MANILA, Philippines — A group of students from De La Salle University developed an app and is set to be entered into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) International Space Apps Challenge, an international hackathon where teams engage with NASA’s free and open data to address real-world problems on Earth and in space.
One of the projects is the deployable, autonomous ocean waste collection system called “Project PaWIKAN” which utilizes space data to identify nearby garbage patches.
NASA’s Ocean Surface Current Analysis Real-time (OSCAR) data to identify possible positions of ocean garbage patches using GPS, while PaWiKAN uses a pair of deployable, dynamically reconfigurable ships capable of capturing and returning ocean waste back to the ground.
It is equipped with extended-range radio system based on LoRa technology and Arduino to communicate with sensors and controlled by a deployment station.
Project PaWIKAN was developed by Lasallian electronics and communications engineering students Samantha Maxine Santos, Antonio Miguel S. Alejo, Grant Lewis Bulaong, and Janos Lance L. Tiberio of Ocean’s 4, who also joined last year’s hackathon, creating a hyper-casual puzzle game utilizing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and intuitive physics concepts.
“Our global bodies of water are actually littered with plastics. This is a very futuristic solution to help get rid of plastics currently floating or submerged in global waters. It is timely and relevant solution,” according to Monchito B. Ibrahim, Industry Development Committee Chairman of the Analytics Association of the Philippines and former undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
On the other hand, the Aedes Project team, composed of Dominic Vincent D. Ligot, Mark Toledo, Frances Claire Tayco, and Jansen Dumaliang Lopez, developed a forecasting model of dengue cases using climate and digital data and pinpointing possible hotspots from satellite data.
“It benefits the community especially those countries suffering from malaria and dengue, just like the Philippines. I think it has a global impact. This is the new science to know the potential areas where dengue might occur. It is a good app,” said Engr. Raul C. Sabularse, deputy executive director of Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD).
Both won in the local edition of the NASA Space Apps Challenge last October in partnership with the DOST-PCIEERD, Animo Labs technology business incubator, PLDT InnoLab, American Corner Manila, the U.S. government, and part of the Design Week Philippines with Department of Trade and Industry-Design Center of the Philippines. (Cate Pallarco/IAMIGO/CNS)