The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) on Wednesday, June 9, announced that they are gearing up for the “bigger Earth observation satellite” that can capture “operational-quality images of approximately 100,000 square kilometers of land area daily.”
The satellite will be 130 kilograms in weight, which is heavier than the 50 kilograms DIWATA-1 and 56-kilogram DIWATA-2 microsatellites. This will make it the biggest Philippine satellite to date.
The Philippines’ biggest satellite yet is called Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment (MULA) and co-designed by British company Surrey Space Technology Limited (SSTL) under the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Satellite and Know-how Transfer for the Philippines (ASP) Project.
With SSTL’s camera, MULA will be able to capture higher resolution images and cover larger land areas than previous Philippine satellites. These higher-quality images can be used for a variety of purposes, including disaster management, land mapping, crop monitoring, and forestry management, to name a few.
“With its capability to capture higher resolution images, we will be able to better monitor terrestrial ecosystems, as well as our land and marine resources to ensure both agricultural productivity and environmental integrity. In addition, we will also be able to assess environmental conditions to be more proactive in disaster management and mitigation,” said PhilSA’s deputy director-general Gay Jane Perez.
The satellite will also include an Automatic Identification System and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, which can be used to detect and track ships and aircraft.