The first images taken by Diwata-1 have been released to the public after the successful release of the country?s first micro-satellite into orbit from the International Space Station last April 27.
The micro-satellite was developed by Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines Diliman under the DOST-funded research program, ?Development of the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-MICROSAT).
After extensive testing and characterization, Diwata-1 is targeted to enter normal operation phase by August 2016. In this phase, it will be set to capture images on a regular basis to support the science mission objectives, such as assessment of damages associated with disasters, surveying agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and studying environmental changes in the Philippines.
The development of Diwata-1 took approximately one year with the Philippine government financing all development costs. The satellite is equipped with imaging sensors of four different fields-of-view including a fish-eye lens camera and a telescope with a ground resolution of three meters.
It is expected to provide remote sensing information that help address the needs of the Philippines for assessment of damages associated with disasters, as well as studying agriculture, fishery, forestry and changes in the environment.
The on-board liquid crystal multispectral camera is an improved version of the one aboard the Rising-2 satellite, which was developed by Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities and launched in 2014. It is capable of taking images at 590 spectral bands, which is on par with cameras aboard large satellites, and can thus pave the way for the next generation, low cost yet high precision space applications.
During the initial operation of Diwata-1, the up-link of commands (UHF band) and the downlink of telemetry data (S-band) are being conducted at the Tohoku University station (CRESST). For the regular long-term operation, a ground control station with high-speed data reception in X-band is being set up in the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the DOST.
In addition, a Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility (MRIF) is currently being established in the University of the Philippines Diliman as a hub for inter-disciplinary research and development activities in space technology in the Philippines.