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SIKAP+ to Enhance Philippine Space Research in Asia

SIKAP+, or Space Infrastructure, Know-How, and Applications Acceleration through Promotion and Training, is a project led by the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) that intends to strengthen scientific cooperation between the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite or BIRDS project and the Asian Microsatellite Consortium (AMC)

The project aims also to expand cooperation with new non-member nations in the region by transferring knowledge and exchanging best practices among operators of satellite ground receiving stations and amateur radio satellites, Earth observation and remote sensing practitioners, and new and emerging space players.

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.

– Gay Jane P. Perez, Deputy Director-General, PhilSA

Perez added that the goal of SIKAP+ will hopefully be realised because of this scientific collaboration. The SIKAP+ project is made possible by PhilSA’s successful application for a grant from the European Union-funded Trans-Eurasia Information Network Programme of the Asi@connect Project.

The Asi@Connect Project is intended to assist developing Asian countries in becoming self-sufficient in both network and ICT-related fields. It focuses on R&D networks and communities by providing a dedicated regional high capacity and high-quality internet network.

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

There 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, and Space Situational Awareness.

Furthermore, the activities of the SIKAP+ Project are meant to work with and use the domestic and international networks of the Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network (PREGINET) to help build people’s skills and make sure that content gets to all the project’s partners smoothly.

With the help of PREGINET’s connections between academic, government, and research institutions and the SIKAP+ Project’s customised training sessions, trainers and trainees will be able to find each other quickly and easily. This will make sure that the activities go well and that the people who should learn from them can use what they’ve learned. In the end, National Research and Education Networks will be used more effectively because of how well the participants work together (NRENs).

SIKAP+ additionally supports the STAMINA4Space Program’s Ground Receiving and Science Product Development (GRASPED) and Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) components.

These programmes manage the data processing, distribution, and operation of the ground facilities for the Diwata-2, Maya-2, Maya-3, and Maya-4 (small satellites in the Philippines). These initiatives also interface with the AMC for the sharing of satellite data and ground infrastructure and the BIRDS Network for the creation and operation of nanosatellites, respectively.

International Cooperation is one of the key development areas of PhilSA, in which space is used to create and strengthen international relationships. PhilSA pledges to establish relationships beyond the SIKAP+ Project using its institutionalised resources.

The project is to create a community of new entrants and existing space actors in the region by increasing awareness of the benefits of space technology for sustainable development, considering the various levels of investment in each nation.

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