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Griffith heads into low orbit in research and development deal


Griffith University will work with Queensland’s Gilmour Space Technologies to deliver low earth orbit satellites that are expected to be developed and deployed in three years.

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A significant part of the deal will be the development of a 100kg prototype satellite. Griffith will also join with Gilmour Space on a Collaborative Research Centre project to develop composite rocket fuel tanks for low-cost space transport.

The five-year agreement will include a range of projects aimed at increasing Australia’s LEO satellite capability by undertaking research and development for Aerospace Applications towards the development of small satellite prototypes.

Deputy vice chancellor, Research Professor Mario Pinto, said there would be a range of cutting-edge research and development opportunities as a result of the partnership.

“We envisage undertaking R&D on materials, advanced manufacturing methods, components, sensors and IT systems for aerospace applications, including light-weight alloys, incorporated in on-board satellite IT systems for telecommunications, data processing and analysis, and spacecraft data and metadata management,” he said.

“We will also investigate sensing and imaging technologies, including the integration of artificial intelligence in satellite systems.”

Gilmour Space chief executive Adam Gilmour said the company was excited to partner with the University on these opportunities.

“This project is about demonstrating to Australia that we can build and launch a significant-sized satellite with significant capability,” he said.

“It’s also about working with local partners like Griffith to educate the next generation of space engineers who take us to orbit.”

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