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Australia’s SmartSat CRC Unveils New R&D Space Projects

By Mark Holmes | September 22, 2023

Professor Andy Koronios, CEO, SmartSat CRC

Australia’s leading space research center, SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has launched a new suite of new R&D projects and university appointments in support of the ACT Space Update 2023. These were unveiled in Canberra Sept. 23, bringing its joint investment in the ACT to over A$7 million ($4.49 million).

One of two new research projects co-funded by SmartSat and ACT Government brings together the Australian National University (ANU) and EOS Space Systems to deliver advanced manufacturing technologies for the OzFuel instrument. This is a key payload of an Earth Observation Resilience satellite mission that aims to improve continental scale fire management and environmental monitoring tailored specifically to Australian Eucalypt forests. The second project brings together Infinity Avionics, UNSW Canberra and Nominal Systems to develop capabilities in Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS), a vital tool for both defence and commercial space operations contending with the risks of navigating increasing debris and space objects in LEO. SmartSat aims to make a strong contribution to the Australian Government’s goal of tripling the size of the space sector to A$12 billion ($7.7 billion) and creating up to 20,000 jobs by 2030.

“Since 2020, SmartSat has demonstrated its commitment to building the ACT’s space R&D capabilities, funding over ten projects at ANU and UNSW Canberra. We are excited to support this proactive agenda laid out by the ACT government. This fresh round of research investment by SmartSat delivers a rapid injection to the ACT Space Update. We believe it will have a force-multiplier effect on the development of space R&D capability in the ACT and provide direct support to the ANU’s broader Earth Observation Resilience Mission with critical technology,” SmartSat CEO Professor Andy Koronios, said in a statement.