Another Australian success in space

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Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne today announced another Australian success in space, following the launch of the Biarri-Point cube satellite.

CAPTIONBiarri-Point satellite in space (artists impression).

Biarri-Point is a satellite developed by the United States, which, as part of its payload, has GPS technology developed by the University of New South Wales in partnership with Defence Science and Technology Group.

Biarri-Point satellite was launched in April to the International Space Station and recently deployed from the space station’s Nano Racks into its own orbit.

Minister Pyne said it carried the Namaru GPS technology, which is the first fully Australian and New Zealand-developed global positioning system payload for a cube-satellite.

“The Namuru GPS technology is on-orbit and is successfully functioning correctly providing significant research benefits,” Minister Pyne said.

“It is conducting a range of experiments aimed at increasing our understanding of outer atmospheric effects on small satellites and improving our situational awareness of space.”

The GPS payload was developed by the University of New South Wales in Sydney and the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, and the mission integration was organised by the Defence Science and Technology Group.

Minister Pyne said the successful on-orbit operation of the miniaturised GPS marked another point on Australia’s path of technological innovation in the growing space industry.

“Advances in small low cost space platforms provide a unique opportunity to support Australian Defence Force capabilities and to rejuvenate Australian space research,” he said.

 

Review into Australia’s space industry capability

The announcement re the GPS satellite comes just a couple of days after the government announced a review into Australia’s space industry capability.

The review, announced today by Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos will ostensibly lead to a national strategy for the sector that reflects Australia’s national interests over the next decade, and aligns with Australian government priorities, including Defence.

Minister Pyne said the 2016 Defence White Paper acknowledged space-based and space-enabled capabilities, and the vital role they play in Australian Defence Force and coalition operations.

“The government has recently announced new investment in Australia’s space capabilities,” Minister Pyne said.

  • On 10 July, the government also announced that Australia’s deployed forces would receive a major communications boost with a $223 million satellite ground station.

 

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Brian Hartigan

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