New ANU agreement to strengthen Australian space industry

Monday 25 September 2017
Inside the ANU Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre at Mt Stromlo Observatory. Image: Stuart Hay, ANU.
Inside the ANU Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre at Mt Stromlo Observatory. Image: Stuart Hay, ANU.

This endeavour will provide a significant new pathway to answering important questions in environmental science, defence, space physics and astronomy.

The ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) will reinforce its position at the centre of the national space industry with a new agreement with UNSW Canberra on building and testing satellites and space instruments.

The new agreement will boost the role of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at ANU as a key national resource for Australia's space industry.

The AITC at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory hosts Australia's most sophisticated space testing facility, including complex equipment that can reproduce the vibration shock of rocket launches and the temperature extremes experienced in the vacuum of space.

The AITC is a global leader in the design and fabrication of state-of-the-art optical and laser instrumentation and scientific payloads, with a history of more than 30 years participating in major international space missions.

The UNSW Canberra team will contribute an impressive set of engineering and technical skills, including their experience with CubeSats - a miniaturised satellite system for space research.

Together, the collaborating institutions will provide an end-to-end capability for mission and payload design, assembly and testing.

AITC Director, Professor Anna Moore, said aligning the skills of the ANU-AITC and UNSW Canberra Space teams will help enable the future of Australia's space industry.

"As a part of our mission as a National university, the AITC establishes these strategic partnerships to focus the facilities and talent Australia needs to build its own domestic space industry," Professor Moore said.

"This endeavour will provide a significant new pathway to answering important questions in environmental science, defence, space physics and astronomy.

"We are excited about what we can do together and look forward to collaborating with industry and other research institutes across Australia, and around the world, to drive innovation and establish a leadership position for Australia in space."

The MOU between AITC and UNSW Canberra was signed at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide.

Related information is available on the following web links.

http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/cubesat-satellite-testing-takes-off-at-mount-stromlo

http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/australian-built-satellites-launched-into-space

http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-invention-may-help-to-protect-astronauts-from-radiation-in-space

https://physics.anu.edu.au/quantum/cgp/research/spacetech/gracefo/

http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/new-director-for-mount-stromlo's-aitc

Updated:  19 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSAA Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster