Filipino researchers top space mission idea contest in Japan

  • Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science Technology Institute and University of the Philippines-Diliman bagged the top prize in the Space Mission Idea Contest in Japan last December
  • They fielded in their winning project that aims to measure and detect areas that are experiencing lack of telecommunication and broadcast services to best other ideas from different countries
  • It was the first time the Philippines participated in the contest

A team of Filipino researchers had silently brought honor to the country after bagging the top prize at a space mission idea contest in Japan.

Image by DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute via Facebook

Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science Technology Institute and University of the Philippines-Diliman topped the Space Mission Idea Contest at the 7th University Space Engineering Consortium Meeting in Japan in December and bested other competing topics from different countries.

In its debut in international contest, the Philippine team bagged the first prize 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, a report said.

The winning project aims to measure and detect areas that are experiencing lack of telecommunication and broadcast services. The data processed by the SMoSIS will “determine unserved and under-served areas, anomalies, including the disruption and subsequent recovery of wireless technology services during disasters.”

Going into the competition, the researchers had a mindset that whether they win or lose, they will still pursue the research.

Image by DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute via Facebook

Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., who was one of the researchers, said they only wanted to maintain the fun in explaining their idea to a big audience; stating 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,” 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,” Marciano said.

The other authors of the research, according to a report, are Mar De Guzman, Calvin Artemies Hilario, and Genedyn Mendoza.