Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, University of the Philippines, Diliman
981-8500 local 3945
Dr. Gay Perez
Current trends in space research and development agencies and industries gradually place greater emphasis on redducing the costs for the development and operations of the satellites in orbit. Spacecraft costs were primarily derived from the satellite operations. In order to decrease mission costs, it has become necessary to reduce operational costs, especially starting with the education and training of local engineers and researchers in the universities and colleges.
Through technical minimization that was unthinkable a few years ago, interest in micro-satellites has been increasing rapidly. The major advantage lies in the relatively fast and cheap development, which makes them a suitable platform for technology evaluation. Hence, they provide the ideal opportunity to test new systems in space within a short timeframe and low budget.
An archipelago such as the Philippines would benefit from a canopy-like coverage that such satellites can afford. Whether for remote sensing or telecommunications purposes, a satellite that is fully controlled by the government for educational, research and other services will enable flexibility and faster turnaround for scientific measurements and experimentation. In light of t regular typhhons and other natural calamities, providing on-demand and real-time access to remote sensing and high-resolution satellite imagery to facilitate risk management and disaster response fills a crucial void for the country.
The success of a microsatellite mission is also measured through the utilization and usefulness of the data it captures. Setting the science objectives at the early stage of the mission will ensure that the system (microsatellite) will be designed and engineered according to the requirements of end-users. This will also allow other members of the scientific community with relevant expertise to become member of the science team and contribute to the development of high quality satellite-derived products. The algorithms that will be used for product development will be tested using data from previous microsatellite missions. This, together with a collection of spectral signatures from various materials, will constitute the basis for data calibration and validation.