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PCIEERD celebrates its 6th year

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Photo 1: PCIEERD Family group photo during the “Hatid ng Agham at Teknolohiya, Kaunlaran ng Bawat Isa” anniversary celebration last June 29, 2016 at Clark, Pampanga.

To celebrate its 6th anniversary, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD) held two events in Angeles, Pampanga last June 28-29. The events revolved around the theme “Hatid ng Agham at Teknolohiya, Kaunlaran ng Bawat Isa” which focused on delivering PCIEERD-funded technologies to interested investors, technology adopters, and other intended beneficiaries.

First ethanol-powered fuel cell research in the Philippines nears its completion

Now on the third quarter of its second year, the project  “Nanostructured Electrocatalyst Composites for Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell (DEFC)”, funded by the  Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD)  of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is getting promising results. Worked on by a group of researchers from the University of Sto. Tomas under the leadership of Dr. Bernard John Tongol, the project’s objective is to produce a low-cost but effective ethanol-powered fuel cell. The team aims to do this by creating a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with synthesized anode-cathode materials which uses alternatives for the fuel cells available commercially. Once the DEFC prototype is completed, it will be used to come up with an LED lamp which can be used for emergency response purposes during power blackouts after natural disasters.

                Dr. Tongol pointed out that the fuel alone; that is,  ethanol,  has numerous benefits compared to the usual fuel cell. Ethanol is a renewable resource that can be produced from agricultural waste. This means that as long as there is a supply of ethanol, the fuel cell will continue to supply energy. Dr. Tongol said that, compared to other chemicals commonly used as fuel for fuel cells such as methanol and hydrogen, ethanol is less toxic and can be handled more easily. On the other hand, the team replaced the platinum-based anode-cathode catalysts with substitute materials. Palladium was used as substitute for the anode catalysts and non-precious metals such as cobalt and iron for the cathode catalysts.

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Photo 1: Dr. Bernard John Tongol greets DOST- PCIEERD staff before starting the quarterly monitoring last June 23, 2016 at the University of Sto. Tomas.

Using the test station housed at the fuel cell testing center in the university, Dr. Tongol's group is evaluating the performance of the Pt- and Pd-based anode catalysts to come up with optimized conditions suitable for the electronic circuit design of the prototype. Meanwhile, the electrochemical performance of cobalt- and iron-based cathode catalysts revealed promising results using cyclic voltammetry. The electrochemical stability and fuel cell performance of these new materials are currently being investigated.

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Photo 2: Fuel cell test set-up

                In the next quarter, the team is scheduled to work on the design and development of DEFC-powered emergency LED prototype. The research is expected to be completed in November this year.

 

By: Alyana Bacarra

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The DOST- PCIEERD is celebrating its 6th anniversary on June 29, 2016 with two important events that revolve around the theme “Hatid ng Agham at Teknolohiya, Kaunlaran ng Bawat Isa”. With this theme focusing on the delivery technology-based solutions and innovations, PCIEERD will showcase outputs of research and development projects/technologies that are ready to be transferred to interested investors/technology adopters.

DOST, DTI, BOI hold 15th TID Updates featuring DOST’s innovation hubs and centers

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June 17, 2016, Taguig City  ̶  The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) led by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Board of Investments (BOI) hosted the 15th Trade and Industry Development Updates (TID Updates) focusing on DOST’s innovation hubs and centers.

TID Updates is a series of fora which is done to inform the public and the other stakeholders on the recent developments of the DTI-BOI’s Industry Development Program. TID Updates started last August 2013 where they focused on the chemical, mining, and manufacturing industries. For the 15th installment of the fora series, they featured the DOST’s Innovation hubs and centers.

DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara started the forum by discussing the importance and contribution of these innovation hubs to the different industries when it comes to employment and increasing the quality of the products. “These state-of-the-art facilities will enable industries to develop technologies and business models that will contribute to global competitiveness of industries and improve the country’s productivity”, she said.

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DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara delivering her opening remarks

On his keynote address, DTI Secretary Hon. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., agreed with Dr. Guevara. He emphasized that the industries are producing more jobs for the people.

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 DTI Secretary Hon. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr., delivers his keynote address to the delegates of the forum.

DOST Secretary Hon. Mario G. Montejo, in his keynote speech, reminded everyone that the vision of DOST is to create innovations in an environment which attract investors. He also compared Philippines to other neighboring countries like Taiwan and China in terms of workers’ salary and cost of equipment in the industry. According to him, Philippines has the lowest salary among the three countries while spending a lot of money for the equipment.

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DOST Secretary Hon. Mario G. Montejo discussing DOST’s strategy to attract investors which is to create innovations and an innovative environment.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director, Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, on the other hand, talked about the visioned impact of research and development in the country. He believed that R&D can help increase the country’s number of job opportunities. He also cited that studies abroad say that there will be an increase in market value when investing to R&D. Aside from this, he also introduced the innovations that are being developed in DOST. These technologies are of great help in improving the quality of the products of the different industries here in the Philippines particularly in food, textile, and electronics.

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DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director, Dr. Carlos Primo C. David introduced the different technologies that are being developed in DOST

Regional Director Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano informed the delegates on the status of OneLab which is a One Stop Shop Laboratory Services for Global Competitiveness. OneLab is a project of DOST which aims to create a network for laboratories to prevent transporting the samples.

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Regional Director Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano updated the delegates on the status of OneLab

After the talks, the delegates were able to explore the DOST centers and facilities through a tour.  They have visited  the ITDI’s NanoLab, Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL), Food Innovation Center, and Packaging Center, MIRDC’s Die and Mold Solution Center, PTRI’s Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles, and the Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC).

DOST-PCIEERD set up a booth during the event featuring Future Flavors. Future Flavors is a collection products of the technologies developed and funded by DOST. It  showcases a variety of food products produced by the DOST Food Innovation Centers (FICs) from the different regions in the Philippines using DOST-developed food processing equipment – vacuum packaging machine, water retort, vacuum fryer, spray dryer, and freeze dryer. Noted advantages of food processing include greater food consistency, longer shelf life, removal of toxins, reduction of food borne diseases and cheaper food.

The event ended with an open forum where ask questions to the facility managers.

By: Charmaine Baisa, Jahn Patrice Rington and Ira Dominique Guerrero

Philippines’ First Microsatellite Diwata-1 Successfully Captures Images During its Initial Testing Phase

The Philippines’ first microsatellite, DIWATA-1, was successfully released into orbit from the Japanese Experiment Module ‘Kibo’ on the International Space Station at 20:44 (JST) on April 27, 2016. The microsatellite was developed by Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Republic of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines Diliman under the DOST-funded research program, “Development of the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-MICROSAT)”.

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DIWATA-1 being released from ISS, taken by Tim Peake, Astronaut. (credit: JAXA/NASA)

When the first communication opportunity over Japan came at around 7:33 (JST) on April 28, we succeeded in the reception of radio signals from the satellite at the Tohoku University ground station (CRESST) and the state of the satellite was confirmed to be in good condition. Since April 29, we have been conducting initial checks on each component and evaluating the performance of the satellite’s onboard cameras and attitude control system.

DIWATA-1 has four onboard cameras for Earth observations, and multiple test images have been successfully taken and downloaded. 

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Picture 1a: An image of the Earth taken by the fish-eye monochrome wide-field camera (WFC) on DIWATA-1 captured at 02:55UT (11:55JST) on May 6, 2016. 

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Picture 1b:A cloud image taken by Japanese Meteorological Satellite“Himawari”

(A red circle indicates an approximate area of Picture 1a, added by the DIWATA-1 operation team)

Picture 1a shows a test image of the Earth taken by the fish-eye monochrome wide-field camera (WFC) onboard DIWATA-1 at 11:55 (JST) on May 6, 2016. Picture 1b showing similar cloud patterns, was taken by the Japanese Meteorological Satellite five minutes before the Diwata-1 image was taken.  The geostationary weather satellite, Himawari-8, confirms the cloud seen as part of a prevailing frontal system over the Pacific Ocean near Japan.

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Picture 2a: An image of the Tohoku area of Japan taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC) on board DIWATA-1, captured at 01:54UT (10:54JST) on May 9, 2016.

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Picture 2b:  A projection of the MFC image of Picture 2a on a geological map of Tohoku area, Japan.

Picture 2a shows an image of the Tohoku area of Japan, taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC) onboard DIWATA-1at 10:54 (JST) on May 9, 2016. Picture 2b shows a projection of the image on a geological map of the area. The satellite was moving over the Pacific Ocean and its attitude was manipulated to tilt in the direction of Sendai city. Sendai city is covered by clouds but Lake Tazawa and Oga peninsula are clearly visibleon the left side of the MFC test image. 

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Picture 3a: A test image of the province of Isabela in the island of Luzon, the Republic of Philippines, taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC), captured at 01:15UT (09:15PHT) on May 17, 2016

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Picture 3b:  A projection of the MFC image of Picture 3a on a geological map of Isabela, Philippines. 

Picture 3a shows an image of the province of Isabela in the island of Luzon, the Republic of Philippines, taken by the medium field-of-view color camera (MFC), captured at 9:15 (PHT) on May 17, 2016. The test image captures a portion of the coastal seaboard of Isabela province, which includes parts of the municipalities of Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan. Picture 3b shows a projection of the image on a geological map of the area. For this picture, the satellite was moving over the Luzon island and looked down at the target area vertically, with the pointing control toward the center of the Earth.

At this time, the satellite operation team is continuing the initial checks of the onboard components of the microsatellite, including the other cameras. The images acquired in this phase and included here are used to verify the functionality and characterize the performance of the onboard cameras and other relevant sub-systems.  After extensive testing and characterization, DIWATA-1 is targeted to enter normal operation phase by August 2016. In this phase, it will be set to capture images on a regular basis to support the science mission objectives, such as assessment of damages associated with disasters, surveyingagriculture, fisheries and forestry, and studying environmental changes in the Republic of the Philippines. 

● DIWATA-1

The development of DIWATA-1 took aproximatelyone year with the Republic of the Philippines financing alldevelopment costs. The satellite is equipped with imaging sensors of four different fields-of-view including a fish-eye lens camera and a telescope with a ground resolution of three meters.

It is expected to provide remote sensing information that help address the needs of the Philippines for assessment of damages associated with disasters, as well as studying agriculture, fishery, forestry and changes in the environment.

The onboard liquid crystal multispectral camera is an improved version of the one aboard the RISING-2 satellite, which was developed by Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities and launched in 2014. It is capable of taking images at 590 spectral bands, which is on par with cameras aboard large satellites, and can thus pave the way for the next generation, low cost yet high precision space applications.

  • Launch and orbit of DIWATA-1

DIWATA-1 took advantage of a charged launch opportunity provided by JAXA. Firstly, it was delivered to the ISS by the ‘Cygnus’ spacecraft launched from the United States on March 23, 2016. Secondly, it was released from the ISS ‘Kibou’ module on April 27 into outer space. Currently, it is in orbit with an altitude of approximately 400 km. Its orbital lifetime is expected to be around one and a half years. It will re-enter the atmosphere after that.

● The ground station and Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility

During the initial operation of DIWATA-1, the up-link of commands (UHF band) and the downlink of telemetry data (S-band) are being conducted at the Tohoku University station (CRESST). For the regular long-term operation, a ground control station with high-speed data reception in X-band is being set up in the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) of the Republic of the Philippines. In addition, a Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility (MRIF) is currently being established in the University of the Philippines Diliman as a hub for inter-disciplinary research and development activities in space technology in the Philippines.

Contact:

Project Overview, Equipment Development and Data Use

Professor Yukihiro Takahashi

Hokkaido University Graduate School of Science  

Tel: 011-706-9244  

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DIWATA-1 Satellite Development and Operation

Professor Kazuya Yoshida

Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering   

Tel: 022-795-6992  

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PHL-MICROSAT Program and Microsatellite Research and Instructional Facility (MRIF)

Professor Joel S. Marciano Jr., Program Leader

University of the Philippines Diliman / Advanced Science and Technology Institute   

Tel:+63-2-925-2958

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, Executive Director

Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development

Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD)          

Tel:+63-2- 837-0071