The Philippines’ Diwata 1, a 50-kilogram micro satellite, may pave way for local satellite-building industry.
The completion of the first Philippine microsatellite Diwata-1 could pave the way for a local satellite-building industry. Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo told The STAR yesterday that the Department of Science and Technology’s capacity building efforts for Diwata-1 has the potential to be an industry that would complement the robust electronics sector and emerging aerospace industry.
“Our local electronics and semiconductor companies, and the small and medium companies catering to the needs of a number of aerospace companies that have set up shop in the country, can be tapped to provide parts and equipment needed in building satellites,” he said. “It can drive the growth of the local electronics and aerospace industries,” he added.
The Philippines handed over last week Diwata-1 to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which will arrange the shipment of the 50-kilogram microsatellite to the US from where it will be launched into space in April. The nine young Filipino engineers and scientists from DOST and UP Diliman that designed and built Diwata-1 are expected to build another microsatellite, the Diwata-2, which they say will be better.
The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of DOST will provide funding for the establishment of a space research laboratory in UP Diliman, where further research and development on satellite building will be pursued, especially by the designers and builders of Diwata-1. UP Diliman has allotted an area for the space research laboratory, according to Joel Joseph Marciano Jr., director of UP Diliman’s Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute and program leader of the DOST’s Philippine microsatellite program.
“They have allotted space for the setting up of a research laboratory for microsatellite technology so that when the Filipino students come back from Japan, they will have a home to come back to, and start maybe teaching and doing training for our industry engineers, to continue and use the momentum,” Marciano told Japanese officials during the handover of Diwata-1 to JAXA.Seven of the nine young Filipinos that built Diwata-1 are from UP Diliman.
They are Ariston Gonzalez, Julian Marvick Oliveros, Juan Paolo Espiritu, John Leur Labrador, Delburg Mitchao, Menjamin Jonah Magallon and Kaye Kristin Vergel.Gerwin Guba and Harold Bryan Paler are senior science research specialists of the DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute.