On 27 September 2018, the Australian Space Agency and Airbus signed a statement of intent confirming the European manufacturer’s commitment towards enhancing the capability and competitiveness of the country’s space sector.
Read the full statement below.
Joint Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation between Australian Space Agency and Airbus
The Australian Space Agency, an Australian government agency within the Department of Innovation Industry and Science, hereinafter referred to as "the Agency" and represented by Dr Megan Clark AC, Head Australian Space Agency
AIRBUS Defence and Space SAS, hereinafter referred to as "Airbus" and represented by Pierre Jaffre, President Airbus Asia Pacific.
Recalling that the Agency's purpose is to transform and grow the Australian space sector and the broader use of space across the Australian economy and to inspire and deliver benefit to all Australians;
Recalling that the Agency areas of strategic priority include communication; operations and ground stations; position, navigation and timing; space situational awareness; research and development; earth observation and remote asset management in space and on earth;
Recalling that the Agency is responsible for national civil space policy and coordination, international and national cooperation and partnership to achieve shared ambitions, Australia's international obligations and treaties; building national capability in the space sector and Australia's regulations, obligations and licencing for the civil space sector.
Recalling that Airbus has considerable experience and expertise in the development and specification of complex space programmes and space systems;
Recalling that Airbus' strategic purpose is to aim for a better-connected, safer and more prosperous world;
Recalling that Airbus is supportive to share its experience and expertise to foster the space sector in Australia;
Acknowledging that the Agency as an Australian government agency is committed to open, transparent and significant industry engagement;
Acknowledging that the Agency and Airbus share the objective of enhancing the capability and competitiveness of Australian industry and promoting investments in space capabilities and capacities, that will support smart growth and highly qualified jobs as well as improving the day-to-day lives of all Australians through innovative products and services;
Acknowledging that Airbus has committed to the following current projects:
- Zephyr - High Altitude Pseudo Satellite - Australian Operations in Western Australia
- SkyNet 5 - Ground Station in Mawson Lakes, South Australia.
Through this Joint Statement, Airbus acknowledges the following areas of strategic interest and growth, potential new areas of collaboration and support for education and training which are of mutual interest:
- Connectivity - solutions to provide Australia with superior information connectivity for civil, business and defence purposes, serving users and enabling applications such as:
- High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS): Leveraging Airbus stratospheric operations in Australia to investigate the potential for connectivity scenarios leveraging the current feasibility studies with the Defence Science and Technology Group.
- SpaceDataHighway (SDH): exploring opportunities to use laser communications data relays to improve resilient access to critical space data by implementing, through an Australian based Optical Ground System, near real time space based geo information and airborne platforms capability.
- Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS): explore opportunities to provide state-of-the-art navigation capabilities for aircraft and ships, as well as unlocking new applications. In-space capabilities to support future Australian SBAS infrastructure could also be explored.
- Internet of Things: explore the applications of space connectivity for key economic sectors with key industrial partners
- Discovery and Exploration - explore the scope of activities in space discovery and exploration including:
- Arrow applications (Arrow is the Airbus platform derived from the OneWeb Project): to collaborate with local industry and research institutions to develop novel applications based on the Arrow platform.
- Smart Satellite Development: through the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, Airbus with industry and research institutions could investigate innovative systems for the next generation of satellites.
- Capability development through Bartolomeo: In partnership with local state governments and start-ups, consider the development of a "Space Access Provider" platform which will enable Australian businesses and research institutions to access the space environment for system validation, commercial application and scientific research. This would build on the International Space Station Bartolomeo platform and an Arrow derivative.
- STEM ("Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics") and Education - Airbus is committed to the support and delivery of global STEM access. This support will also extend to Australia with Airbus willing to build on its current engagements:
- France-Australia Research Mobility Scheme: On July 2nd, 2018 as part of the Europe Australia Business Council (EABC) visit to Paris, Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Group of 8 Universities (Go8) and the French Embassy working towards the establishment of a research mobility scheme between France and Australia. This provides opportunities to Australian research students from the Go8 universities to gain industrial research experience in France.
- Space internships in France: Answering the French Embassy initiative "Nicolas Baudin travel grant" call, Airbus partnered with the aerospace higher education and research institute ISAE-Supaero based in Toulouse to offer four internship opportunities already provided to four Australian university students.
- Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP): in 2017, Airbus included the University of Sydney as part of this worldwide program, resulting in two Australian students being selected to attend the Airnovation Summer Academy in Cranfield, UK.
This Joint Statement constitutes the expression of both parties' intention to continue discussions. This Joint Statement does not create legal obligations between the Parties and does not establish the obligation to enter into a certain agreement.