James & Adam Gilmour

Gilmour, Griffith to launch satellites

Gold Coast firm Gilmour Space Technologies and Griffith University have signed a five-year agreement to locally develop low earth orbit prototype satellites and launch them in 2023.

Gilmour Space Technologies says the five-year agreement includes projects to increase Australia’s LEO satellite capability by undertaking research and development for aerospace applications.

Griffith University vice chancellor and president Professor Carolyn Evans says the partnership will offer significant benefits. “By entering into this MOU with Gilmour Space, we will be helping to create the jobs of the future by delivering world class capability hand-in-hand with industry, in this exciting and growing market,” Professor Evans says.

“One of the most exciting elements of this partnership will be the development of a prototype 100kg satellite for improved earth observation by, for instance, utilising LEO satellites in disaster management applications, mining operations, thermal mapping of fires, reef and flood.”

Deputy vice chancellor research Professor Mario Pinto says there will be a range of cutting-edge research and development (R & D) 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 lightweight alloys, incorporated in on-board satellite IT systems for telecommunications, data processing and analysis, and spacecraft data and metadata management,” he says.

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

Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour says the company is excited to partner with the university. “This project is about demonstrating to Australia that we can build and launch a significant-sized satellite with significant capability,” he says.

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

Published in The Australian newspaper.

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