PHL’s Diwata-2 satellite launching to space via Japanese H-IIA

The Philippines second microsatellite, Diwata-2, is among the payload of H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 (H-IIA F40) which will be launched to space today at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The window period for the launch is 12:08 pm to 12:20 pm Manila time (1:08 pm through 1:20 pm in Japan).

“Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) hereby announce the launch time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 (H-IIA F40) which carries aboard Second Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI-2″ (GOSAT-2) and KhalifaSat, a remote sensing Earth observation satellite,” JAXA said.

“Diwata-2 is the second Philippine-made microsatellite funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), monitored by DOST-Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), and done through the collaboration between the University of the Philippines Diliman, the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), Hokkaido University and Tohoku University,” noted in the PHL-Microsat Program website.

Diwata-2 was planned and designed in 2016 right after Diwata-1 was released from the International Space Station (ISS).

Both Diwata-1 and Diwata-2 are Earth-observing microsatellites capable of capturing images of the Earth for environmental assessment.

“Diwata-2 will orbit at a higher altitude (~620km) for an increased lifespan and a sun-synchronous orbit, which will enable fixed revisit intervals that would make repeated environmental monitoring of specific areas possible. Like Diwata-1, it will also carry a Wide Field Camera (WFC), Middle Field Camera (MFC), High Precision Telescope (HPT) and Spaceborne Multispectral Imager (SMI) with Liquid Crystal Tunable Filter (LCTF) but with notable improvements in performance,” added in the official website of the project.

“The major features that distinguish Diwata-2 from its predecessor include deployable solar panels for increased power generation output and an Enhanced Resolution Camera (ERC) which increases the resolution of images taken by SMI,” it added.

Additionally, Diwata-2 will feature two locally-made experimental modules: an Amateur Radio Unit for emergency communications, and a Satellite Orientation Module for increased pointing accuracy and future satellite development initiatives.

“PHL-Microsat is a program funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which aims to build, launch, and effectively utilize the Philippines’ first microsatellite for multi-spectral Earth observation. According to The program is a collaboration between the University of the Philippines, Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, and the DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). Uploading of commands to Diwata-1 and downloading of the images are currently done in the country’s very own ground station. Image processing is also being performed locally,” it added.