UP to train new batch of Filipino satellite builders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2020 08:42 PM

University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The University of the Philippines (UP) is set to train 8 Filipino satellite builders as the country continues to strengthen its space technology program.

These satellite builders are scholars of the Space Science Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) and will train under the Masters in Engineering program of UP's Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI), according to a report published Monday in the state university's website.

The STeP-UP Scholarship is a component of the STAMINA4Space (Sustained Support for Local Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement), the Philippine government's space technology program which aims to develop microsatellites.

The second batch of STeP-UP scholars will apply their knowledge in launching nanosatellites Maya 5 and 6, UP said in the report.

STAMINA4Space Program Leader Gay Jane Perez said they hope to finish Maya 5 and 6 by 2022, it added.

In partnership with Japan's Kyushu Institute of Technology (KyuTech), UP trained the first batch of STeP-UP scholars, focusing on nanosatellite engineering.

"The pioneering class used the knowledge they gained to create the first locally built nano- or cube satellites, Maya 3 and 4," UP said.

The satellites, according to UP, can be used in the country's "economic, territorial, and disaster risk reduction efforts."

"Though it is very much smaller than its predecessors, its importance to communication and disaster-related concerns is not diminished," said UP College of Engineering Dean Ferdinand G. Manegdeg.

Maya 3 and 4 will be handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for launching in February 2021, UP said.

In 2018, the Philippines launched Maya 1, which was built by Filipino students at KyUTech and is capable of capturing images of Earth from space.