Advances in science & technology puts 4th PH satellite in space

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    Maya-2 was launched last March 14, the country’s fourth satellite in space.

    The Filipino made cube satellite was launched at around 7:20 p.m. (Manila time) from the from the International Space Station (ISS).

    The milestone in local space technology happened less than a month after the cubesat, so-called because it has the dimensions similar to a balikbayan box, was launched to the ISS from earth aboard the Cygnus NG-15 rocket on February 21, together with CubeSats Tsuru (Japan) and GuaraniSat-1 (Paraguay).

    Maya-2 can remotely collect data and capture images and videos. Its 1.3,-kg frame is also equipped with an amateur radio Automatic Packet Reporting System Message Digipeater; solar cells for power needs: and a Latchup electronic chip.

    “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 Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena.

    Maya-2, designed by Filipino engineers studying at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) Japan, was developed under the 4th Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite (BIRDS-4) project at Kyutech.

    The three Filipino engineers behind Maya-2 are Izrael Zenar Casople Bautista (project manager), a graduate of BS Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of the Philippines Diliman; Mark Angelo Cabrera Purio (Camera Mission Back Plane Board Design and Planning), a graduate of BS Electronics and Communications Engineering from Batangas State University; and Marloun Pelayon Sejera (Communication System Automatic Packet Reporting System-Digipeater Mission), a graduate of BS Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology.

    The primary purpose of the BIRDS project is to demonstrate space tech knowhow and will be used as an educational platform.

    It will tap satellite technology for benefits that far outweigh the cost, including applications in agriculture, forest cover and natural resources inventory, weather forecasting and disaster damage assessment and monitoring, among others, he said.

    The images captured by the cube satellites and the information generated can be a strong basis for policy recommendations, project implementation and decision-making that will benefit society, Dela Pena said.

    The Filipino engineers were sent to Kyutech by the DOST’s Science Education Institute (SEI) to pursue their doctoral degrees as part of a scholarship program in cooperation with the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project or the STAMINA4Space Program.