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Researchers from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) convert plant-based raw material and its waste by-products into valuable and renewable polyols and polyurethanes (PU) for commercial production of coatings, insulation, and packing foam materials.

This sophisticated green technology of Dr. Arnold A. Lubguban and his team at MSU-IIT’s BioProducts Research Laboratories (BPRL), in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), uses renewable feedstock to produce highly functional polyols and PU-based bioproducts for commercial applications such as rigid insulation foams, semi-flexible packaging foam materials, and waterborne anti-corrosive coatings. The partner industries include Chemrez Technologies, Inc. and Nuevochem Specialties, Inc.

“One of our innovations provides baseline data and methods for the commercialization of biomass-based polyols (Phase 1) and polyurethane foam insulation sheets (Phase 2) through an environmentally friendly process that is also characterized by reduced production costs because the raw materials are readily available by-products or waste products,” said Lubguban.

PCIEERD executive director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit underscored our pivotal role of becoming a good corporate neighbor and a responsible steward by providing innovative solutions that will preserve and sustain our natural resources for future generations.

“Our main goal is to fully harness the potentials of science, technology, and innovation and constantly improve what is essential to the lives of those we serve,” Paringit remarked. “We will constantly provide new opportunities and invest in more efficient and environmentally sustainable greener technologies to build a more livable community,” he continued.

This year the project team will focus on the pilot scaling and optimization of their bio-based polyols to about 40 liters for PU insulation, coatings and packing applications.

The “Production of Bio-Based Polyols and Polyurethanes for Industrial Applications,” is a 36-month program with two (2) project components that are aimed at developing bio-based polyols and PUs from renewable resources. For more information, please contact Dr. Arnold A. Lubguban at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or check out their Facebook page (https://web.facebook.com/BPRL.msuiit).

P-POTEKA automated weather systems at E. Library Technological College Pateros. (Photo from DOST-ASTI)

 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have installed 40 lightning-detecting automated weather stations (AWS) all over Metro Manila and in select provide research data to determine the relationship of lightning strikes and torrential rainfall to put together a forecast method to predict the weather at a shorter time period.

The lightning detection AWS called P-POTEKA and its variation V-POTEKA were installed under the project “Understanding Lightning and Thunderstorms for Extreme Weather Monitoring and Information Sharing” (ULAT), implemented by the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) with co-implementing partners from the DOST-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) and UP-Institute of Environment Science and Meteorology (UP-IESM).

The project is a collaboration between DOST-ASTI and Hokkaido University (HU) as an official development assisted (ODA) project with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) Program. The research partnership aims to foster educational exchange, develop local expertise, and aid in establishing the infrastructure for the research. 

“In the case of the Philippines, where numerous year-round thunderstorms are experienced, the integration of lightning data has the potential to provide short-term forecasts, spur meteorological studies, and benefit the community in creating disaster response strategies,” says Dr. Enrico Paringit, PCIEERD Executive Director. 

 

The orange icons are the 34 active P-POTEKA stations, black icons are failed sites for deployment, and the green icons represent locations which passed the noise test. The station at Brgy. Ugong was pulled-out due to unexpected site development and renovation on the area.

 

The POTEKA is a system of sensors comprised of either a plate lightning sensor (P-POTEKA) or very low frequency (VLF) antenna (V-POTEKA), rain gauge tipping bucket and weather sensor. The weather data is received, analyzed, and processed as inputs to formulate “nowcasting” technique that may complement methods used by the DOST-PAGASA to predict weather conditions in a shorter time span.

Experts from DOST-PAGASA have initiated the assessment on station distribution in some parts of Metro Manila and its sensor exposure to optimize collection of weather data based on the World Meteorological World Organization (WMO) standard. This will ensure the information meets the standards for weather forecast.

 

Location of POTEKA stations that detected lightning occurrence on May 15, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Meanwhile, the UP-IESM delves deeper into the behavior of thunderclouds during harsh weather conditions using various weather collecting devices such cloud particle sondes, radiosondes, Diwata, and Himawari-8 satellites to characterize thundercloud during extreme weather conditions. Combining these studies will then be related to formulate the short-term forecast.

To date, the project has provided real-time readings from the stations that can be accessed at http://philsensors.asti.dost.gov.ph.

Photos can be accessed at https://pcieerd-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/beatricemarie_basi_pcieerd_dost_gov_ph/ErG2okmu2BtNjv3ly73ZAlgBdHn6HgqYXp2vElY-pQaACQ?e=n7wsRC

 

From applications in agriculture to the education sector, the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development launched on Thursday nine (9) new projects on artificial intelligence (AI) research and development aimed at spurring growth in this emerging industry in the Philippines.

In a virtual launch, DOST PCIEERD unveiled the AI projects to be undertaken by the DOST-Advanced Technology Science Institute (ASTI), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of the Philippines

Los Baños (UPLB), and Caraga State University (CarSU).

“AI is one of our priority areas as it truly can boost the country and usher us to the fourth industrial revolution. As a powerful agent for good, AI can disrupt traditional processes and provide solutions and opportunities that Filipinos can maximize,” said DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Parinigit.

Autonomous vehicles that help the society

The Autonomous Societally Inspired Mission Oriented Vehicles (ASIMOV) Program, composed of two component projects, will be implemented by DOST-ASTI and UPMin.

It will take on the challenge of developing AI-enhanced, mission-driven robots working autonomously or with humans to help address the society’s needs. In its initial phase, it will focus on laying the groundwork by developing and innovating these key functional modules of intelligent mobile robots: sensing, actuation, control, navigation, and communications.

UPMin will handle the Harmonized Aerial Watch and Knowledge-based Survey (HAWKS) Project, the aerial component of the ASIMOV program and will primarily conduct R&D towards the development of core technologies necessary for autonomous drone deployment. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be developed for easy monitoring, object detection, and mapping, with minimal human control.

While DOST-ASTI's is the Robot for Optimized and Autonomous Mission-Enhancement Response (ROAMER) Project. It will develop prototypes of unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that will help increase productivity of different industries in the country, especially agriculture. Techs under Project ROAMER are envisioned to monitor, survey, and map agricultural farms for better decision-making and management.

These robots will initially be tested in realistic emulated surroundings and eventually evaluated in actual environments. They will be used as learning platforms for building effective field-ready robots during the later phases of the ASIMOV Program.

AI for efficient processing of available big data

UPMin will also spearhead the Philippine Sky Artificial Intelligence Program (SkAI-Pinas). Its main research component is the Automated Labeling Machine – Large-Scale Initiative (ALaM-LSI), which will be conducted in partnership with the DOST-ASTI once again.

SkAI-Pinas aims to bridge the gap between the availability of massive remote sensing data in the country and address the lack of a sustainable technology-based framework that will facilitate their widespread processing systematically and effectively.

It is comprised of an AI knowledgebase, including experts, protocol, and an AI repository for models and labeled images to accelerate the workflows of remote   sensing applications and fill the gaps in past and present remote sensing projects.

Through the ALaM-LSI Project, AI-based techniques are planned to be utilized to enable the development and deployment of relevant applications and services for Filipinos.

Tremor sensors to monitor the structural health of infrastructures

DLSU intends to develop a low-cost, wireless structural health monitoring system with visualization through the Intelligent Structural Health Monitoring via Mesh of Tremor Sensors (meSHM) Project.

The system will be made up of less than 50 sensors, will utilize internet of things (IoT) technology and mesh networks, and can be installed in buildings, bridges, or metro rail systems. The system will be pilot tested in the cities of Biñan and Sta. Rosa, Laguna before large-scale deployment within cities in Metro Manila.

Once fully developed, the meSHM team will work on the commercialization of the system for it to be used by different infrastructure stakeholders such as real-property owners, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), local government units (LGUs), and city engineers.

This will pave the way for a more complete data collection and analysis, and lead to upgraded studies and more policies on disaster preparedness and prevention that involve vertical and horizontal structures in the different cities in the country.

Chatbot that monitors the health of students

Another project from DLSU is the Development of Multi-lingual Chatbot for Health Monitoring of Public-School Children Project. The team behind this will create a system that can interpret audio input and can converse with students using two major Philippine languages, Filipino and Bisaya.

To achieve this, they will develop speech and natural language processing models that can provide appropriate and intelligent responses in the form of questions or suggestions.

The information gathered by the healthcare chatbot will be extracted to update the health database of the students stored in the cloud. Health analytics and visualization of the collected data will also be provided for decision-making.

The pilot version of this chatbot will be deployed in public schools in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

Towed camera system for marine litter monitoring

To help protect the environment and reduce marine pollution, UPMin will develop a simple, cost-effective technology to monitor and quantify the marine litter in shallow coastal areas.

The UPMin will base their technology on an existing towed optical camera array system for deep sea monitoring that has undergone sea trials. They will redesign and improve this by adding sensors and cameras to be efficiently used in shallow coastal water surveys.

It will also have a built-in image processing and deep learning or machine learning capability that can identify marine litter, compute and the map area covered by litter and build models for predicting marine litter future scenarios.

Automated software for faster spectroscopy analysis

UPLB’s goal is to develop an automated software that accepts values from a standard Impedance Spectrometer and uses a machine learning algorithm to identify electrical, mass, and temperature parameters by looking into the time series plot and plot library. This also involves properly fitting a spectrum with sufficient parameters that minimizes common errors in existing numerical fittings.

The developed algorithm will be tested and deployed at UPLB’s Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Instrumentation Laboratory. The laboratory houses projects concerning materials development and testing.

The program will be integrated with a simple user interface that anyone can conveniently use. One does not need to be familiar with the specifics of the program, it can be treated like a black box. The user can just input the values or parameters that s/he intends using. The academe, particularly research, and industries involving electronics, semiconductors, food, medicine, and agriculture, are targeted to benefit from this project.

Intelligent system for traffic control and management

Using an IoT sensor network and deep learning, CarSU will design and develop an intelligent traffic control and management system. It will monitor traffic in a selected area by using various devices that can measure several physical traffic parameters like flow, density, volume, headway, waiting time, throughput, as well as pollution.

Furthermore, the base station will be established and equipped with intelligent behavior and direct policy search capabilities using reinforcement learning to automatically and efficiently manage traffic and to avoid congestion.

To make this possible, the CarSU team will design a road and vehicle traffic simulation with traffic lights based in Butuan City.

They will also develop and test a prototype of intelligent mobile traffic lights and will design web-based or mobile-based applications that enable easy access traffic conditions.

Paringit expressed optimism and confidence that these AI projects can prompt progress to the country.

“As a leader and partner in enabling innovations by harnessing emerging technologies, we recognize that these cutting-edge AI projects that will be implemented by government agencies and higher education institutions (HEIs) will be a huge leap for the Philippines as we deep dive into the AI industry and harness its full potential.  These projects are a testament of our shared goal of uplifting our nation by making innovation work for the Filipino people,” Paringit said. 
 
Filipino-made cube satellite, Maya-2
 

Maya-2, the Philippines’ second cube satellite, was successfully released into orbit by the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, 14 March 2021, along with Paraguay’s GuaraniSat-1 and Japan's Tsuru.

Developed under Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology’s 4th Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite (BIRDS-4) Project, these cube satellites were launched on February 21, 2021 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Station in Virginia, United States through the S.S. Katherine Johnson Cygnus spacecraft at 1:36 AM PST.

Maya-2 was designed and built by Filipino scholars assisted through the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project of the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program, with funding support from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“The successful launch of Maya-2 makes me feel proud. The accomplishment made possible by our young researchers and engineers should make us confident that we can do more in the area of space technology. I have high hopes that we, as a people, will be able to benefit more from developments in this area--all towards making the quality of life of our people better,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.

Maya-2 engineers Izrael Zenar Bautista, Mark Angelo Purio, and Marloun Sejera confirms that upon deployment of the CubeSat, they will immediately start carrying out the satellite’s missions.

 
Maya-2 engineers in Kyutech’s laboratory
 

At just 1.3 kg, Maya-2 has a camera that captures images and videos, an Automatic Packet Reporting System Message Digipeater (APRS-DP), attitude determination and control units for active attitude stabilization and control demonstrations, Perovskite solar cells, and a Latchup-detection chip. Gathered data from the demonstrated components will be used to evaluate these technologies for future space missions.

Further, it can collect data remotely through a store-and-forward mechanism and gather data for applications such as weather and infectious disease analysis through ground sensors. Maya-2 was developed and improved using the knowledge gained from developing its predecessor.

DOST and STAMINA4Space Program are looking forward to the continued expansion of the Philippines’ capabilities and innovations in the space technology applications sector with the development of more Filipino-made satellites. They have corroborated that Maya-3 and Maya-4 are targeted to be launched within 2021.

As the monitoring agency of the STAMINA4Space Program, DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is optimistic that these STA initiatives will bring positive change to the country.

"As a leader and preferred partner in enabling game-changing innovations in the emerging technology sectors, the successful release of Maya-2 into orbit is testament that Filipino scientists and engineers are capable of uplifting the lives of Filipinos through research and development (R&D)," said DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit.
 
 

10 March 2021 – The Philippines may soon expand its electronics testing market to the United States as independent communications regulation agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressed recognition over the testing capabilities of the Philippines’ Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC).

In an email, Jihad Hermes of the FCC informed EPDC that it recognizes the ISO 17025 accreditation it obtained from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation last September 2019.

The recognition allows the EPDC to perform compliance testing on equipment subject to the Commission's Declaration of Conformity (DOC) and Certification rules for Unintentional Radiators.

Mr. Peter Antonio B. Banzon, Chief Science Research Specialist at DOST-ASTI and Project Leader for EPDC commended its team and industry partners at the Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc. (EIAPI) for their hard work in making this achievement possible.

“We are very happy with this development as not only does it open up the EPDC to foreign clients of its testing services but more importantly, it opens up and lowers the barriers for local companies and innovators to enter the US market with our very own innovative products.  Expensive tests that used to be performed abroad can now be done much faster and more economically here in the Philippines”.

DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit lauded the recognition as it opens new opportunities for the facility especially in the international arena.

“We welcome this development and we hope more electronics companies here and abroad avail of the EPDC services.  As a leader and partner in enabling innovations, we encourage our industry partners to collaborate with us and come up with new opportunities in the country”.

The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system.

It also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries.

Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which improves international trade.

Mr. Earl Lawrence S. Qua, President of EIAPI, also congratulated the EPDC Team for attaining the accreditation.

“EIAPI is thrilled with the accreditation; it is a great validation of the hard work of the men and women at the EPDC who are offering certified world class services. This means that test results coming from EPDC will be recognized by the FCC.

 Thanks to the leadership of DOST Secretary Dela Peña, Undersecretary Guevara, and the support and collaboration of Dr. Paringit of DOST-PCIEERD and the staff of DOST-ASTI, these tools are now made available to every Filipino innovator. The EPDC provides services and the use of facilities that are normally only available to large companies. We hope the EPDC becomes a catalyst for the enablement of the Philippine Electronics Design and Manufacturing Industry to scale and to ensure that more Filipino designed products are successfully brought to market, locally and globally.

In addition to its PCB Design, Prototyping and Testing, The EPDC is in the process of expanding its prototyping capability to include a PCB wet processes lab.”

The Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc. (EIAPI), which manages the operations of EPDC, together with DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) hopes that this recognition from the FCC will help EPDC’s testing capabilities go beyond electronics production and drive for original design and development activities in the Philippines as well.

This is so that the facility can cater for the bigger market which is manufacturing and assembly of electronic products.

 

About EPDC

Inaugurated in July 2015, the Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC) is a world-class electronics testing facility designed to support the electronics industry by providing various technical support services to promote innovation and high value product development.

About EIAPI

The Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc. (EIAPI) was established in 1986 by a group of young Filipino entrepreneurs engaged in the electronics business to promote the development of the Philippine electronics industry with emphasis on locally developed products. The association acts as a liaison between its members and the government, the academe, and other industries in the country. EIAPI serves as the collective voice of its members, particularly in articulating common problems and concerns by bringing these to the attention of relevant parties, as well as helping in the formulation of government policies.

About DOST-ASTI

Established in 1987 by Executive Order No. 128, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that undertakes scientific research and development and technology transfer in the advanced fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), computing, electronics and their applications. The DOST-ASTI continues to dedicate itself to developing and delivering technology solutions to enable a productive, globally competitive, and resilient Filipino society.

About DOST-PCIEERD

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) is one of the sectoral planning councils of DOST that provides support to research and development in the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors.