Defence provides update on Aussie research satellite

Defence provides update on Aussie research satellite

Stephen Kuper

The Australian Department of Defence has learnt valuable lessons in developing spacecraft systems tailored to Australian needs, following recent enhancements to the nation’s space agenda.

Under the current space program, an Australian miniature satellite, developed by the University of New South Wales Canberra under a research agreement with the Royal Australian Air Force, was launched from the US in December 2018. 

The mission, known as Mission 1 (M1), is pushing the boundaries of small space technology for the Air Force. While efforts are still underway to communicate with the satellite, this is all part of the exploratory work. 

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, congratulated the team on the launch, saying, "This mission has provided the opportunity to build a team of engineers with the ability to design, build and operate satellites."

The satellite program is a collaborative effort between the RAAF, UNSW Canberra, Defence Science and Technology and industry to demonstrate maritime surveillance technologies and provide new ways to enhance Australia’s future Defence space capability.

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"With every mission we can take away valuable lessons that can be applied to future satellites. The next satellites in the program will now include additional communications paths, one of which operates independently from the rest of the satellite system," AIRMSHL Davies added.

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