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University of the Philippines launches Lab on space technology

Photo Credit: University of the Philippines Diliman

The Philippines can now build its own satellites with the University Laboratory for Small Satellites and Space Engineering Systems (ULYS3ES) Building at the University of the Philippines’ College of Engineering (COE) Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute.

According to a recent press release, ULYS3ES is a pioneering academic hub for research, development and instruction innovations in Philippine space technology.

It will house facilities and activities of small satellites, from planning to construction, under the Sustained Support for Local Space Technology & Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program, the successor to the PHL-Microsat Program.

ULYS3ES

The laboratory is made up of two buildings: ULYS3ES-1 and ULYS3ES-2.

  1. ULYS3ES-1

This building has five floors and houses office and research spaces for researchers under the STAMINA4Space Program.

It has functional testing of small satellite components and integrated systems, “clean booths” for small satellite assembly and a thermal-vacuum chamber for space environment testing of nanosatellites.

  1. ULYS3ES-2

This building is located behind ULYS3ES-1. It is home to two major facilities that can simulate the conditions, which the equipment or the satellites will encounter.

The first facility is a full anechoic chamber (FAC), a facility to measure antenna radiation patterns.

The first of its kind in the Philippines, the chamber is electromagnetically-shielded. This means that radio signals such as those emitted by cellular towers and TV stations cannot penetrate inside.

Researchers can test the satellite antennas, which are crucial to transmitting the data it collects to the ground-receiving stations in the Philippines, here.

The second facility is the temperature and humidity test chamber.

This facility allows things like temperature, humidity and pressure to be controlled in a way that can mimic the conditions that products/satellites might reasonably experience in their eventual working environment.

Other uses

DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) Acting Director Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. shared that ULYS3ES will also serve as home base for all the scholars and students that PHL-Microsat sent abroad for training so they can use their expertise for the Philippines.

Similar to Odysseus, who wanted so much to come home and toiled for 10 years after fighting the Trojan War, the scholars sent abroad yearn for home as well.

They want to come home to reunite with family as well as to find a home for the application of their training and hard work. That academic home is ULYS3ES.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara said aside from the aerospace industry the Philippine semiconductor industry also benefits from the facilities and expertise of ULYS3ES.

FACs can be used in the testing and development of parts such as antennae that can be used in cellular phones or remote-controlled devices.

OpenGov Asia recently reported on The Philippines signs into law the Philippine Space Act. The Philippine Space Act enables the Philippines to establish it own national space agency.

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) is created, under the Act, to be the country’s official representation in the international space community for establishing cooperation agreements and linkages on space development.

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