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The inauguration was led by Dr. Carlos Primo David, PCIEERD Executive Director (3rd from left) and Mr. Carlos Jose P. Gatmaitan, the President and CEO of PNOC Renewable Corp (4th from left). Also in photo are (from left): Engr. Nonilo Peña, Chief of Energy and Utilities Systems Technology Development Division, Engr. Raul Sabularse, Deputy Executive Director, Dir. Ralph Pastor A. Salazar, Director, PNOC-Exploration Corp.

 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) officially inaugurated the 100 kW solar PhotoVoltaic (PV) rooftop on January 22, 2015.

The project is in line with the government’s goal to promote the use of renewable energy resources like solar power. DOST-PCIEERD partnered with PNOC RC where a 100 kW solar PV was installed at the rooftop of the Science Heritage Building, DOST Complex, Bicutan, Taguig City. The building is occupied by three DOST attached agencies, DOST-PCIEERD, DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI), and DOST-National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

Currently, the Science Heritage Building consumes around 1,700kWh of electricity per day. The newly installed solar PV system is said to potentially reduce about 10% of the power supplied by MERALCO. Occupying almost 600 square meters of rooftop area of the building, a total of 378 solar panels rated at 270 watts each were installed. The solar PV is estimated to generate daily average of 170 kWh per day for the whole year. 

The PNOC RC has a service contract with the DOST to operate and maintain the solar PV system for 15 years. Throughout this time, the electricity generated from the solar PV will cost only PhP 9.50/kWh flat rate. The solar PV system will be then be transferred to the DOST after the service contract of 15 years. (Jachin Jane Aberilla)

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Solar panels rated at 270 watts each installed at the rooftop of Science Heritage Building

 

January 13, 2016 marked a milestone in the country’s bid to develop its space program with DIWATA, the first all-Filipino assembled microsatellite. DIWATA was turned over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to prepare its launch to space in April. With DIWATA, comes the Filipino dream to have its own Philippine Space Agency. 

 

Officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), UP Diliman, Tohoku University (TU), and Hokkaido University (HU) will be doing the handover at 10am today following the completion of the assembly and testing of the 50-kg Philippine Earth Observation Microsatellite set to be released into space from the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2016.

 

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The Philippine Microsatellite Program


Recognizing the advantages of using satellite-based remote sensing, the government invested in the construction and launching of the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite, under the PHL-MICROSAT or DIWATA Program with a total budget of P800 million for 3 years. DIWATA is the country’s first micro-satellite designed, developed and assembled by Filipino researchers and engineers under the guidance of Japanese experts in Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities. It is geared to provide real-time images for disaster risk management and other applications.


Seven (7) engineering students from the University of the Philippines and two (2) science researchers from DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) were sent to Tohoku and Hokkaido universities in Japan as part of the PHL-MICROSAT program to work on the microsatellite bus system and payload design while pursuing advanced degrees.


The Bus Development Team worked on the design, implementation and testing of various structural, mechanical and electrical aspects of the microsatellite bus. The electrical subsystems, in particular, include the power supply, computing and communication blocks, software programming, attitude control and the science payload interface or handling unit.


The Payload and Mission Design Team on the other hand, contributed to the science mission analysis and objectives that lead to the specifications of the payload sensors and instruments. The team studied the technical specifications of the payload instruments towards proper testing and calibration of its outputs. It is also engaged in the processing of the raw data from the sensors towards valuable high-level end products or images. Both teams are also involved in understanding the design and operational details of the ground station for controlling the microsatellite and for receiving its data.

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 The Tohoku Team: (from left) Julian Marvick Oliveros, Ariston N. Gonzales, Brian Paler (ASTI), John Leur Labrador, Gerwin Guba (ASTI) and Juan Paolo Espiritu.

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The Hokkaido Team: (from left) Japanese expert Mr. Tetsuro Ishida, UP Engineering students Kaye Kristine Vergel, Delburg Mitchao, Benjamin Magallon. Also in photo are Dr. Carlos Primo C. David , Executive Director, PCIEERD, the DOST monitoring agency of the Microsat Project, Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, PHL-MICROSAT Program Leader, PHL-Microsat Program, and also Japanese consultants Prof. Yukihiro Takahashi and and Dr. Junichi Kurihara.

 

These efforts resulted to the development and integration of the bus system with its payload instruments into a microsatellite, now known as "Diwata". The microsatellite was subjected to different parametric and functionality tests, including shock and vibration, off-gas, fit-check and post-vibration electrical tests. The final assembly and the final vibration test on Diwata were done last December 2015.

 

Within the 3-year program is the development of the second microsatellite or DIWATA 2 to be launched in 2017.
The PHL-MICROSAT team also intends to develop course and training materials on small satellite technology design and testing, which are proposed to be incorporated into science and engineering undergraduate and postgraduate elective courses as well as for local industry short seminars. A microsatellite simulator and testbed, antenna design and testing facility and amateur radio satellite station are also currently being set up as part of the establishment of the local Microsatellite Research and Instructional facility within UP Diliman.

For the rest of the PHL-MICROSAT team working at UP Diliman, continuing activities are focused on the development of the Ground Receiving Station (GRS) that will allow space borne images to be transmitted to earth for use in various scientific and civilian applications. It can also be used to control and transmit commands from the ground to the microsatellite to carry out is mission effectively.

 

The benefits of having our own satellite

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DIWATA-1 is a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite set to fly 400km above the earth. It serves as a training platform and pave the way for the Filipino team to further develop their skills in space technology.


But more than this, the potential uses of Diwata’s images include improved weather detection and forecasts, disaster risk management, detecting agricultural growth patterns, monitoring of the forest cover, mining, protection of cultural and historical sites, and the territorial borders of the Philippines Through its sensor, Diwata will be sending vital images and data back to Philippine Earth Data Resources and Observation (PEDRO) Center which was set up to receive data from the satellite.

 

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DIWATA 1 is equipped with a High Precision Telescope (HPT) that can determine the extent of damages from disasters, like typhoons and volcanic eruptions. It can also monitor changes in cultural and natural heritage sites, like the Mount Apo or Mayon Volcano.

 

Its Spaceborne Multispectral Imager with LCTF will be able to monitor changes in vegetation and monitor oceans productivity.

 

It also carries a Wide Field Camera that will help scientists and weather forecasters tp better observe cloud patterns and more accurately predict weather disturbances. Its Middle Field Camera assists in determining the locations of images captured using the HPT and SMI.

 

The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the DOST is the monitoring agency of the PHL-Microsat Program. (Maria Elena A. Talingdan, DOST-PCIEERD)
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The Department of Science and Technology, as one of the partners in the recently held SlingshotMNL 2015, conducted a pitching event featuring DOST supported researchers and start up teams who pitched their ideas to a group of angel investors, founders and fellow entrepreneurs last July 6, 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City. 

Tagged as DOST Tech Push 2015: Innovations for Change, DOST’s pitching event was organized by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development in collaboration with 1000 Angels’ Founder and COO, Ms. Nicole Paterno, and Dr. Luis Sison of UP Enterprise. It is a segment of the SlingshotMNL, the official start up event for APEC Philippines 2015. Entrepreneurs, investors, executives, policy makers, and people from the academe and the media attended the said event.

 

The Chemical Sensors for Mine Site Monitoring Program demonstrated its capabilities and operation of its fully tested and field-deployable prototype sensor system during its program showcase on 15 January 2016 at the Ateneo De Manila University. The Program is a two-year program, funded and monitored by DOST-PCIEERD, which aims to develop local sensor tools that will allow real-time monitoring of the status of the environment in the mine site area. The Program has developed the following senso

1) A Multi-Elemental Analysis of Soils Samples using Lasers implemented by the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines-Diliman;
2) An Optical Sensor for Determination of Copper and Zinc in Ambient Water also by the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines-Diliman;
3) A Mercury Sensor for Air Monitoring by the Department of Chemistry, University of Santo Tomas;
4) A Lateral Flow Strip Biosensor for Mercury (II) Detection, an Automated Water Quality Monitoring and Water Sampler for Test Strips and a Mobile Phone Control Unit by the various departments of the School of Science and Engineering of the Ateneo De Manila University; and
5) A Cloud-based Data Integration & Visualization of Sensor Output by the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science of the Ateneo De Manila University.

Dr. Amelia P. Guevara, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development and Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director were present in the said showcase to show their support to the program’s initiatives.

 

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In its resolve to recognize the completed research works of Filipino scientists, researchers and engineers in the industry, energy, emerging technology and special concerns like climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and management and environment, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development institutionalized its Search for Outstanding R&D. The search was announced last year during the council’s anniversary celebration in June. To encourage researchers to present their research works, PCIEERD offered a prize of P500,000 for each category, and “winner–take-all” scheme to emphasize the objective of awarding outstanding research.

A total of 45 entries were received for the four categories which were narrowed down to 3-5 finalists per category during the research work presentations which were conducted from March to June 2015.