How could space tech help protect one's territory?

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

March 10, 2022, 8:23 pm

<p>JAXA/NASA photo (<em>grabbed from Philippine Space Agency's Facebok page</em>)</p>

JAXA/NASA photo (grabbed from Philippine Space Agency's Facebok page)

MANILA – Countries around the globe are watching the war between Russia and Ukraine. Aside from strengthening a country's armed forces, what else could be done to prevent an invasion?

"Through earth observation satellites, we would have an 'eye in the sky' that would get images of different locations while orbiting. (This would enable the country to) observe man-made structures like buildings and streets, presence of ships, the natural environment," Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) director Joel Marciano Jr. said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Thursday.

By using communication satellites, Marciano said the unserved and underserved areas in the country could receive pertinent information and services.

"Space technology boosts the capability to address challenges on environmental protection, territorial integrity, disaster risk reduction and response, livelihood, productivity and resilience, which are all part of strengthening national security and development,” Marciano said.

Last month, PhilSA inked an agreement with the Department of National Defense (DND) to enhance national security and development efforts through space science and technology applications (SSTA).

PhilSA and DND will collaborate on the following areas:
* Sharing of know-how on SSTA and other related information;
* Capacity building and joint training on the application of satellite-based technologies including remote sensing, geographic information systems, artificial intelligence (AI), and satellite communications;
* Research & development (R&D) activities, conditional exchange and/or co-location of experts and personnel; and
* Organizing public conferences, symposia, workshops, and events

"This partnership between PhilSA and DND will strengthen the information exchange and SSTA capacity building. DND will play a huge role creating a strong and robust local space ecosystem," Marciano said.

Both parties, he said, are hoping to boost R&D collaboration and contribute to Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) modernization through space innovations.

Prior to signing a memorandum of agreement with DND, PhilSA has been working closely with the defense and security sectors.

PhilSA collaborates with different units of the AFP in satellite data product development for maritime domain awareness, area surveillance and monitoring, and other satellite applications for defense and security.

It has also been training with the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Air Force on the use of satellite images and AI for automated object detection.

It also has an MOU with the National Coast Watch Center to boost maritime security through space-enabled technologies. (PNA)