CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A Filipino-built microsatellite Diwata-1 will be launched today at 10 a.m. in an American rocket, aboard the Cygnus spacecraft.
Diwata-1 was built and assembled in Tohoku University and Hokkaido University in Japan last year by a group of nine young Filipino engineers. The Philippine satellite is among the payload of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus destined for the International Space Station (ISS).
Initially, the Diwata-1 satellite will be placed in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) nicknamed “Kibo” attached to the ISS.
By the end of April, the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) will release Diwata-1 into space at an altitude of 400 kilometers from the earth’s surface.
According to the Asian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS), the technology is vital for monitoring weather, disasters, and environmental issues.
Diwata-1 carries four special cameras for various purposes including capabilities in imaging weather patterns, agricultural productivity and high-resolution imaging of the country’s land and water resources.
The Diwata-1 satellite is relied upon to be in the circle for around 20 months and will pass by the Philippines twice every day. – Carl E.