By:Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will soon install a ground satellite receiving station in Dumangas, Iloilo to capture data from the country’s satellites.
In a press conference Thursday, Dr. Enrique C. Paringit, Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology, Research and Development (PCIEERD), said the new facility will increase the capacity and coverage of the data captured from the satellite.
“This facility will enable the download of data that is captured by the satellites that we launched and some of the satellites that we are subscribing to,” he said.
According to Paringit, they have installed ground receiving stations in Manila and another one targeted at Davao but they want a much strategic location to cover a greater part of the country.
“We have ground receiving stations installed in Manila but for better coverage, we would like to install better facility outside of course NCR. There’s one already for Davao but we need also something strategic so we thought it would be best to place it somewhere in the center and essentially those are the features that Dumangas was most fitting, that’s why it was selected for that purpose,” he explained.
By increasing the number of stations, Paringit said it would allow more opportunities to download the data as the satellites pass around eight minutes in each receiving station.
“Habang dumadaan yung satellite, yung ability mo to communicate is around eight minutes so that you can download the data once it passes so the more receiving stations that you have, more opportunities for us to capture the data as it passes. That’s like doubling the data,” he said.
Once the two other stations in Davao and Metro Manila will malfunction due to unforeseen events or phenomenon, the other receiving station will be the one left to download and fetch the needed data.
As of now, Paringit said they are currently doing site inspections on the area but they hope to start its installation after a year.
“We don’t have a timeline yet. Visits are still being done to assess the specific place but the installation will be done maybe a period of a year including the commissioning and actual use of the facility,” he said.
He said that the facility would include a moving satellite receiving dish that is about 3.6 meters in diameter.
Currently, the Philippine Earth Data Resource Observation System (PEDRO) ground receiving station downloads the data and images from the country’s satellites.
The Philippines have two microsatellites namely, Diwata 1 and Diwata 2 and a communication satellite named Maya-1.