SmartSat and New Zealand Space Agency Forge Partnership for Space Sector Innovation. By Simon Mansfield. Adelaide, Australia (SPX) Jan 31, 2024.
In a significant development for the Australasian space sector, SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (SmartSat), Australia’s leading space research centre, has entered into a formal partnership with the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA). This collaboration, marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aims to catalyze the growth of the space industries in both Australia and New Zealand.
The MoU, signed at the NZSA headquarters in Wellington, was formalized by Professor Andy Koronios, SmartSat CRC Chief Executive Officer, and Robyn Henderson, Acting Head of the New Zealand Space Agency. This agreement opens up new avenues for developing capabilities and expertise in the space sector, with a focus on innovation, research and development (R and D), and workforce development.
Central to this agreement is the commitment of up to NZ $6 million from the New Zealand Government’s Catalyst Fund. This funding is earmarked to support New Zealand researchers in participating in joint research initiatives across several key areas:
– Earth Observation: This area covers a broad spectrum of research including Natural Capital, Biosecurity, Crop Health, Pasture Condition, Emission Monitoring, South Pacific Synthetic Aperture Radar, and Maritime Domain Awareness. The aim is to utilize space data to enhance decision-making for both land and sea-based environments.
– Space Situational Awareness: This initiative focuses on developing new techniques to better monitor the orbital environment. Innovations such as Satping – determining spacecraft position, velocity, and identification – and advanced ground-sensor data processing for detecting anomalies and maneuvers, are at the forefront of this effort.
– Optical Communications: The partnership also involves joint scientific work on adaptive optics. The…