Sunday, February 03, 2008

Philippines eyes first monitoring satellite

Filipino experts in space technology have proposed the development of the country’s own “earth observing satellite” that will help people prepare for natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

Twenty-five government and private agencies recently signed a resolution, declaring that the earth observing satellite would provide real-time data crucial in disaster monitoring and weather forecasting in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

Reynaldo Ebora, executive director of the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development, of the DOST, said “an earth observation system will be very beneficial to the country.”

“The Philippines is perennially affected by natural disasters, making timely, synoptic space-based information a necessity,” Ebora said.

DOST’s space technology expert Dr. Jose Edgardo Aban said “having our own earth observation satellite would make the Philippines self-sufficient in terms of satellite image acquisition.”

The DOST explained that “an earth observation satellite, which is polar-orbiting and low-flying, monitors the earth’s land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans.”

“The satellite can track environmental changes in areas it is assigned,” the DOST said. “Through the satellite, processes that the earth undergoes, be it biological, ecological, climatological, or geological, can be monitored and better understood. This enables people, especially leaders and experts, to make more informed decisions that affect lives, the environment, and the economy.”

“Aside from enabling weather forecast and disease outbreak prediction, an earth observation system could effectively monitor forest fires, predict the effect of air quality on people, provide farmers with immediate forecast to help maximize agricultural yields, and calculate the pattern of typhoons and storms,” the DOST said.



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