DOST eyes wider use of PH microsatellite
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is studying the utilization of the country’s first microsatellite, Diwata-1, to further define its operation and justify the investment the government has been pouring into the project.
Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said in a recent media briefing he would sustain Diwata but he needed to determine its usage from among its wide range of capabilities.
The government has earmarked P840.82 million for the three-year program, which was initiated last year.
The program includes the establishment of a ground receiving station in Subic, Zambales, called the Philippine Earth Data Resources Observation (Pedro).
“This is not just to show off our capabilities but it’s really what help it can give us because the microsatellite involves remote sensing activities and this will be useful for us for different sectoral concerns,” Dela Peña said.
As part of rethinking the usage of Diwata, the agency has recently consulted with the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the country’s highest scientific advisory body, the secretary said.
“They are saying that we should be more specific about the utilization of Diwata because it’s not just building the capability to show that we can do it but also what will be its applications,” Dela Peña said in an interview with the Inquirer.
During the meeting, national scientists had suggested that Diwata be used for marine, agriculture and forestry coverage, said Undersecretary for S&T Services Dr. Rowena Guevara.
The body also proposed the microsatellite be utilized for settlement planning to ensure that houses and buildings were built in safe places, Guevara said.
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