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SA budget pledges $6.6m for low-Earth orbit satellite

The SA budget has pledged $6.6 million over five years into the SASAT1 mission to launch a satellite to low-Earth orbit.

SA budget pledges $6.6m for low-Earth orbit satellite
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The project, announced earlier this year, will see the state government partner with local industry to improve services such as emergency services, the environment, water quality monitoring, mining and bushfire mitigation.

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will lead the mission and application prototyping, with Adelaide-based satellite manufacturing company Inovor Technologies designing and building the satellite and South Australian space company Myriota contracted for the internet of things (IoT) space services.

The mission will deliver the satellite in 15 months for launch into orbit, with the satellite available for a further three years to 2024 for data collection and operations.

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Premier Steven Marshall earlier this year said, “South Australia is embarking on a bold mission with industry to design and build a satellite to deliver space-derived services to the state – a venture was never undertaken before by any state government around the country.

“Applications include using the data and imagery we collect to solve real life problems, like helping farmers monitor water levels so they can more accurately predict future yields.

“The SASAT1 Space Services Mission will deliver significant value to our state and to our local space industry as well as paving the way for growth in space-craft export, IoT sensor exports, Department of Defence and Australian government space and defence-related projects and the South Australian supply chain.”

Once launched into LEO, the satellite will support data collection from ground-based sensors plus Earth observation imaging via a hyperspectral electro-optical payload. Myriota’s IoT connectivity will support the collection of data about multiple weather events, including rainfall and bushfires – both of which have been impacted by climate change in recent years.

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SA’s budget this week also included $860,000 over three years to a program that offers subsidised office space to companies bringing space and defence capabilities to the state, and $8 million over three years to establish the Arkani Ngura National Test Mine and Innovation Centre.

The centre, located at the existing OZ Minerals Prominent Hill Mine, will support the development and commercialisation of technology in the resources, space and defence sectors.

The peak awards program for the space industry is back, recognising the dedicated professionals and businesses within Australia’s space sector. Gain recognition for your contribution to advancing our nation’s space capabilities or recognise a peer for theirs. Click here to get your nominations in today.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

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.

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