First Filipino-made microsatellite launches today, March 23

Hurray for science!



( The diwata is known in Philipine folklore as a fairy-like creature, but this DIWATA is quite different. It flies as well, but not on fairy wings. Instead, it’s said to be the first all-Filipino assembled microsatellite. Initially scheduled to launch on April 2016, an update from says that DIWATA’s launch has been moved to an earlier date and is now set at 11 a.m. today, March 23.


While pursuing advanced degrees under the PHL-MICROSAT program, seven engineering students from the University of the Philippines and two science researchers from the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute were sent to Japan to work on the microsatellite bus system and payload design. Under the tutelage of Japanese experts from Hokkaido University and Tohoku University, the team worked on the design, implementation, and the testing of various aspects of the microsatellite bus.


By designing for DIWATA to provide real-time images, experts say that the microsatellite can potentially improve weather detection and forecasts, disaster risk management, detecting agricultural growth patterns, and monitor the country’s forests, cultural and historical sites, and territorial borders.


PEDRO, which stands for Philippine Earth Data Resources and Observation Center, will be in charge of receiving data from the satellite. 


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