By Dhel Nazario
A new batch of students is set to study the nanosatellite engineering track under the Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) in Electrical Engineering (EE) through the Space Science and Technology Proliferation through University Partnerships (STeP-UP) Project.
The STeP-UP Project aims to spread the knowledge gained from the Development of Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program to local universities through the design and teaching of hands-on courses or subjects on small satellites and inter-university collaboration.
Through the support of the DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the STeP-UP Project offers scholarships for masters students who are interested in applying to the MS EE or ME EE programs in UP Diliman to study nanosatellite technology, specifically the mission design, implementation, launch, and operation of 1U CubeSats.
All these programs and their corresponding projects were made possible through the full support of DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña. In 2016, his first presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte and then Cabinet members included DOST’s Space Technology Development Program (2017 to 2026) to have a corresponding funding requirement of P10 billion over 10 years.
The first batch started in January 2019, consisting of eight individuals from different backgrounds and sectors, ranging from industry, academe, to the armed forces, in line with the project’s principle of valuing diversity and working with people from multiple disciplines.
The scholars are pioneering the local cube satellite development and are dubbed as “UP’s next satellite builders.”
Major activities in the nanosatellite engineering track include the development of 1U CubeSats, space environment testing of the CubeSats (engineering model and flight model) at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan, launch of the CubeSats via the International Space Station (ISS), and CubeSat operations.
The list of the courses under the program is available here: https://www.eee.upd.edu.ph/program-options/master-engineering-electrical-engineering-step.