It looks like the Philippine government has bigger plans in conquering space.
In 2023, the government aims to have a new and bigger Earth Observation in space after it successfully launched Diwata-1 and Diwata 2 microsatellites.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña announced in a Facebook post last June 10 that the department’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) arm has been leading an initiative to create a “strong foundation” to accomplish such feat.
The secretary said that plans are already underway for the Philippines’ bigger Earth Observation satellite. This one can capture operational-quality images that are approximately 100,000 km2 of land area every day.
It’s called the Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment or MULA for short. De la Peña claims that the commercial-grade satellite will weigh 130kg, making it the country’s biggest.
The new DOST-funded satellite is currently under development in the Advanced Satellite and Know-how transfer for the Philippines (ASP) project. The initiative is under the agency’s priority agenda.
Also part of the project is the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA). An agency will ensure the project will be completed and launched, which is expected to happen in 2023.
The satellite will be designed and manufactured with Surrey Space Technology LTD (SSTL), a UK-based company.
“The new satellite, MULA, will carry a TrueColor camera capable of capturing 5m resolution images with a wide swath width of 120km,”Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, DOST
“It will have 9 spectral bands that can be used for different environmental applications such as disaster management, land use and land cover change mapping, crop monitoring, and forestry management,” he added.
DOST also said that it would have Automatic Identification (AIS) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads for ship and aircraft tracking and detection.
“The preliminary mission objectives of the satellite were determined based on a needs assessment conducted by the ASP Project of the Space Technology Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) with various stakeholders in the Philippines during the first quarter of 2020,”Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, DOST
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PhilSA Deputy Director-General and ASP Project Leader DR. Gay Jane Perez said that the satellite would also enable the Philippines to improve terrestrial ecosystem monitoring. Plus, keeping track of marine and land resources for ensured environmental integrity and agricultural productivity.