Satellite mission plans to boost Australia’s space sovereignty

- January 21, 2021 < 1 MIN READ
An impression of the proposed satellite drawn by Alex Priest of Inovor Technologies.
South Australia begins program to launch a low-orbit small satellite as next phase in burgeoning space economy.

Led by the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), the AUD$6.5 million SASAT1 Space Services Mission was announced on Wednesday in Adelaide, South Australia.

Based at Lot Fourteen, which is also home to the Australian Space Agency, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will undertake the application prototyping.

Local satellite manufacturing company Inovor Technologies will design and build the satellite while South Australian space company Myriota is contracted for the Internet of Things (IoT) space services.

The information gathered by the satellite will boost South Australia’s space economy, as well as helping to improve state services such as, emergency services, the environment, water quality monitoring, mining and bushfire mitigation.

The SASAT1 Space Services Mission will commence in early 2021 to deliver the satellite in 15 months for launch into orbit. The satellite will be available for a further three years to 2025 for data collection and operations under current funding.

SmartSat CRC Chief Executive Professor Andy Koronios said the mission will provide opportunities for startup companies to use the ongoing data captured by the satellite to develop analytics applications for government and commercial use.

“The SASAT1 Space Services Mission positions South Australia to play an even greater role in national initiatives like water quality monitoring and bushfire mitigation,” he said.

The SASAT1 Space Services Mission is funded through the South Australian Government’s Economic and Business Growth Fund.

The South Australian space ecosystem has grown in recent years, with collaborations with NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the presence of numerous successful startups such as Fleet Space Technologies, Lux Aerobot, and Southern Launch.