Fostering an Ecosystem for Space Science and Technology
Applications in the Philippines
This presentation covers the activities of the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnership (STEP-UP) Project under the Space Technology & Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Philippines. Launched in the second quarter of 2018 as a successor of the PHL-Microsat Program, the STAMINA4Space focuses on further developing the local expertise in space science and technology applications (SSTA) to spur the growth of high-value industries and to address the country’s needs for scientific earth observation data for various applications. Specifically, the STEP-UP Project focuses on capacitating more sectors of society in the field of SSTA through engagements with different universities, industries, and government agencies. The STEP-UP Project undertakes the establishment of a university consortium on SSTA which will serve as a platform for nationwide and global instruction and research collaboration. Through the STEP-UP Project, the Philippines has established the local chapter of the University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) in June 2019. As initial activities under the consortium, the STEP-UP Project will develop and provide Amateur Radio Satellite Station (ARSS) kits to selected university partners to enable them to track and communicate with orbiting amateur satellites. The STEP-UP Project also opened a graduate track on nanosatellite engineering patterned after the BIRDS Project of the Kyushu Institute of Technology, which involves development and launch of 1U CubeSats based on the BIRDS-2S Bus. Through these activities, the STEP-UP Project envisions to expand the pool of local scientists and engineers that are capable not only of undertaking advanced studies in the field of SSTA, but can also contribute in providing solutions to the country’s needs, thereby strengthening the foundation of a space ecosystem in the Philippines.
Mary Ann Constante is a research associate and the lead engineer of the Space Science and Technology Proliferation Through University Partnerships (STEP-UP) Project under the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program in the Philippines. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and her Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of the Philippines (UP). She worked under the PHL-Microsat Program, the predecessor of the STAMINA4Space Program, and was part of the Amateur Radio Payload Development Team for Diwata-2 and the Ground Sensor Terminal Development Team for BIRDS-2’s remote data collection system. She also assisted in developing courses and materials on space technology in the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute. In the past, she worked as a lecturer under the same institute and led one of the engineering teams for a government-funded research project on slope monitoring and change detection through sensor nodes. She also worked as a developer for a cross-platform software applications development company.