The University of the Philippines-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) hosted a talk about Microsatellite Technology and the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program, held in PLDT Multimedia Hall, EEEI Building, March 23, 2015.
Assistant Professor of Space Robotic Laboratory of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tohoku University, Japan, Dr. Yuji Sakamoto, served as the speaker of the said event. He is joined by PHL-Microsat Program Leader and UP-EEEI Director, Dr. Joel Marciano, Jr., who also gave an overview of the PHL-Microsat program.
In his talk, Dr. Sakamoto gave a brief description of Sendai, Japan and Tohoku University. He also presented the satellites of Tohoku University and their experience in developing microsatellites named Rising 1 and 2, and Cubesat dubbed as Raiko.
When asked about the benefits of having a locally-managed microsatellite, Dr. Marciano noted that having the PHL-Microsat would lessen the costs of acquiring “commercially-available datasets from other countries’ satellites and service providers of satellite information and remote sensing application.” He also emphasized that having the PHL-Microsat would enable the country to have access to “real-time data for enhanced local planning and decision support.”
PHL-Microsat is a three-year program which aims to launch two 50kg-microsatellites in space to gather real-time data which would be helpful in decision-making in terms of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), weather forecast, resource mapping, agriculture, defense, and many others. PHL-Microsat-1, which is dubbed as Diwata, and PHL-Microsat-2 are expected to be launched by 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The PHL-Microsat program is composed of five projects, namely (a) Project 1: Microsatellite BUS Development; (b) Project 2: Ground Receiving Station, dubbed as the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center; (c) Project 3: Development of Data Processing, Archiving, and Distribution Sub-System for PEDRO Center; (d) Project 4: Calibration and Validation of Remote Sensing Instruments; and (e) Project 5: Remote Sensing Product Development. A group of electronics engineers from EEEI, in partnership with Tohoku University and Hokkaido University, would address Project 1, which is about the design, development, and testing of the mechanical, electrical, and electronic control and computing systems (BUS) of the PHL-Microsat.
PHL-Microsat is funded by the Department of Science and Technology-- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).