Diwata now in orbit
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - April 27, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The first Filipino-designed and built satellite, Diwata 1, was scheduled to be deployed into orbit yesterday and for the next 20 months will be imaging the country twice daily.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) said that Diwata would be deployed into orbit from the Japan Experiment Module or “Kibo” at the International Space Station (ISS) by the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer.

The DOST-PCIEERD was informed of the schedule by the National Research and Development Institute of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Tsukuba Space Center. 

The deployment, which can be viewed through JAXA’s official channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/jaxachannel, is a first for a 50-kg class satellite from the JEM, according to DOST-PCIEERD. 

“The deployment of the microsatellite combines the only air lock and robot arm in the ISS used in Kibo operations, which in the future is expected to be one of the important means to meet the launch needs of microsatellites,” the JAXA declared.

The main payload of Diwata 1 consists of a high-precision telescope for high-resolution imaging, which can be used for assessment of the extent of damage during disasters; a space-borne multispectral imager for monitoring bodies of water and vegetation; and a wide field camera for observing large-scale weather patterns. 

Diwata 1 is one of two microsatellites planned for deployment under the Development of the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (Phl-Microsat), a joint initiative of the DOST and the University of the Philippines-Diliman in partnership with Japan’s Tohoku University and Hokkaido University. 

The development of Diwata 1 was undertaken by a team of Filipino engineering and science scholars with their counterparts in the two Japanese universities. 

The Phl-Microsat is a three-year program funded and monitored by the DOST-PCIEERD.            

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