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The Philippine Space Agency has indicated that the Philippines should move forward with more of its creation of satellites launched into space. According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the MULA (Multispectral Land Assessment Unit) satellite, scheduled for launch in 2023, is on the government’s priority list. With its added jet propulsion system, MULA will stay in space longer and take more images than other Filipino-made satellites that have already been launched.
“I look forward to seeing how MULA’s enhanced imaging capabilities can help improve disaster management, mapping of land use and vegetation cover changes, crop monitoring, and forest monitoring,” he said during a virtual event on the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) social media page. .
The results of our human resources development program are even beyond our expectations given the difficult working environment in which we currently find ourselves. Our partner countries like Japan say we are catching up quickly. I hope that the government’s budget support will be stronger and will continue.
– Secretary DOST
It would be twice as heavy and larger than the Diwata-2 microsatellite, with more payloads and spectral bands, allowing it to support more imagery applications and satellite products. “MULA is very important for DOST. In addition to being the largest Philippine satellite developed, it is the first satellite that DOST realizes in coordination with PhilSA ”, declared the head of DOST.
The Secretary of DOST is confident of PhilSA’s ability to oversee the completion and planned launch of MULA, as well as to manage and operate the satellite thereafter. “It gives me pride to see first-hand how DOST’s early space R&D (research and development) activities helped young and capable Filipino scientists and engineers,” said the manager, adding that the dedication of the MULA team inspires him.
Using the satellite, Filipino researchers could use MULA to mitigate challenges such as water quality and the sustainability of marine resources, among others. The MULA satellite in low Earth orbit can circle the globe ten times a day, expanding market data opportunities or leveraging collaboration with other countries.
In addition, the launch of two locally built cubic satellites (cubesats) to the International Space Station (ISS) – Maya-3 and Maya-4 – has been delayed due to inclement weather. According to the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), another attempt will be made. According to the deputy general manager of PhilSA, the cubesats will illustrate the stabilization and control of satellites in orbit, the processing and classification of images on board, as well as the use of solar cells and cubesat antennas, and will test the functionality of the satellites. sensors and chips.
In an interview, the Secretary of Science and Technology (DOST) said: “I am happy that the country is meeting its targets and deadlines in the space technology program. “The collaboration between DOST, PhilSA and the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman has been quite effective,” he added.
Both cubesats were created under the STAMINA4Space (Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation, and Advancement) program, which was funded by DOST, UP Diliman, PhilSA and the Kyushu Institute of Technology of Japan. The cubesats are almost identical, weighing 1.15 kg and measuring 10cm (cm) X 10cm X 11.35cm.
Their missions included demonstrations of data acquisition on the ground, capturing images and videos, detecting and protecting against lock-in of a single event due to space radiation, and demonstrations of GPS chips, among others. Maya-1 was launched in 2018 and Maya-2 in 2021. Diwata 1 and 2, both microsatellites, were launched in 2016 and 2018, respectively. DOST previously noted that the projects will increase efforts to harness the power of satellite technology for other purposes such as agriculture, forest cover and natural resource inventory, weather forecasting and assessment and monitoring. monitoring of disaster damage, among others.