DOST-ASTI upgrades Davao Ground Receiving Station to directly receive space-borne data from NovaSAR-1

Published February 25, 2021, 9:16 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippines’ Ground Receiving Station (GRS) in Davao is currently having its facelift to directly receive data from earth-observation NovaSAR-1 satellite in a bid to strengthen the country’s disaster response, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has disclosed.

The Davao Ground Receiving Station at the Civil Aviation Authority Philippines (CAAP) Transmitter Facility in Davao City. (DOST-ASTI / MANILA BULLETIN)

“DOST-ASTI (Advanced Science and Technology Institute) is currently upgrading its Davao Ground Receiving Station (DGRS) to directly receive space-borne data from NovaSAR-1 satellite,” DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said in a report.

“Direct reception of satellite data translates to faster availability of useful information making us more responsive to time-sensitive and critical events such as disaster response,” he said.

In 2019, the DOST-ASTI signed a capacity sharing agreement with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) for the country’s share of the data tasking and acquisition services of NovaSAR-1.

An innovative small S-Band radar satellite, NovaSAR-1 was designed and built by SSTL and was launched into a 580-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit in September 2018, the ASTI noted.

The Institute said the satellite has Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload by Airbus United Kingdom (UK) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) Receiver by Honeywell Aerospace.

“The earth-observation satellite has multiple features conducive for the Philippines’ atmospheric and climatic conditions,” it said.

NovaSAR-1 satellite’s SAR capability enables it to acquire earth observation data through cloud cover and detect marine structures such as marine vessels and aquaculture systems, ASTI explained.

The AIS Receiver allows the satellite to collect ship information across the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), it said.