Macquarie University to link Australia’s future smart satellites

| April 15, 2019

Eighty-four research and industry partners are contributing $190 million investment in cash and in kind to the new Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Satellite Technologies and Analytics, and the Australian government is contributing a further $55 million.

The CRC is led by the University of South Australia.

“A new generation of low-cost smart satellite technology has the potential to enhance agriculture, mining, communication and national security,” Associate Professor Sam Reisenfeld, who leads Macquarie University’s contribution to the CRC said.

“Macquarie University is excited by the potential of the new CRC,” says Professor Darren Bagnall, Macquarie University’s Dean of Engineering.

“We were pioneers in creating fast, reliable Wi-Fi chips, and today we continue to lead in wireless and satellite communication technologies.

Associate Prof Reisenfeld said through the CRC we will further develop our technologies to enable satellites to communicate with each other and with users faster and more efficiently,

“Our contributions to the CRC will include artificial intelligence-based algorithms for satellites and Earth stations, technologies to integrate satellites with 5G phone networks, and ways to utilise satellite technology in the Internet of Things.

Bid Leader and SmartSat CEO designate, UniSA’s Professor Andy Koronios, said the CRC will be a game changer for Australia’s space economy.

“Globally space technologies and industries are worth more than $500 billion but that success has been underpinned by serious global investment in research,” Prof Koronios said.

“Australia has had a strong pedigree and a long history in space with excellent scientific capabilities in instrumentation and communications technologies, but until now the research has not been brought together to build a new industry for Australia, and to capitalise on the exponential growth of the global space economy.

“Our goal in bringing together the bid for the SmartSat CRC was to show the huge potential and capacity there is in Australia to make an impact globally by developing leapfrogging technologies in areas where we have some of the best expertise on the planet – AI, advanced communications and remote sensing analytics.”

The new CRC will be headquartered in South Australia but will establish state nodes to ensure that the whole of the nation is involved in the development of smart satellite technologies which will meet Australia’s needs to secure its defence, telecommunications and monitoring technologies into the future.

“This new CRC will re-energise Australia’s satellite communications expertise and capacity and launch a new era of development which will benefit every Australian enterprise into the future – improving communications for all Australians, helping us to monitor and protect our environment, enhance our understanding of climate change, protect our borders and our communications systems and advance the progress of new industries,” Prof Koronios said.“We are delighted to have such strong support from both government and industry in forging a really powerful network for space technology innovation.”

Partners in the CRC include Australian-based global companies such as AIRBUS, BAE, MDA, Northrop Grumman,  Saab, SciSys, Dassault Systems, and THALES; Australian companies – Nova Systems, OPTUS, SHOAL, and FrontierSI; Australian startups – including X-Lab, Myriota, Fluorosat, Fleet, Innovor, Lyrebird, Delta-V; Australian universities and research organisations – UniSA, ANU, UNSW, RMIT, Swinburne, QUT, Curtin, Macquarie University, CSIRO, DST, the Universities of Queensland, Adelaide, Western Australia and Western Sydney; and international collaborators, UCL, Catapult, NASA, the European Space Agency and the National University of Singapore among many more.

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