PHL-Microsat, PEDRO Center receives DIWATA-2’s first response

10 Jan 2019 4:42 PM
By Lianne Maxine Tabanggay

DIWATA-2 before deployment. 

Part of the Philippine space initiative was the recent launch of the second and improved homegrown satellite, DIWATA-2. The satellite, bearing an amateur radio payload, wide field camera (WFC), Spaceborne Multispectral Imager (SMI), high precision telescope (HPT), liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF), is an advancement for the research and development sector, with applications on disaster and risk response management, agricultural, environmental and security surveillance and monitoring. This is the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI)’s continuous effort to provide the Philippines with an improved and competitive monitoring system after the DIWATA-1.

The Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation Center's DOST-ASTI Ground Receiving Station.

The DIWATA-2 was successfully deployed in orbit via Japan’s H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center last 29 October 2018. The DIWATA-2 is expected to stay in orbit for 5 years, much longer than its predecessor, DIWATA-1, which is expected to deorbit soon after its deployment in 2016. Space-borne imagery creates opportunities for the country to be both responsive and proactive to environmental changes through real-time surveillance and continuous monitoring. In regard with this, images and data application services are provided for free. The Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center has established first contact with the satellite an hour and a half after its launch from the Tanegashima Space Center. Moreover, the PEDRO Center has received its first image on 6 November, which was of the Earth’s cloud formations covering the South China Sea. These images are results of DIWATA-2's preliminary camera calibrations.

   

Earth. Captured on November 6, 2018 at 13:36:02 PHT using the Wide Field Camera. Image Credit: PHL-Microsat

 

DIWATA-2's Optical Images

With the satellite deployed in a sun-synchronous orbit, this would enable fixed revisit intervals for routing monitoring. In this pursuit, DIWATA-2 has already birthed several images of the Philippines, after less than a month in orbit: 

   

Tabuk, Kalinga, Philippines. Captured on November 14, 2018 13:09:18 PHT using the High Precision Telescope. Basemap from ESRI.  Image Credit: PHL-Microsat

 

DIWATA-2 captured this image of Tabuk, Kalinga, showing its various rice paddies. The availability of routine satellite images like these provides information about crop production, yield estimation, damage assessment, and disaster management.  

 

Aurora, Philippines. Captured on November 15, 2018 13:18:32 PHT using the Spaceborne Multispectral Imager. Basemap from ESRI.  Image Credit: PHL-Microsat
 

The above image of Aurora’s coasts along Dinalungan and Dipaculao was captured using the SMI. Coastal images like these are used for marine surveillance, water quality inspection, and resource management.  

 

The images from the aforementioned homegrown satellites, along with some foreign satellites, are currently transmitted to the Philippines’ ground receiving station, operated and managed by the PEDRO Center located at the DOST - ASTI, Diliman, Quezon City. The Philippines’ venture into space technology through the PHL-Microsat Program is currently supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), DOST - Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), in collaboration with the DOST-ASTI, University of the Philippines Diliman, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. 

For more information about our Philippine satellites such as DIWATA-2, you may visit the PHL-Microsat website or e-mail at phl-microsat@eee.upd.edu.ph. For more information about the Philippines’ satellite subscriptions, you may visit the PEDRO Center website or e-mail us at grs@asti.dost.gov.ph.