MANILA – Filipino researchers dominate space exploration as they win first prize in the sixth Space Mission Idea Contest (MIC6), besting research topics from different countries during the 7th University Space Engineering Consortium-Global (UNISEC-Global) Meeting
The researchers from DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) won first place in the IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (iSEEP) category for their entry “Spectrum Monitoring from Space with i-SEEP (SMoSiS) – Capturing and Mapping the Digital Divide from Space through Radio Frequency Spectrum Measurements.”
The MIC is an avenue for people interested in space research to introduce creative ideas on payloads for the International Space Station (ISS) platform. It also introduces new possibilities on space exploration research and technologies.
One of the researchers Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr., the newly conferred Director-General of the Philippine Space Agency, said that they were going to pursue the research whether they win or not, but their victory was a pleasant surprise and an added bonus for the whole team.
“Our expectation was ‘let’s just have fun explaining this idea to a big audience’ that this is not your typical science experiment. It’s an experiment for public good, illuminating the state of this infrastructure and connectivity in sharing it openly,” he added.
Placing first in the MIC6 served as one of the highlights for the country since this was the Philippines’ first participation to the said event. The authors of the research are Mar De Guzman, Calvin Artemies Hilario, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., and Genedyn Mendoza.
When asked about the projected uses of mapped data from radio frequency measurements, Dr. Marciano said, “It’s really putting this kind of information in people’s hands, we don’t have all the possible uses of the data. They might correlate it with something, but for us we want to correlate it with night lights, economic activity, household income… where are the unserved and underserved populations.”
“Spectrum Monitoring from Space with i-SEEP (SMoSiS)” aims to provide measurements of occupancy on earth to detect presence/lack of telecommunication and broadcast services. The processed SMoSiS spectrum data will help determine unserved and “under-served” areas, detection of anomalies, including the disruption and subsequent recovery of wireless technology services during disasters. SMoSiS also studies the utilization of the radio spectrum towards better planning, management and regulation of this vital resource in support of fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal -10
The team intends for SMoSiS to be the first step to having an “osmosis” of opportunities in the underprivileged sector. The international recognition of the Philippines’ achievement in a space mission-related contest serves as an opportunity to become more engaged in showcasing the abilities and potentials the country has in space technology. # (TN/JORELLE R. SAN JOSE-BONIFACIO, Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology)
Established in 1987 by Executive Order No. 128, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that undertakes scientific research and development and technology transfer in the advanced fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), computing, electronics and their applications. The DOST-ASTI continues to dedicate itself to developing and delivering technology solutions to enable a productive, globally competitive and resilient Filipino society.