The Australian Government is backing a series of local space innovations, including those that can help address climate change.
10 projects will share in close to $40 million under the Demonstrator Program of the Moon to Mars initiative. The funding will give companies a boost to get their technologies ready for space and value-add to a range of other industries.
Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said these investments will position Australian space companies to be part of future global space missions.
‘These space projects will make a big impact, including to NASA’s Artemis Program. They will develop capability and experience in mission launch and space operation activities,’ Mr Palermo said.
‘The recipients cover many critical technology fields, such as helping to address global challenges like climate change, to enhancing sectors like agriculture, resources, transport and defence.’
Among the successful projects are:
- $4.4 million to WA-based International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research to build a next-generation communications network that can send data to and from objects in space, such as satellites and spacecraft, at a significantly faster rate than current technology.
- $5.2 million for NSW-based Advanced Navigation to demonstrate the performance of its next-generation light detection altimetry and velocimetry (LiDAV) technology. This technology details a vehicle’s environment and will go to the Moon on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander.
- $3.7 million to SA-based QuantX Labs to develop and demonstrate quantum tech–enabled precision timing reference instruments that can improve the accuracy of positioning systems such as GPS and improve productivity in critical sectors like agriculture and resources.
- $6.2 million to ACT-based Australian National University for an innovative laser technology instrument to support NASA with space-based sensing of Earth’s gravity variations, which will advance earth science to support understanding and combat the effect of climate change.
The successful projects bring together industry and researchers, encouraging collaboration.
‘By helping Australian organisations to develop their space heritage, they can break into new markets and supply chains and take their innovative Aussie technology to the world.’
The Demonstrator Mission Grants will leverage more than $15 million in contributions from industry, academia and state and territory governments.
A full list of the projects being supported can be found at business.gov.au.