What Diwata-1 will do in space


Posted at May 13 2016 06:17 PM

Filipinos from around the world cheered as Diwata-1 was launched into orbit. But what will Diwata-1 really do?

Dr. CP David of the Department of Science and Technology said Diwata-1 is expected to take images of areas affected by El Niño during the season and also provide an extra eye to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) when typhoon season arrives.

Because Diwata-1 is mandated to take images of the Philippines, its territorial waters, and other countries along its orbit, it could also monitor the movements of Chinese military in the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea, much to the interest of the Department of National Defense (DND).

"I’ve gotten a few calls from them (DND) and Diwata-1 is still a research satellite. For all intents and purposes, the first order of the day is to provide images for our researchers," said David.

Diwata-1 has four cameras on board. One of those is telescopic camera that can take pictures of the ground at 3-meters resolution, and another wide-field camera which has already sent an image.

Not counted in the four cameras that will be sending photos to a ground receiving station in Tohoku University in Japan is a camera which David described as a 'selfie' camera which takes photos of the Diwata-1.

He said there are four opportunities every day to direct the focus of Diwata-1’s cameras--twice at daytime and twice at nighttime. But because the night doesn't produce good quality photos, the agency uses that time to download data from the microsatellite.

Diwata-1 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in March 23, was deployed into orbit in April 27, and will stay there for 18 months.