The South Australian-based company believes the seismic station, which will be launched aboard a commercial lander, will be the first Australian technology to touch down on the lunar surface.
Fleet Space’s proposal was among 10 projects selected to share $40 million under the Demonstrator Program of the Moon to Mars initiative.
The funding is designed to assist companies in getting their technologies ready for space. It comes with Fleet already known for its pioneering technology that uses satellites to detect the location of minerals beneath the Earth’s surface.
Fleet Space co-founder Matthew Pearson said the contract would help the company continue pursuing innovative ways of improving the space industry.
“The successful delivery of this project will demonstrate the ability to produce geophysical devices for future lunar and Martian geophysical exploration missions,” he said.
“Fleet is currently deploying several direct-to-satellite seismic arrays and intends to leverage this Earth capability into a device suitable for lunar and Martian environments. The solution is non-invasive and super scalable and can potentially be mounted to mini rovers for future missions.”
The SPIDER project — Seismic Payload for Interplanetary Discovery, Exploration and Research — will see Fleet build a three-component seismic station, which is set to be deployed on the surface of the moon’s south pole.
It will be designed to record continuous seismic data for up to 14 days and will be launched aboard a commercial lander.
The seismic station is supported by a consortium of partners from industry, government and academia, including DUG Technology, Adelaide University, and Titomic.
It comes after Space Connect reported last month how Fleet raised $50 million in its last fundraising round to take the company’s valuation to more than $350 million.
The business said the investment was spurred by its pioneering technology that uses satellites to detect the location of minerals beneath the Earth’s surface.
It added its “revolutionary” ExoSphere product — which works in conjunction with ground sensors — that has more than 30 clients globally, including Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, and Core Lithium.
Fleet said ExoSphere has both accelerated the targeting process for mining companies and reduced their environmental impact.
Fleet Space also recently agreed to a $6.4 million contract with Defence Space Command for the use of its commercial low-Earth orbit satellites.
Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.
Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.