The Philippine government is developing its first satellite, and its receiving station, to be launched in space in partnership with Japanese institutions Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. These two Japanese universities launched last May 2014 an observation satellite, Rising-2, through an H-2A rocket.

The Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-Satellite program will use PhP840 million with Japanese universities shouldering the PhP515.92 million. The program aims to provide the country with real-time geo-spatial data and enhanced weather-prediction capabilities.

According to Japanese Asahi Daily, the first Philippine-made micro satellite is going to be an updated version of Rising-2. It will be 55 centimeters long, 35 cm wide and 55 cm high, weighing some 50 kilograms with four cameras. PHL-Microsat-1, nicknamed as Diwata, will be launched within 2016 to 2017.

Diwata will be delivered at Japan’s science module named Kibo at the International Space Station, largest artificial body in orbit, with the help of Japan Space Exploration Agency before deploying it to space. Diwata’s receiving station, Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO), will be based at Subic.

Diwata can also examine the destruction caused on land by typhoons and rainstorms with an accuracy of up to five meters. It can also be useful in agriculture, forest cover monitoring and national security.

PHL-Microsat-2 is also in the pipeline, however, detailed specification and its nickname are yet to be announced.