Diwata-1 satellite will be deployed from ISS on April 2016

Third Philippine satellite will be deployed from International Space Station Kibo module on April 2016 according to Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Diwata-1 is result of the cooperation between DOST, University of the Philippines, Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. Satellite was designed under program by Hokkaido University and Tohoku University which assumes launching fifty remote sensing nanosatellites until 2050. Main objective of program is using satellites for monitoring natural disasters in South East Asia. Program is based on partnership different research institutes, universities and government agencies from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Diwata-1 is first from two satellites which will be commissioned by government of Philippines and its Department of Science and Technology. It is also part of Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite (PHL-Microsat program started in December 2014) Program and third Philippine satellite in history- first two, Agila-1 and Agila-2 were operated by private companies.

Diwata-1 is based on Raijin satellite designed on Tohoku University. It will be LEO satellite with weight at around 50 kg and operating from 400 km orbit. Command upload will be performed on UHF band. Scientific payload will be different observing instruments:

  • High Precision Telescope (HPT) equipped with four CCD (for each red, green, blue and near infrared) will operate with resolution up to 3 m at 400 km will serve for general disaster monitoring.
  • Space-borne Multispectral Imager (SMI) with Liquid Crystal Tunable Filter (LCTF) wit resolution of 80m at 400 km is equipped with two CCDs for visible and near infrared. Its main purpose will be observation of vegetation and measuring changes in phytoplankton biomass of the Philippine oceans.
  • Wide Field Camera (WFC) - equipped with single panchromatic CCD with resolution of 7 km will serve for observing clouds and weather phenomena.
  • Middle Field Camera (MFC) - is last payload and it includes color CCD with resolution of 185 m which will be used for calibrating attitude determination algorithm and supporting HPT and SMI.

Most important objectives of Diwata-1 is monitoring natural phenomenon, gathering data for agriculture and weather forecasting. Data gathered by satellite will be downlinked to control center daily. Another goal of Diwata-1 mission is developing own space research institutes and eventually establishing Philippine space agency in future.

After assembling satellite it will be send to NASA for final testing. Satellite will not be launch as a secondary payload or in any conventional way. It will be launched onboard Dragon spacecraft and delivered to ISS. Next it will be deployed from Kibo module and remain operating for 18 months. Ground control center will be provided by JAXA and located in Tohoku University (Ground station (CRESST)), additional ground stations will be Philippine Earth Data Resources Observation (PEDRO) station located in Subic, Zambales which will also responsible for receiving and storing data from Diwata-1. It is planned that next satellite, Diwata-2, will be launched on 2017.