The Philippines is set to complete its Diwata-2 Cubesat and hand it over to Japan for launch later this year, according to a senior Filipino government official.
Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), told Filipino media that Diwata-2 will be launched by Japan on an H-IIA space launch vehicle later this year, but declined to specify a date.
Diwata-2 is a remote sensing satellite for environmental and meteorological monitoring, and replaces the 50-kilogram Diwata-1 satellite that was launched on 27 April, 2016.
A team of Filipino engineers was sent to Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities in Japan to be trained in satellite construction and built Diwata-1 there using Japanese components.
That same team is now nearing the completion of Diwata-2, said to be smaller, lighter, and more “cubic” than Diwata-1. Further, according to Guevara, Diwata-2 will feature Filipino-made components.
“This time, the microsatellite would carry something that was made here,” said Guevara.
“What’s good about about the Diwata-2 is that it carries more refined instruments, and it also has an amateur radio made in the Philippines,” she added.
Guevara also announced that DOST, along with the University of the Philippines, intends to open a microsatellite laboratory by the third quarter of 2018, and then build the first satellite to be indigenously built in the Philippines in 2019.
“Through this laboratory, we would be able to make our own microsatellite by next year,” said Guevara.
Guevara also implied that the microsatellite laboratory would be accessible by a range of users, not just academics.
“This would be open to everyone since it’s a national facility,” she said.