PhilSA launches SIKAP+, eyes expansion of space research and cooperation in Asia

Published June 6, 2022, 2:18 PM

by Dhel Nazario

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has launched the Space Infrastructure, Know-How, and Applications Acceleration through Promotion and Training project (SIKAP+) which seeks to enhance scientific cooperation in Asia.

Photo courtesy of PhilSA

In a statement, PhilSA stated that it specifically looks to boost the participation among the members of the Asian Microsatellite Consortium (AMC) the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite (BIRDS) project, and expand cooperation to new non-member nations in the region.

PhilSA said that this will be achieved through know-how transfer and sharing of best practices among operators of satellite ground receiving stations and amateur radio satellites, earth observation and remote sensing practitioners, and new and emerging actors in the space community.

In her welcome remarks, PhilSA Deputy Director General Gay Jane P. Perez underscored the crucial role of exchange of ideas and know-how, and sharing of best practices in cultivating a scientific culture:

“In line with PhilSA Inclusive SSTA Know-how, Utilization, Exchange, and Localization Activities or ISKUELA initiative, SIKAP+ envisions building a sustainable and capable Philippine space science and technology community by strengthening and expanding its space science research and cooperation in Asia. And through this scientific cooperation, it is with the highest hope that the purpose of SIKAP+ will be achieved,” she asaid.

The SIKAP+ project is made possible following PhilSA’s success in obtaining a €149,356.00 grant from the Trans-Eurasia Information Network Programme (TEIN*CC) of the [email protected] Project funded by the European Union. The [email protected] Project interconnects universities and research centers in 24 economies/countries across the region by providing high-speed internet connectivity for research and education.

Throughout 2022 up to the first quarter of 2023, PhilSA will lead and conduct activities together with the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP EEEI) to promote the exchange of know-how and best practices in space research, facilitate resource sharing on space scientific studies, and advance situational awareness and sustainability of outer space activities.

Space Mission Control and Operations Division Chief Ms. Shielo Muta said, among these activities will be workshops and webinars on Satellite Communications, Setup and Operations of an Amateur Ground Stations, Amateur Satellite Operations, Advanced Satellite Communications and Radio Regulations Procedure, Satellite Orbit Analysis and Tracking, Satellite Antenna Operations, Calibration and Maintenance Best Practices, Data Processing and Remote Sensing Operations as well as space situational awareness.

In his closing remarks, PhilSA Space Information and Infrastructure Bureau Director Dr. Ariel C. Blanco emphasized that international cooperation is key to the sustainability of space activities.

“International Cooperation is one of the Key Development Areas (KDA) of PhilSA, where space becomes an avenue to build and strengthen relations between nations. PhilSA, through its institutionalized resources, commits to forge partnerships beyond the SIKAP+ Project,” he said.

“The project envisions creating a community among new entrants and existing space actors in the region by raising awareness about the benefits of space technologies for sustainable development that recognizes the varying levels of investments in each country,” he added.