Responding to natural disasters through new knowledge and technologies was the core issue tackled in a workshop conducted recently at Marco Polo Hotel, Pasig City.  

Knowledge and new technologies featured in the workshop include the use of space infrastructure, flood disaster prevention, the use of Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) and very small satellite.

The Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) participated in the workshop along with other DOST agencies and private concerned individuals.

The workshop aims to showcase technologies in using micro-satellites and captured satellite images for research and science application for various industry sectors, government agencies, academe, and other stakeholders.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Research Institution Space Mission Center of Hokkaido University, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, and PASCO presented their technologies to the participants.

JAXA, an incorporated administrative agency involved in planning and implementation of individual policy related to basic planning of space policies, presented its satellites utilization. Currently, the agency is involved in positioning satellites, remote sensing satellites, communication, broadcast satellites, and space launch vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Research Institution Space Mission Center of Hokkaido University discussed the advantages of micro-satellites through the topic, “Revolutionary Disaster Management with Micro-Satellite Constellation Promoted by International Consortium.” According to Yukihiro Takahashi, micro-satellites, aside from being cheaper and lighter, can carry advanced sensors that can be used in agriculture, forestry, and disaster prediction, among others. The only drawback is that the micro-satellite can be used from only three to eight years.

The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, on the other hand, presented the GEONET as a Fundamental Infrastructure for Positioning, Surveying, Mapping, and Geospatial Information. GEONET or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Earth Observation Network System is one of the most successful GNSS-CORS in the world and is benefited by the private and academic sectors.

Lastly, PASCO, a company involved in processing geospatial information, presented its projects in the country. Most recent of these projects is the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)- funded project on the analysis of the damage brought upon by typhoon Yolanda. PASCO’s other projects include the forest information and management study in Cagayan Valley, earthquake impact reduction study for Metro Manila, and the mapping for Ilog-Hilabangan river basin flood control study, among others. (Rose Anne K Mananghaya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service) (Thru Estrella Gallardo,PSCiJournMegamanila)