cooperation with JAXA.

The second satellite, PHL-Microsat-2 or DIWATA-2, is already under development and targeted to be launched in late 2017.

Official conference; Philippines the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines, Tohoku University, Hokkaido University and JAXA.

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