Philippines set to launch first micro-satellite

eGov Innovation editors
eGov Innovation

The Philippines’ first micro-satellite, designed by local scientists and engineers training on satellite technology at Japan’s Tohoku and Hokkaido universities, is due to launch in the next two months.

It is a landmark project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.

Once launched, the micro-satellite called Diwata (fairy) will be able to send critical data on weather systems which are deemed useful for farmers in adjusting planting methods and procedures. Thus, its main benefits will be in the area of improving agricultural productivity and food security in the country.

“We hope to provide vital information to our farmers so they will be prepared on what crops to plant, when to plant and how they can provision contingencies in overcoming the ill effects of the El Nino phenomenon up to the middle of 2016,” said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

The satellite technology is also envisioned to improve the capability the national weather agency, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), to make accurate forecasts and weather monitoring that is crucial in agriculture.

The data that will be generated by Diwata will enable the agency to predict extreme weather systems that can dramatically affect crop yield.

“These same data can be used to monitor our forest cover and natural resources, implement a responsive disaster risk management program like Project NOAH, enhance water resources management systems and improve weather monitoring and forecasting,” added Montejo

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