MANILA, Philippines — In 2017, the first Filipino-made microsatellite Diwata 1 was launched in Japan. It is now being used to take pictures of Earth.
By mid-2018, the Philippines is again set to launch into space its second microsatellite Diwata 2.
The satellite was developed within a year by seven Filipino scholars.
According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Diwata 2, which passes through the Philippines twice a day, can be used for a duration of up 12 to 18 months.
It has the size of a big balikbayan box with four cameras that can take pictures and provide details of anything with a size of three meters.
This is an improved version with some capacity for communication, it’s like a radio and of course better cameras in place,” said DOST Sec. Fortunato de la Peña
Diwata 2 can be used for the analysis of climate and weather in the country, and for national security purposes like conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea.
It can also monitor incidents of forest fires and drought in particular areas.
The DOST said that the government can save a huge amount of money by using the said satellite than buying from materials taken by the satellites of foreign countries or private firms.
The agency cites as an example a satellite image of the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda in 2013 which the government bought for P56-million.
A bill seeking the creation of a Philippine Space Agency is now in Congress.
Under the proposal, the DOST is tasked to train about 800 people for the said program.
The DOST has a proposed budget of P21.8 billion for next year. —