PH’s own satellite service to improve maritime surveillance

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines now has its own ‘eye in the sky,’ or satellite service, to improve maritime surveillance.

A project, called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Innovative Terrestrial Monitoring and Maritime Surveillance, is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) to provide real time satellite images of “priority areas.”

This would be done through the NovaSAR-1 satellite, which was designed and built by UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The Philippines acquired NovaSAR-1 satellite services in August 2019. The small S-band, or with multiple applications, SAR satellite was launched into orbit in 2018.

Through the satellite service, the Philippines would be able to detect anomalies in its territorial waters in real time, including in the West Philippine Sea which is part of the disputed South China Sea which Asian behemoth China is claiming to own entirely.

“The need to acquire space technology was seen as critical and important,” said Maria Victoria Castro, assistant director general of the National Security Council (NSC), at a recent online briefing.

“This is because this is the ultimate means of guaranteeing situational awareness, particularly in the maritime domain,” Castro said.

Castro said the use of satellite technology was a new approach to security as the Philippines would be able to operate the NovaSAR-1 satellite and acquire the latest imagery unlike in the past when the country had to pay for images from third party providers. (Click here to read more…)