PHL’s second Earth-observing microsatellite nears launch to space

The Philippines second microsatellite, Diwata-2, is now a step closer to its October 29 launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan via H-IIA F40 rocket, said in the official site of PHL-Microsat Program on September 23.

Diwata-2 Flight Model was completed on August 29 and was handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the following day. It currently continues to make its final steps towards space.

“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.