AstroSats 2016 - Astronomy Satellites Workshop

The purpose of AstroSats 2016 is to bring together the astronomical research and satellite engineering communities to explore science cases and astronomical instrumentation concepts suitable for small satellite balloon missions. The program will include an update of the Australian Space Eye project and explore viable future missions.

The goal is to identify well-justified and viable missions taking advantage of the facilities and capabilities at Australian institutions, including those at The Australian National University Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC), that could be funded within existing grant schemes. The workshop will seek to define appropriate staged targets for the short (1-2 years), medium (3-5 years) and long term (up to 10 years).

The workshop is intended for astronomers with ideas for small space missions and those interested in finding out what is now possible with small satellites and balloons. Participants will include:

  • People who have ideas for small satellite or balloon missions
  • People who want to use scientific data from this class of mission
  • People developing satellite sub-systems and support systems
  • People who have experience with satellite and balloon programs
  • People who wish to be part of the teams that will build these missions


Workshop Program





Introduction and updates



  1. Welcome - Matthew Colless
  1. Overview of current situation - Naomi Mathers
  • Status and funding for space activities in Australia
  • Examples of what is being done in the rest of the world
  • Opportunities and challenges
  1. Update on Australian Space Eye project
  • Science - Lee Spitler / Matthew Colless
  • Current design - Anthony Horton
  • Technical challenges - Anthony Horton / Mike Petkovic / Jordi Puig Suari
  • Budget and funding - Lee Spitler / Mike Petkovic
  1. ADCS options for CubeSats - Jordi Puig-Suari (Skype)
  2. Jan King: 2 talks via Skype:
    • a. Communication solutions for CubeSats: "Antarctic Broadband - A Follow-up 5 years later"
    • b. "6U: an open architecture platform"

Duffield Lecture Theatre


Morning tea

CSO Common Room


Introduction and updates - continuation



  1. Communication solutions for CubeStas: Sam Reisenfeld
  1. Satellite Operations: Jason Held

Duffield Lecture Theatre


Future Missions Part A (10 min presentation, 5 min Q&A)

  • 12:00: Francis Bennet: "Space based flux detector and retroreflector"
  • 12:15: Christopher Betters: "Modular micro-spectrograph for integration in cube-sat based systems"

Duffield Lecture Theatre



CSO Common Room


Future Missions Part B (10 min presentation, 5 min Q&A)

  • 1:30: Andrew Sheinis: “Spatial Heterodyne Spectrographs for MicroSat Missions”
  • 1:45: Mervyn Lynch: “A Cubesat Beacon for the Correction of Ionospheric Faraday Rotation in Low-frequency Radio Signals”
  • 2:00: Mervyn Lynch: “Astronomy-Earth Observing Synergy:  A Space-based Bioluminescence Sensor”
  • 2:15: Jason Held: “Morphable Avionics for autonomous error correction of imagery products"
  • 2:30: Lucia Plank: “Australian Geodesy Satellite”

Duffield Lecture Theatre


Afternoon tea

CSO Common Room


Discussion and evaluation of pitches/ideas



Facilitated workshop to evaluate mission concepts. Identify immediate and long-term opportunities, appropriate funding sources and potential project partners.

CSO Common Room





Participants wishing to present mission concepts should email the following information to no later than 21 July 2016:

  • Name
  • Presentation title
  • Abstract (300 word max)
  • Mission analysis template
  • Institution
  • Email and Phone

The Organizing Committee will review the submissions and a final program will be released no later than 28 July 2016.

There is no registration fee for the workshop, but those wishing to participate must register by 8 August 2016 via Eventbrite

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.