DOST-ASTI inaugurates Davao Ground Receiving Station

15 Nov 2019 9:45 AM

CAAP Compound, Davao City – The Davao Ground Receiving Station is here!

Three years after the establishment of the first Ground Receiving Station (GRS) in Metro Manila, the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center finally unveiled the Davao GRS last November 8, 2019

Officials from Department of Science and Technology led by Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña together with officials from other concerned agencies gather in front of the 7.3 meter satellite tracking antenna at the Davao Ground Receiving Station last November 8, 2019.

The Davao Ground Receiving Station (D-GRS) houses the DOST’s largest tracking antenna for earth observation (EO) satellites to date, which provides additional capacity and redundancy to the functions of DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute’s GRS in Quezon City.

“Bottom line is additional capacity. Our country is not a contiguous landmass, we’re an archipelago and we would like to distribute our S&T infrastructure and resources in different places,” DOST-ASTI Acting Director Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr said.

The P160 million D-GRS is strategically located at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Transmitter Facility in Davao City. The location provides infrastructure advantages such as fiber [internet] connection for ease of access.

“It's a good location because it is beside the airport and we have people nearby to help maintain it while securing the area,” Dr. Marciano.

DOST-ASTI Acting Director Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr. introduced the PEDRO Center to the audience 

Engr. Alvin E. Retamar, Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-ASTI, also stressed the importance of additional ground receiving stations in the operations of the PEDRO Center.

“The problem with our nation is we are subject to rain, flooding and other hazards. In case of hazard events in Manila, and we cannot operate the Ground Receiving Station there, we have the Davao Ground Receiving Station to operate and still receive satellite data,” he added.

The PEDRO Center also officially announced the on-going construction of a third Ground Receiving Station in Dumangas, Iloilo. This GRS will house a 3.5-meter satellite tracking antenna and was made possible through DOST-ASTI's Understanding Lightning and Thunderstorms (ULAT) Project collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development Program (JICA SATREPS).

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña also told the audience about the creation of additional satellites to join our current lineup.

“Our goal is before 2022, we will launch a microsatellite that is built completely here in the Philippines and as much as possible, the Philippines will give something value adding to the microsatellite… and I think we also have a commitment on the BIRDS Project to build additional nanosatellites,” Sec. de la Peña said

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña announced goals and future projects in space technology during the event.

DOST Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr. talked about the applications of satellite images generated by the PEDRO Center. 

The D-GRS was built and installed in 2018 and has been fully operational earlier this year. It is remotely operated and used for initial tests such as the download of MODIS data from Terra and Aqua satellites.

The satellite tracking antennas in the GRS facilities are designed to communicate with earth observation satellites, allowing them to transmit commands for image capture or to receive image data. Through these facilities, the Philippines now has direct access to a broad range of optical (high-resolution, multispectral) and synthetic aperture radar (cloud-penetrating, day-night-imaging) satellite data.

The GRS facilities of the PEDRO Center are vital infrastructure for pre- and post-disaster monitoring that supports our Disaster Risk Reduction agencies.

The D-GRS was established with the support and cooperation of the DOST Region XI, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Officials unveiled the marker symbolizing the inauguration of the Davao Ground Receiving Station last November 8, 2019.

To celebrate the success of the inauguration, government officials gathered for a toast during the event. 

To know more about the PEDRO Center, visit us at our website and Facebook page.