Angela Clarisse Chua

A THOMASIAN has joined a group of satellite builders who will undergo training on nanosatellite engineering in the University of the Philippines (UP).

Angela Clarisse Chua, an applied physics alumna, was included in the second batch of scholars of UP’s Space Science Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) program.

Chua was assigned as the group’s missions lead. Along with seven others, Chua will undergo training to build the country’s fifth and sixth Maya satellites.

“I am hoping to inspire more Filipinos to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), especially space-related courses,” Chua told the Varsitarian.

“I hope na hindi na magiging hadlang yung ‘lack of opportunity’ dito sa Pilipinas para sa mga physics or STEM graduates gaya ko. Ngayon na nag-start na tayong mag-build ng space industry, sana mas maraming Filipinos yung mainspire magcontribute sa new space program natin,” she added.

Gio Asher Tagabi from Quezon City (project manager), Chandler Timm Doloriel from Surigao del Norte, 2nd Lt. Genesis Remocaldo from Clark Air Base Pampanga (structure, antenna deployment), Anna Ruth Alvarez from Misamis Oriental (communications subsystem), Joseph Jonathan Co from Valenzuela (subsystems lead), Ronald Collamar from Bulacan (AIT lead) and Khazmir Camille Valerie Macaraeg from Quezon City (communications subsystem lead) complete the second batch of STeP-UP scholars.

Each will pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute.

The first batch of STeP-UP scholars, with the help of Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology, developed the Philippines’ first locally-built nano- or cube satellites Maya 3 and 4 in 2019.

The pioneering batch plans to hand over Maya 3 and 4 to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for a possible launch in 2021, while the new batch aims to complete Maya 5 and 6 in 2022.

“Though it is very much smaller than its predecessors, [the Maya nanosatellites’] importance to communication and disaster-related concerns is not diminished,” the UP website quoted UP College of Engineering Dean Ferdinand Manegdeg as saying.

According to the UP website, these nanosatellites weigh barely over a kilogram in mass each but can ‘contribute considerably to the country’s economic, territorial and disaster risk reduction efforts.'”

Maya 1, the prototype of the Maya line of nanosatellites, was created by Filipino space engineers Joven Javier and Adrian Salces and launched into space in 2018.

It is equipped with cameras with wide-angle and narrow-angle lenses, radio transmitters and data collection tools.

The STeP-UP scholarship is a component of “Sustained Support for Local Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement,” a government-funded program that aims to build research and technologies on satellite development and operation in the country.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.