Airbus forms local partnerships to support Australia’s space industry
31 Aug 2018
European aerospace corporation Airbus has confirmed its
long-term commitment to Australia’s space sector by announcing two new
Airbus will become a founding member of the proposed
SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre
(CRC), led by the University of South Australia and Nova Systems. The
announcement was made in June 2018 by Nicolas Chamussy, Airbus’ Global Head
of Space Systems.
Airbus also signed a collaborative memorandum of understanding with the
University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Skykraft, UNSW’s space company, to
develop hyperspectral remote sensing technology.
‘We want to “walk the talk” and we are determined to do so,’ says Chamussy
media release, speaking of Airbus’ long-term commitment to Australia’s space sector.
‘Airbus is proud to partner with local industry on dedicated space
projects. It is our intention to work with academia, SMEs and startups to
develop Australia’s space sovereign capability, nurturing and developing
areas of strategic priority and leapfrog technologies identified by the
expert reference group panel.
‘Airbus could help Australia in concentrating on new disruptive areas while
achieving strategic agreements with international industries and space
The aerospace company has previously welcomed the creation of the
Australian Space Agency, which it expects will allow Australia to take advantage of current and
upcoming disruptions to the space sector.
Airbus is actively establishing a physical space industry footprint in
Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite Australian Operations:
On 4 June 2018 Airbus announced it would establish the first Zephyr
operating base at Wyndham, Western Australia, as part of the ongoing
development of the Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS)
Bartolomeo External Payload Hosting Service –:
Airbus and Neumann Space (a
South Australian SME), have signed a flight contract for the Neumann Drive, a revolutionary, patented solar-electric ion drive,
to fly on Bartolomeo. The flight contract is an important milestone in
launching Neumann Space’s payload into orbit. As part of the deal,
Neumann Space has launched the South Australia Schools Space Mission to
provide students with an opportunity to send physical experiments into
space. Airbus is pursuing partnerships with Australian SMEs,
universities, startups and other organisations to support the
development of domestic space capabilities.
SkyNet 5 Ground Station in Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia:
Airbus has invested approximately A$18 million to build a Satellite
Ground station located in Mawson Lakes. Its initial purpose is to act
as a hub for the UK’s SkyNet 5 military satellite network in the
Asia-Pacific region. This network provides secure and protected
satellite communications at X band and UHF for the UK and its allies.
The site is a secure facility and handles sensitive traffic from the UK
and its allies. In future, it could be used in support of Australia’s
aspirations to have its own protected satellite communications
capability to provide resilient government communications in times of
crisis. Mawson Lakes is designated as one of two ground stations in the
Asia-Pacific region to support the third satellite for Airbus’ Space
Data Highway, which is being launched in 2021.