Airbus commits to long-term support of Australia’s space industry
13 June 2018
Leading global space company announces multi-year local partnerships
Canberra, 13 June 2018 – As a sign of its long-term commitment to the Australian space sector, Airbus has confirmed two partnerships in the industry, adding to its local portfolio of space activities.
Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems Airbus travelled to Australia to announce that Airbus will become a founding member of the proposed SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), led by the University of South Australia and Nova Systems. Airbus’ planned seven year commitment of funding will further the CRC’s research agenda, particularly its ‘Intelligent Satellite Systems’, a theme that aligns with Airbus’ strategy for building resilient and autonomous space-based systems.
Airbus is also working with the University of New South Wales and its spin-off space company Skykraft, to develop hyperspectral remote sensing technology. The two organisations today signed a memorandum of understanding to further their collaboration.
In speaking of the partnerships, Nicolas Chamussy outlined the company’s long term view.
“We want to “walk the talk” and we are determined to do so. Airbus is proud to partner with local industry on dedicated space projects. It is our intention to work with academia, SMEs and start-ups to develop Australia’s space sovereign capability, nurturing and developing areas of strategic priority and leapfrog technologies identified by the ERG panel.
“Airbus could help Australia in concentrating on new disruptive areas while achieving strategic agreements with international industries and space agencies” said Nicolas Chamussy.
Airbus has previously welcomed the creation of Australia’s Space Agency, allowing the country to grow its industry and take advantage of current and upcoming disruptions to the space sector. During the last two years, Airbus has strongly supported the burgeoning and talented space industry which has made Australia’s space economy the fastest growing on the planet with an increase from 35 to 85 start-ups in the sector during this time.
“Airbus has identified strategic space opportunities in Australia including leveraging Australia’s R&D expertise and potential partnerships with industry on space-based applications.
We’ve highlighted these opportunities with Dr Megan Clark AC, incoming Head of the Australian Space Agency, and indicated that this could provide a framework for ongoing strategic engagement between Australia and Airbus.
We look forward to progressing these discussions once the Agency is established on 1 July 2018”, said Nicolas Chamussy.
Airbus is actively establishing an innovative space footprint in Australia, including;
Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite Australian Operations
Airbus announced on 4 June 2018 that 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) capability.
NewSpace & Innovation Session
In September 2017, Airbus hosted a NewSpace & Innovation Session at the IAC in Adelaide in partnership with DeltaV space startup accelerator and the Government of South Australia.
Globally, Airbus supported ActInSpace; an international innovation space hackathon organized by CNES and ESA in which teams from Australia and New Zealand will fly to Toulouse, France for the finale during the Toulouse Space Show.
Bartolomeo External Payload Hosting Service - Neumann Drive
Airbus and Neumann Space (a South Australia based SME), have signed a flight contract for Neumann 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 innovative Australian SMEs, universities, start-ups and other organisations to support the development of domestic space capabilities.
SkyNet 5 Ground Station in Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, SA.
Airbus has invested approximately $18m 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 Asia Pacific. This network provides secure and protected satellite communications at X band and UHF for the UK and its allies globally. The site is a secure facility and handles sensitive traffic from the UK and its allies.
In the future, it could be utilised in support of Australia’s aspirations to have its own protected satellite communications capability to provide resilient government communications in times of crisis. Airbus has a wealth of experience in working with countries to develop their communications needs and can develop mutually beneficial business models to realise the capability.
Mawson Lakes has also been designated as one of the 2 ground stations in the Asia Pacific region to support the 3rd satellite for Airbus’ Space Data Highway (SDH) which is being launched in 2021.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
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