Philippines to launch first CubeSat on June 29
By Joy Luza
The country’s first cube satellite (CubeSat), Maya-1, will be transported to the International Space Station on June 29, 2018 through the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS 15. The rocket launch will be in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:41 p.m. (PHT). Maya-1 will then be released in orbit in August.
Flight model of Maya-1One of the missions of the 1-unit (1U) CubeSat is the Store-and-Forward (S&F) System. It will collect data from ground sensor terminals within its footprint, save it, and forward the data to any member ground station. The 10 cubic centimeter CubeSat also contains an Automatic Packet Radio Service Digipeater, which can communicate with ham radios. Maya-1 will also carry two cameras –a wide-angle and a narrow-angle lens — to capture images and minimum resolution videos for research purposes. Inside Maya-1 is a low-cost Global Positioning System (GPS) commercial off-the-shelf chip, as well as a magnetometer — a device used to measure the magnetic field in space. Maya-1 can also log data corruption incidents due to space radiation through the Single Event Latch-Up mission. Maya-1 is one of the three CubeSats under the 2nd Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project of the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan. Bhutan and Malaysia will also launch their cubesats, BHUTAN-1 and UiTMSAT-1, on June 29. Two Filipino graduate students under the PHL-Microsat program developed Maya-1 in Japan: Joven Javier is taking his master’s degree while Adrian Salces is taking his doctoral degree, both in Kyutech. The CubeSat was handed to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on May 15. The development of the CubeSat is under the Development of the Philippines’ Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat, a research program jointly implemented by the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) in partnership with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan. The PHL-Microsat also produced Diwata-1, the country’s first microsatellite released into orbit on April 27, 2016. Meet the team (from let to right): Adrian Salces, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano Jr., and Joven Javier. Salces and Javier worked on Maya-1 in Japan. Dr. Marciano is the the program leader of PHL-Microsat.