MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Saturday shared some images from Diwata-1, the country’s first microsatellite.
DIWATA-1 has four cameras for earth observations. The images will be used for research and in remote sensing, and DOST said multiple test images have been successfully taken and downloaded.
Officially deployed in the outer space last April 27, Diwata-1 is expected to be in the orbit for about 20 months and will be taking images of the Philippines twice daily.
Last month, Carlos Primo David, executive director of DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research Division (PCIEERD), told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) that for the meantime, the images from Diwata-1 would be received by those in Tohoku, Japan. “They will send the images to us,” he said.
The DOST has partnered with Tohoku and Hokkaido universities in Japan to develop Diwata-1. It was assembled by nine Filipino engineers who were stationed in there to undergo an extensive course about microsatellite.
“When the first communication opportunity over Japan came at around April 28, we succeeded in the reception of radio signals from the satellite at the Tohoku University ground station (CRESST) and the state of the satellite was confirmed to be in good condition. Since April 29, we have been conducting initial checks on each component and evaluating the performance of the satellite’s onboard cameras and attitude control system,” the DOST said.
The images that the agency shared were:
* An image of the earth taken by the fish-eye monochrome wide-field camera (WFC) on Diwata-1 captured at 02:55 UT (11:55 JST) on May 6
* A cloud image taken by Japanese Meteorological Satellite, Himawari
“The geostationary weather satellite, Himawari-8, confirms the cloud seen as part of a prevailing frontal system over the Pacific Ocean near Japan,” the DOST cited.
* An image of Tohoku area in Japan taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC) on board Diwata-1, captured at 01:54 UT (10:54 JST) on May 9
* A projection of the MFC image of the Tohoku area on a geological map of Tohoku area, Japan
“It shows a projection of the image on a geological map of the area. The satellite was moving over the Pacific Ocean and its attitude was manipulated to tilt in the direction of Sendai city. Sendai city is covered by clouds but Lake Tazawa and Oga peninsula are clearly visible on the left side of the MFC test image,” noted the DOST.
* A test image of the province of Isabela in the island of Luzon, Philippines, taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC), captured at 01:15 UT (09:15 PHT) on May 17
* A projection of the MFC image of Isabela province on a geological map of Isabela, Philippines
The test image captured a portion of the coastal seaboard of Isabela province, which includes parts of the municipalities of Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan. The projection image showed a Isabela on a geological map of the area.
“For this picture, the satellite was moving over the Luzon island and looked down at the target area vertically, with the pointing control toward the center of the Earth,” decribed the DOST.
The three images from Diwata-1 were taken during the microsatellite’s testing phase.
At present, the satellite operation team conducts the initial checks of the onboard components of Diwata-1, including the other cameras.
According to DOST, the images taken during the testing phase were used to verify the functionality and characterize the performance of the onboard cameras and other relevant sub-systems.
After extensive testing and characterization, Diwata-1 might be in normal operation phase by August. In this phase, it captures 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.