12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia

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12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
12th Australian Space Forum
Wednesday 15 September 2021
  Adelaide, South Australia

                         12th Australian Space Forum   a
12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Major Sponsors

    Supported by

12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
12th Australian Space Forum
Wednesday 15 September 2021
  Adelaide, South Australia

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12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia

12th Australian Space Forum
Wednesday 15 September 2021                1     Welcome
Adelaide, South Australia                        — Chair of The Andy Thomas
                                                    Space Foundation
Adelaide Convention Centre,
                                                 — Premier of South Australia
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
                                                 — Head of the Australian
Forum sessions: Hall L                              Space Agency
Exhibition: Hall H
                                           6     Message from the CEO

                                           8     Forum Schedule

                                           11    Opinion

                                           27    Speaker Profiles

                                           43    Company Profiles

                                           87    Foundation Corporate Sponsors
                                                 and Professional Partners

                                           88    Venue Map

                                           90    Exhibition Floorplan

                                           92    Event Sponsors

                                           Join the conversation: #AUSpaceForum


                                                The Andy Thomas Space Foundation



12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Welcome from the Chair of The Andy Thomas Space Foundation
The Andy Thomas Space Foundation is delighted to
welcome you to the 12th Australian Space Forum.

                                                  success. With over 1150 attendees, our
                                                  exhibition showcased 65 space organisations
                                                  and over 450 students were engaged.
                                                  Highlights included keynotes from the new
                                                  Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico
                                                  Palermo, and from Dr James Johnson, CEO of
                                                  Geoscience Australia.

                                                  We received very positive feedback on the
Welcome to the 12th Australian Space Forum.
                                                  quality of the expert panel discussions on
In the year since The Andy Thomas Space           the topics of space education and outreach,
Foundation was founded, we are incredibly         quantum engineering and advanced
proud of what we have accomplished.               manufacturing.

Our mission has been focused on three             The Foundation has a small but dedicated
key activities – Education, Outreach, and         team committed to bringing the message of
Innovation – and we are delighted to report       space to young people in particular and the
achievements in all three areas.                  community in general. We are a key supporter
                                                  of the Australian Space Discovery Centre
In 2021, seven programs for scholarships,         and we have arranged for a number of school
awards and prizes have been established           groups to visit the Centre. We also give
and/or successfully conducted, valued at          regular presentations to community groups
more than $200,000.                               and other organisations.
Each program developed by the Foundation,         Our results would not have been possible
in partnership with our sponsors and              without the support of our sponsors
supporters, has been dedicated to supporting      and donors and we thank them for their
the development in Australia of students at       generosity. The decision in June 2021 of the
all levels of their education.                    Australian Parliament to confer Deductible
                                                  Gift Recipient status on the Foundation will
These have included advancing the skills of
                                                  greatly assist our fundraising and was a
primary school teachers in STEM learning and
                                                  notable vote of confidence in our mission.
design thinking, supporting space related
                                                  We are now able to offer tax deductibility to
science research projects at high school
                                                  private donors as well as to corporations.
level, providing internship opportunities to
tertiary students with some of Australia’s        Thank you for registering for the 12th
leading space technology companies and            Australian Space Forum. Whatever your area
giving financial awards to some of Australia’s    of space interest is, we are confident that you
leading PhD researchers for their work on         will enjoy the experience.
advanced space science topics.
                                                  Michael Davis AO
Many of you will recall the 11th Australian       Chair, The Andy Thomas Space Foundation
Space Forum in March 2021 was the first
conducted by the Foundation. Opened by
the Prime Minister of Australia, it was a great

                                                                   12th Australian Space Forum    1
12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Welcome from the Premier of South Australia
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you
to the 12th Australian Space Forum.

                                                  South Australia’s mission to launch a locally
                                                  manufactured satellite to space is taking
                                                  shape and remains on track for launch in
                                                  late 2022. Bringing together valuable players
                                                  across government, industry and academia,
                                                  the SASAT1 Space Services Mission will
                                                  be an important milestone in the state’s
                                                  space history.
Despite the ongoing challenges faced by
                                                  We are excited to see the next generation
many all over the world today, the South
                                                  eager to make their mark on this crucial
Australian Government is pleased to support
                                                  mission, with students from across the state
such a significant event for Australia’s
                                                  taking part in a unique opportunity to name
space industry.
                                                  the satellite. I am delighted to announce the
Our nation’s space industry has made great        winning name, which was selected from 57
strides since the last forum in March. Even       high-quality entries from South Australian
in the most difficult circumstances, the local    primary and secondary schools.
space ecosystem is thriving and will be
                                                  This forum is the perfect opportunity for
critical in reigniting economic growth in
                                                  our leaders, industry experts, researchers
South Australia.
                                                  and entrepreneurs to shape the nation’s
Marking an important step in our state’s          promising future in space, which is critically
emerging launch capabilities, South Australian    important during these challenging and
company Southern Launch’s proposal to             uncertain times.
establish a sub-orbital rocket testing facility
                                                  I extend a warm virtual welcome to many
in Whalers Way, near Port Lincoln, received
                                                  of our interstate and international guests,
a facility licence from the Australian Space
                                                  including Deputy Administrator of NASA, Pam
Agency. This is the second of only two sites in
                                                  Melroy; Deputy Head of New Zealand Space
Australia to be licenced, with the company’s
                                                  Agency, Andrew Johnson; and Head of the
test range in Koonibba, South Australia,
                                                  Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo.
securing a licence in March, giving the sector
confidence in the state’s developing space        Our nation’s space industry is ready for lift-
infrastructure.                                   off. I look forward to seeing Australia cement
                                                  its position as a leader in the global space
Other companies continue to reach
                                                  sector and build on the momentum within the
for the stars, scaling up and attracting
                                                  South Australian space ecosystem.
global attention with revolutionary space
technologies. South Australian nanosatellite      Hon Steven Marshall MP
pioneer, Fleet Space Technologies, launched       Premier of South Australia
its sixth small satellite – Centauri 4 – into
orbit, with plans for a further 16 to be
launched by 2023.

                                                                   12th Australian Space Forum     3
12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Moon to Mars initiative
    Accelerating the growth of Australia’s space industry

       The Moon to Mars initiative gives Australian businesses
         and researchers the opportunity to showcase their
       knowledge and capabilities in projects that can support
                NASA’s Moon to Mars endeavours.

     Grants under the Supply Chain Program are currently available

                                   Supply Chain Program
                                   Draws on Australia’s competitive
                                   strengths and helps a variety of
                                   businesses deliver products and
                                   services into global space supply

                           Apply for a grant now
                            For more information and to apply visit

12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Welcome from the Head of                           signalled strong intent to accelerate progress
                                                   and create a thriving sector by announcing
the Australian Space Agency                        the deferral of the introduction of partial
                                                   cost recovery for applications under the
                                                   Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018,
                                                   as well as commencing negotiations
                                                   between Australia and the United States
                                                   on a bilateral Technology Safeguards
                                                   Agreement. The deferral of fees in particular
                                                   will help encourage more launch activity and
                                                   continued investment and growth in the
                                                   broader space sector. On the same day, the
                                                   Australian Space Agency team celebrated
When we came together six months ago for
                                                   our third birthday, which was an important
the 11th Australian Space Forum, I said 2021
                                                   opportunity to reflect on how far we have
was shaping up to be a year of achievements
                                                   come in a few years.
for the national space ecosystem. True
to form, the industry has reached many             Getting money into the industry through our
important milestones alongside the                 various programs has also been a highlight
Australian Space Agency embarking                  activity over the past few months. Local
on activities to achieve our purpose of            companies Spiral Blue, Advanced Navigation,
transforming and growing Australia’s space         Crystalaid Manufacture, and Fleet Space
sector for generations to come.                    were awarded grants under the Moon to
                                                   Mars Supply Chain Capability program,
Inspiring the next generation of space
                                                   while the Moon to Mars Demonstrator
professionals and entrepreneurs is a
                                                   Feasibility program supported 20 grants for
collective goal that brings us together and
                                                   organisations across Australia including the
underpins the work all of us do, whether
                                                   University of New South Wales, AROSE and
in government, industry or the research
                                                   Valiant Space. Also in June, a consortium led
sector. The opening of the Australian Space
                                                   by the Australian National University was
Discovery Centre in May by Prime Minister
                                                   awarded the Space Payload Qualification
the Hon Scott Morrison MP was not only
                                                   Facilities grant under the $19.5 million Space
a milestone for the Lot Fourteen precinct
                                                   Infrastructure Fund.
in Adelaide, it was an achievement shared
nationally and a powerful moment in our            Space is well and truly ignited in the public
mission to inspire the Australian community.       discourse and is becoming a common topic
Since opening, over 14,000 people have             of conversation around dinner tables and in
booked tickets to visit the Centre and a           the loungerooms of Australians. Whether it’s
similar exhibit was launched at Questacon          the advancing of the next frontier of space
in Canberra.                                       tourism, or space being the topic of the 2021
                                                   National Simultaneous Storytime which saw
We’ve seen the enhancement of national,
                                                   nearly 2 million readers, space inspires as
sovereign space capability through
                                                   it equally brings people together under the
increasing collaboration between industry
                                                   universal goal of improving lives on Earth.
and government. In March, Southern Launch
                                                   I look forward to working with the national
was granted the first launch facility licence
                                                   ecosystem and the international community
for its Koonibba Test Range site in regional
                                                   to continue the excitement and momentum
South Australia. Similarly, in July the Minister
                                                   achieved in 2021 into 2022.
for Industry, Science and Technology the Hon
Christian Porter MP granted a second launch        Enrico Palermo
facility licence to Southern Launch for its        Head of Agency, Australian Space Agency
Whalers Way site, attracting space industry
related jobs and growth into the region.

July 1 marked a special day for both the
Australian Space Agency and the national
space industry. The Australian Government

                                                                    12th Australian Space Forum     5
12th Australian Space Forum Wednesday 15 September 2021 - Adelaide, South Australia
Message from the CEO of The Andy Thomas Space Foundation
For the 12th time we are here to convene in one of the most prestigious
space events in Australia bringing together the full spectrum of
researchers, academics, suppliers, industry professionals and end
users to connect and create profitable opportunities.

                                                  Moving from cubesats to larger satellites –
                                                  building Australian expertise and capability.
                                                  In the recent years, Australia has designed
                                                  and developed many cubesats. Commercial
                                                  firms have started studying the deployment
                                                  of small satellites capable of hosting bigger
                                                  payloads (in particular for Earth observation
                                                  applications). This panel session brings
Since the first edition in 2016 this event has    together experts who are actively involved in
represented an important platform in generating   satellite manufacturing to discuss a national
discussion, bringing international best           endeavour.
practice, and stimulating the establishment
                                                  Reimagining the social, environmental
of pivotal organisations such as the
                                                  and economic opportunities enabled by
Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC,
                                                  Earth observation technologies.
The Andy Thomas Space Foundation and
                                                  This panel session brings together national
other initiatives.
                                                  and international experts who will share
Today we are thinking about the future of         insights and leading-edge examples on
the space sector in Australia. What will the      how Earth observation technologies can be
Australian space ecosystem look like in           used to generate new value, solve complex
five years from now? In the last five years,      problems and reduce costs incurred by
Australians have developed a robust new           current infrastructure and technologies.
ecosystem. In the next five years, this
                                                  On-Earth and off-Earth remote operations,
approach will continue to improve and
                                                  in the context of human exploration and
strengthen our capability and expertise, and
                                                  applications here on Earth.
overcome the challenges.
                                                  Remote operations in space is challenging
In this framework, The Andy Thomas Space          but a realistic opportunity particularly in the
Foundation has started a new editorial            context of human exploration of the solar
section within this booklet, curating             system. The most interesting aspect of these
several contributions from prominent              challenges is whether the development of
experts about the growth of the Australian        these new technical capabilities might even
space ecosystem. The goal is in line with         find their first applications right here on
the purpose of our Forum: encouraging a           Earth. This panel session brings together
constructive debate in our country.               experts who are actively involved in the space
                                                  sector and terrestrial remote operations
Future focused and following an overview of       using robotics and autonomous vehicles to
national and international space strategies       discuss a national endeavour.
and trends, this Forum will present the
following three panels on topics that pose        Thanks to all of you, colleagues, speakers,
important challenges to the space sector          attendees and volunteers for being a part of
in Australia.                                     this vibrant event.

                                                  Nicola Sasanelli AM
                                                  CEO, The Andy Thomas Space Foundation

Download the Australian
Space Forum App
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the 8th September 2021. Alternatively,
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Use the app to:
— View the full program
— Join in the Q&A
— Rate, comment and take notes on
    sessions you attend
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— Connect with other delegates,
    plus more!

                 12th Australian Space Forum   7
Forum Schedule
Facilitated by Nicola Sasanelli AM,
CEO of The Andy Thomas Space Foundation.

Time    Session                                                                      Room

8.00    Registration open – Tea and coffee on arrival                                Hall H

8.45    Opening session                                                              Hall L
        Welcome from the Premier of South Australia, The Hon Steven
        Marshall MP, followed by remarks from The Hon Christian Porter MP (invited),
        Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

9.05    International Space Trends                                                   Hall L
        —    Enrico Palermo, Head of Agency, Australian Space Agency
        —    Col. Pam Melroy, Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics
             and Space Administration (US)
        —    Andrew Johnson, Deputy Head, New Zealand Space Agency (NZ)

             NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker, Ph.D. – in conversation with
             Tory Shepherd, Journalist, Cosmos Magazine

10.00   Morning tea                                                                  Hall H

10.30   Research and Development Panel: Moving from CubeSats                         Hall L
        to larger satellites – building Australian expertise and capability

             Prof. Sir Martin Sweeting, OBE, FRS, FREng, FIET, Executive Chairman,
             Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) / Chairman and Distinguished
             Professor, Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey (UK)

             Peter Nikoloff, Chair of the Industry Advisory Board,
             SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre

        —    Prof. Sir Martin Sweeting, OBE, FRS, FREng, FIET, Executive Chairman,
             Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) / Chairman and Distinguished
             Professor, Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey (UK)
        —    Renae Sayers, Deputy Director, Space Science and Technology
             Centre at Curtin University
        —    Peter Beck, CEO and Founder, Rocket Lab
        —    Flavia Tata Nardini, Co-founder and CEO, Fleet Space Technologies
        —    Prof. Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of the Space Institute,
             Te Pūnaha Ātea, University of Auckland (NZ)
        —    Dr. Nick Stacy, Senior Principal Scientist – Space, Defence Science
             and Technology Group

Time    Session                                                                       Room

12.00   Lunch                                                                         Hall H

13.30   Research and Development Panel: Reimagining the social,                       Hall L
        environmental and economic opportunities enabled by Earth
        observation technologies

             Adrian Turner, CEO, Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood
             Resilience Initiative

             Aude Vignelles, Chief Technology Officer, Australian Space Agency

        —    Adrian Turner, CEO, Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood
             Resilience Initiative
        —    Prof. Paul Tregoning, InSpace Mission Specialist, Australian
             National University
        —    Maree Wilson, Branch Head, National Earth and Marine Observations,
             Geoscience Australia
        —    Dr. Alex Held, Aquawatch Mission Lead, CSIRO Space and Astronomy
        —    Mani Thiru, APJ Space Industry Development Leader, Aerospace
             and Satellite Solutions, Amazon Web Services (SG)
        —    Dr. Fabio Volpe, Head of Optical and Hyperspectral, E-GEOS (IT)

14.50   Afternoon tea                                                                 Hall H

15.30   Research and Development Panel: On-Earth and off-Earth remote                 Hall L
        operations, in the context of human exploration and applications
        on Earth

             Jason Crusan, Vice President Technology and New Energy,
             Woodside Energy

             Dr. Sue Keay, CEO, Queensland AI Hub

        —    Jason Crusan, Vice President Technology and New Energy,
             Woodside Energy
        —    Gavin Gillett, Specialist Integrated Operations, Rio Tinto
        —    Dr. Sarah Cannard, Deputy Industry Director, SmartSat Cooperative
             Research Centre
        —    Timothy Canham, Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Operations and Flight
             Software Lead, NASA (US)
        —    Leanne Cunnold, CEO, AROSE
        —    Prof. Andrew Dempster, Director, Australian Centre for Space
             Engineering Research, UNSW

16.50   12th Australian Space Forum Conclusion                                        Hall L
        Nicola Sasanelli AM, CEO, The Andy Thomas Space Foundation

17.00   Networking hour                                                               Hall H

                                                                12th Australian Space Forum    9
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                         And      so
                                  so    do
                                        do    we.
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                         l    Australian and International Defence, Industry,
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             12th Australian Space Forum   11
“What will
the space
sector look
like in five
years? ”


                                                   Australia’s ultimate mission should be to
                                                   guarantee national sovereignty in space and
                                                   ensure that Australia plays a significant role
                                                   at an international level.

                                                   The 12th Australian Space Forum presented
                                                   an opportunity to explore the future of
                                                   the space sector with relevant leaders in
                                                   our community who are without a doubt,
In the last five years in Australia the space
                                                   important protagonists of the 'Australian
sector has grown significantly. We can say
                                                   space renaissance.’ I have invited them
that without a doubt this ‘Australian space
                                                   to provide a short contribution within
renaissance’ has a strong connection
                                                   this booklet about their vision for the
with the 68th International Astronautical
                                                   development of our Australian space
Conference 2017 in Adelaide.
                                                   capabilities and expertise.
In recent years the Australian Space Agency,
                                                   The question they have been asked is:
the SmartSat Cooperative Research Center,
                                                   "What do you think the space sector will
The Andy Thomas Space Foundation and
                                                   look like in five years?”
new task forces have been established
within our national and state government           Sincere thanks to:
agencies. Additionally, new public resources       — Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian
and programs have been created which have              Space Agency
benefited our private companies, research          — Air Vice Marshal Cath Roberts AM CSC,
organisations and universities which have              Head of Air Force Capability, Royal
generated an impressive level of new private           Australian Air Force
investment.                                        — Professor Anna Moore, Director of the
                                                       ANU Institute for Space
The most important challenge for Australia
                                                   — Professor Andy Koronios, CEO of the
is now to build more national capabilities
                                                       SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre
and expertise, that combined with our new
                                                   — Professor Craig Smith, CEO of Space
space assets, will result in rapid growth of the
                                                       Systems at Electro Optic Systems (EOS)
Australian space ecosystem. Furthermore,
                                                   — Alisa Starkey, Founder and Applied
our community can only benefit from a
                                                       Science Solutions Lead at Ozius
growing awareness of the importance of
space in our daily life. This is particularly      Enjoy your reading.
important in the education sector because
our knowledge economy needs highly                 Nicola Sasanelli AM
motivated young people attuned to careers in       CEO, The Andy Thomas Space Foundation
science and technology.

                                                                    12th Australian Space Forum   13
“The Australian space sector has achieved
a great deal in the last five years, so thinking
ahead to where we’ll be in the next five years
fills me with excitement.”


I have always been future focused with a deep      program will be implemented and playing a
appreciation and acknowledgement of the            direct role in NASA’s Artemis program and
past providing the foundations for growth          its vision to land the first woman and person
and new prospects. As the second Head of           of colour on the Moon. Our presence in the
the Australian Space Agency, I often reflect       Indo-Pacific space community will have also
back on how far we have come in just a few         increased considerably, as part of the Agency
years. Under the leadership of Dr Megan            further engaging with the region consistent
Clark AC, the establishment of the Agency          with Australia’s national interests. Nationally,
in 2018 catalysed effort and energy around         there will be a strong focus on investment in
the nation towards the opportunity space           the civil space priority areas, guided by the
provides, while accelerating recognition that      Agency’s seven technical roadmaps. We’ll
space is something that touches virtually          be working across government to deliver
every aspect of our lives today.                   national missions to meet sovereign civil
                                                   needs as well as building national capability
Looking ahead at the next five years, the          by supporting space infrastructure and
Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028          industry skills development. As such,
forecasts a period of significant delivery         Australia will be globally known for specific
across the Australian Space Agency’s four          areas of competitive advantage that leverage
strategic pillars: international, national,        spin-in and spin-out from adjacent industries.
responsible, and inspire. Joint international
missions, programs and initiatives with            Australia will well and truly be on the path
international space counterparts will be           to being a globally respected space-faring
realised. Of note, the Australian Government’s     nation, guided by a regulatory system that
$150 million Moon to Mars initiative Trailblazer   ensures safe operations in space and on
                                                   Earth while harnessing areas of growing

opportunity. The nation’s sovereign launch      Looking ahead we must harness the
capability will be firmly established and       momentum building in the sector. We have an
active, and human space flight shall develop    opportunity to enhance national, sovereign
as an opportunity to signal our ambition as     space capability through increasing
a nation. Perhaps most importantly, I see       collaboration to optimise and deliver
the power of space to inspire being more        investment with precision. We can do this
profound than ever. Central to this will be     through space missions that address some
enabling the space workforce pipeline,          of Australia’s greatest challenges like climate
supported by a broader uplift in STEM skills    change, and through reducing barriers to
across the national workforce. The progress     enable companies to scale their activities
of the Agency’s 2030 workforce target of        accessing both domestic and international
20,000 new jobs will reflect this pipeline of   markets. Working with organisations across
activity, alongside the growth target for the   the Australian Government, we will unlock
sector to reach $12 billion by 2030.            opportunities to the full space value chain.

The opportunity for Australia to expand         In five years, space will be an important
its development and utilisation of space        pillar of Australia’s economy by enabling
technologies is immense and exciting.           employment, harnessing innovation, and
Momentum is building, driven by passionate,     generating inspiration. The future is indeed
talented and gritty teams around the            bright and I look forward to the opportunities
nation who have a shared determination          and challenges on the path ahead as we
to make a difference and to accelerate          continue to transform and grow a globally
Australia’s presence and competiveness in       respected space sector that lifts the broader
what is a truly global sector. Our growing      economy, inspires and improves the lives of
momentum is signalled by many markers,          Australians.
including increasing private investment, the
                                                Enrico Palermo
emergence of new innovative technologies,
                                                Head of Agency, Australian Space Agency
constellations of sophisticated Australian
satellites being launched, university
research programs creating our future space
workforce, maturing domestic capability to
build and launch rockets, and hiring by space
companies of all sizes.

                                                                 12th Australian Space Forum   15
“Defence has recognised space as an
operational domain and the decision to create
a single organisation to coordinate and mange
Defence’s endeavours in space is significant.”

                                                                             Air Vice
                                                                             Cath Roberts

As the ultimate high ground, the space             The Defence Space Division will be
domain is critical to Defence operations. Our      established in January 2022 in response
capabilities and operating concepts rely on        to the critical need for coordination across
access to space systems and information – as       Defence space stakeholders, whole of
do the Australian public.                          government, industry, academia, allies
                                                   and our international partners. It will bring
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update and              members of Navy, Army, Air Force, the
Force Structure Plan recognises the                Australian Public Service and contractors
importance of the space domain as an               together under an integrated headquarters
operational environment in its own right. The      within Air Force.
Government has committed to significantly
increasing investment in Defence’s space           I am honoured to be selected as the inaugural
capabilities by investing around $7 billion this   Head of the Defence Space Division, this has
decade to ensure our access to space, space        been a lifelong aspiration for me.
services and geospatial information.
                                                   In my view, Australia has three key
Defence has recognised space as an                 advantages in the space domain.
operational domain and the decision to
create a single organisation to coordinate         Firstly, our unique geographical location and
                                                   vast open land in the Southern Hemisphere
and mange Defence’s endeavours in space is
                                                   allows us to contribute valuable input to
significant. We have a responsibility to assure
                                                   the global Space Surveillance Network. For
Australia’s access to space which is critical to
our national interests.                            example, the Space Surveillance Telescope at
                                                   Exmouth, WA, is a world-leading, 360-degree

telescope that will enable Defence to better     on space and recognises that collaboration
track and identify objects and threats in        on space is a key force multiplier for all the
deep space including space debris, as well       countries involved. Under a common vision,
as predict and avoid potential collisions. It    the nations agreed upon guiding principles
will become an important part of the global      and lines of effort to improve combined
Space Surveillance Network, which provides       military space operations, foster cooperation
space domain awareness to both Australia         and coordination and to collectively promote
and the US.                                      responsible behaviour in space.

Secondly, we have an inventive spirit and an     To sustainably grow our space industry we
incredible pool of smart people to draw on.      need to increase the STEM pipeline for a
There is enormous opportunity for industry       bright Australian future talent pool. Enrico
and academia to work closely with Defence        and I have been discussing this, and it is an
to meet our unique Australian requirements       area that would greatly benefit from continued
and bolster local capability. Our work with      collaboration between Defence, industry and
UNSW Space Canberra on the M2 satellite          academia. We will soon be launching Jarli, an
is Australia’s most complex CubeSat              animation of an Aboriginal girl who uses her
mission ever. This mission is incredibly         ingenuity to achieve her dream of getting to
exciting as it’s the first time we’re using      space. We have collaborations in the wings
formation flying in CubeSats. The amount         with the Australian Space Agency and NASA,
of capability squeezed into these artificial-    and would love for all of you to be part of
intelligence enabled satellites is amazing.      inspiring young people to reach for the stars
The M2 satellite is being used to evaluate       with STEM.
technologies that may eventually be placed
                                                 I am proud to be selected to lead Defence’s
onto more complex space systems. One
                                                 mission in space and I look forward to working
of the payloads is the first neuromorphic
                                                 with many of you to bring the very best
sensor to be placed into orbit, developed by
                                                 of Australian space smarts to be part of
Western Sydney University’s International
                                                 defending our nation.
Centre for Neuromorphic Systems. UNSW
Canberra Space has engaged a supply chain        Air Vice Marshal Cath Roberts, AM, CSC
of approximately 30 Australian companies for     Head of Air Force Capability,
the satellite.                                   Royal Australian Air Force
Thirdly, we are a responsible space
actor. Among other initiatives, Defence
is a participant of the Combined Space
Operations (CSpO) initiative. The CSpO
Initiative aims to improve information sharing

                                                                  — Jarli stepping out of the spaceship

                                                                  12th Australian Space Forum       17
“To ensure further success, a core group is
discussing the beginnings of a national space
consortium that will be paradigm-changing.”

                                                                              Anna Moore

In September 2019, when Prime Minister Scott       Today, universities across Australia are
Morrison said, “There is enormous opportunity      aggregating their space talent for the very
for Australia’s space sector which is why we       same reasons. At least nine other universities
want to triple its size to $12 billion to create   have already established dedicated multi-
around 20,000 extra jobs by 2030,” Australia’s     disciplinary space groups as front doors to
university sector knew they would play a big       their university efforts.
part in that future growth. But we also knew
                                                   To ensure further success, a core group is
no single university could do it on its own.
                                                   discussing the beginnings of a national space
I founded the Australian National University       consortium that will be paradigm-changing.
(ANU) Institute of Space (InSpace) after           Instead of universities competing, we will pool
serving on the Expert Reference Group that         our strengths to maximise benefits for our
established the Australian Space Agency. As        country. Together, we will do things better so we
a member of that group, it was astonishing         can better support our growing space industry.
to see the depth and breadth of space
                                                   This is not the old way of tertiary education
research across Australia and across my own
                                                   in our nation. We suggest collaboration and
university. Not only did I recommend, with the
                                                   not competition as a new way forward in
other members of the group, that we create
                                                   three key areas that fall under the university
a space agency, I recommended to ANU that
                                                   domain, education, infrastructure and
they aggregate their space experts to better
                                                   research translation.
focus their efforts to meet the demands of
our growing space industry.

Education                                         Research translation

Space education and training is a broad           Finally, forming university research
subject, and many universities have               partnerships to deliver on national priorities
outstanding strengths in specific areas.          can create concrete pathways to research
We believe that universities play a key role      translation. Together, we can identify
in educating the future space industry            targets and metrics, establish collaborative
workforce. By offering a joint curriculum, we     strategies, identify and cost necessary
can create a revolutionary space education        capabilities to submit proposals that
not available anywhere else in the world.         generate true impact.

Australian students could learn from              As a collective, we can drive change from
world-leading advanced communications             inside universities if we lead by example.
experts, pioneering satellite engineers and       We can show all areas of universities that
world-class rocketry scientists because they      collaboration will make us all stronger, create
will not be limited to education at a single      better innovation and outputs, create a
institution. We can ensure the graduates are      robust space workforce, fortify our R&D
fit for space industry purpose by tailoring       sector and grow the commercial space
education to industry needs and not just          industry. If space can do it, so can other
geographical location.                            disciplines.

Infrastructure                                    We know what we are proposing is a major
                                                  paradigm shift. Competitors become
Together, universities can get funding for        collaborators, and we each shine in our areas
and build essential infrastructure across         of expertise. Energy is spent moving forward
priority areas enabling industry growth and       and not just moving up. As we create one
spin offs as well as cutting-edge research.       voice for the Australian university space
Several universities have partnered with          sector, it is our goal to fuel space industry
private industry in a recent winning space        jobs, growth and education.
infrastructure grant. Now we’re creating a
nationwide network of space component             Professor Anna Moore
testing sites that will help accelerate the       Director, ANU Institute for Space
research, development and successful
creation of innovative space components in
Australia. We are creating vital new growth for
our space industry without re-inventing the
wheel. We were taking existing infrastructure
and improving it together for the benefit of
the entire nation. This kind of thinking can
guarantee successful university, government
and private partnerships that empower
our entire space industry and forego a
problematic state-by-state approach.

                                                                   12th Australian Space Forum     19
“A strong collaborative partnership between
Australia’s internationally respected R&D
ecosystem and industry is critical in order to
build capacity and autonomy in space.”


SmartSat is privileged to be playing a role        industry, the tempo of growth of the
in the development of Australia’s space            Australian space industry is accelerating.
ecosystem at this very critical and exciting       Collaborative R&D will be critical to achieving
juncture in Australia’s space industry             this growth because although Australia
development.                                       punches well above its weight in research
                                                   output it is in the bottom quartile of the OECD
Australia has taken the first steps in its         in research-industry collaboration.
journey of transitioning to become a space
faring nation. Its fledgling space industry        Opportunities abound for Australia to
needs to develop high-tech capabilities            compete in areas where the global playing
through R&D and innovation to make it              field is still quite level. We envisage that by
competitive in the global stage. A strong          2026 Australia will be able to deploy and
collaborative partnership between Australia’s      replenish constellations of small satellites
internationally respected R&D ecosystem            which are powered by Australian developed
and industry is critical in order build capacity   advanced sensors and communications
and autonomy in space and so that it may           technology, directed by on-board analytics
realise the benefits from the soon-to-be           systems providing autonomy and intelligence
trillion-dollar global space industry. Through     for formation flight performing multiple
the support of the Australian Space Agency,        specialised tasks. Digital twin analytics
the Australian Government's Cooperative            systems will operate off a common backbone
Research Centres Program, and a number             of space-related infrastructure and new
of other government initiatives and the            game-changing technologies such as optical
collaborative approach of research and

and quantum communications and sensing           country. Such space infrastructure will also
systems as well as Artificial Intelligence       provide high resolution remote sensing and
systems, will leverage Australia’s global        monitoring of our country, delivering to all
leadership in these high-tech areas.             Australians information to improve the way
                                                 they work, learn and play, how we protect the
Analytics which power information product        environment and our borders.
generation using multiple data sources from
real-time sensor acquisitions combined with      These outcomes will be realised through the
existing data from the vast existing data        intensive collaboration between our space
stores will produce customised outputs, fit      industry and Australia’s R&D ecosystem.
for purpose, timely and available where and
                                                 SmartSat’s role is pivotal. Guided by the
when required. To do this we need to expand
                                                 Australian Space Agancy and working
our capability for ideation, design, build and
                                                 closely with the CSIRO, Defence Science
space hardening of sensors and satellite
                                                 and Technology Group and more than 120
buses across the private and publicly funded
                                                 other industry and university partners,
research. Such game-changing capabilities
                                                 SmartSat brings together researchers,
will enable Australia to build 21st century
                                                 the space industry and end users to form
high technology critical space infrastructure
                                                 powerful strategic collaborations to solve
similar to the ground-based transportation
                                                 grand national challenges and seize the big
and communications infrastructure of the
                                                 opportunities that space has to offer. These
last century – a national sovereign capability
                                                 collaborations become formidable research
that was critical to building our nation.
                                                 innovation, translation and commercialisation
Such Australian space systems will provide       engines. In the past many of Australia’s best
Australia with critical capabilities in Earth    research outputs in space-related fields
observation, satellite telecommunications        have gone off-shore for development and
and PNT (positioning, navigation and timing),    commercial application. SmartSat is now a
supported by advanced analytics, and space       critical catalyst for ensuring that the next
systems providing coverage to every part         generation of research outputs will find their
of Australia and its off-shore territories       translation into on-shore industrial capability
including the Indian and Pacific oceans and      and commercial outcomes!
Antarctica. It will comprise constellations
                                                 Professor Andy Koronios
of satellites that operate with increased
                                                 CEO, SmartSat Cooperative
autonomy through embedded intelligence
                                                 Research Centre
and the ability to work cooperatively. These
will provide us with lightning speed decision
support capabilities across the whole

                                                     — Figure 1: Australian smart satellite constellations
                                                     delivering critical capabilities in earth observation,
                                                          satellite telecommunications and positioning,
                                                                             navigation and timing (PNT)

                                                                    12th Australian Space Forum         21
“Australia seems poised for a significant
recapitalisation in its space capability

                                                                              Craig Smith

The Australian upstream space industry              The recent Rocket Labs filing with the US
(businesses operating in R&D, manufacturing         Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
and launch) is currently enjoying a period of       gave us a stark reminder of what it takes to
engagement as never experienced before.             build and operate a ‘successful’ company
                                                    in the space sector. Even with favourable
This is seeing the attraction of a number of        regulatory provisions and sponsorship,
venture capital investors to the Australian         Rocket Labs has accumulated a US$203M
space market, who appreciate both the               loss since 2013 and is expected to continue
successes of recent “Space 2.0” companies           to operate at a loss in the near future. This
across the world and the relative competitive       highlights the true magnitude of venture
advantages that Australian businesses can           capital required to compete in the “Space
offer to the global space market.                   2.0” era.
Indeed, much of this credit should be given         What is clear is that if any Australian company
to the Australian Space Agency, which as            is ever going to qualify and be credible
it passes its third birthday has taken some         enough to win the projects to which we
admirable first steps. Their ability to raise the   aspire, there will inevitably have to be
domestic and international profile of our           some consolidation of the Australian space
Australian space industry should be whole-          industry. We simply cannot win a $1BN
heartedly commended. Yet their ongoing              contract with a balance sheet of $1M or
ability to generate this impact continues           even $100M.
to be hampered by a lack of a whole-of-
government mandate and the serious space
budget they need to build more than just

We need to work out how, as Australian              recapitalisation in its space capability
companies grow to have $10M or $100M                acquisition. Keystone multi-billion dollar
balances sheets, we protect them from               space programs (largely stemming from
takeover from much larger overseas                  Defence) in space domain awareness,
corporations. Ultimately, the goal of               communications, Earth observation and
government and the Australian space                 position, navigation & timing present
industry should be to have Australian               significant opportunities for Australian
companies, paying Australian taxes and              space companies operating in both the
employing an Australian workforce.                  ground and space segments.

Attempts by foreign owned overseas prime            The announcement of the Space Division
contractors to include Australian companies         under Air Vice-Marshall Roberts gives a rare
in their Global Supply Chain programs has           opportunity for unity of vision across the
proven unsuccessful enough to warrant               whole of Defence, which as an industry we
the launch of an independent review of              should all be rallying behind. Hopefully, this
the process by Minister Price. While the            new Space Division takes a page out of the
recommendations are not due until later this        book of their shipbuilding colleagues with
year, the results of this review will likely have   a Space Industry Plan, something that has
a direct effect on those space businesses           shown great success in supporting jobs
working in Defence.                                 development and growth for their sector.

Furthermore, in the last few years with             So as we look to the future of the upstream
growing regional tensions and supply chain          Australian space industry, we can certainly
disruptions due to the global pandemic,             reflect that we are in a stronger position
we are coming to the realisation that we            than we were five years ago. The work of the
cannot rely on the global economy in the            Australian Space Agency and Defence to
way to which we have become accustomed.             create a healthy space ecosystem will prove
Recently, the Morrison Government launched          a solid foundation from which we can look to
its $1.3BN Modern Manufacturing Initiative as       our future. With a solidification of broader
part of the JobMaker plan. This program and         government support, further investment in our
the portion allocated to space businesses will      agency and the new Space Division, Australian
be a bellwether for the government’s opinion        companies can be poised to make a lasting,
on the ability of the Australian space industry     value contribution on the world stage.
to supply critical infrastructure over the
                                                    Professor Craig Smith
coming decade.
                                                    CEO, Space Systems,
When considering the broader space pipeline,        Electro Optic Systems (EOS)
Australia seems poised for a significant

                                                                               — Mt Stromlo Dome Lasing

                                                                     12th Australian Space Forum     23
“The next 5 years are critical for the
sustained success of the Australian
space industry – particularly for growing
downstream analytics.”

                                                                           Alisa Starkey

On the 29th August 2017, Ozius provided a         As Mr Musk said in his presentation, we need
submission to the review of Australia’s space     a way to pay for space innovation, and to do
industry capability calling for an industry to    that you need customers and users. The key
be self-sustaining and to do that it needed to    to Australia’s success was going to have to be
put the customer and end user at the centre       an industry with the customer and users at its
of all decision making.                           core. In 2017, many businesses were already a
                                                  space customer; most just didn’t know it. The
In September 2017, I was flying to Adelaide for   Australian Space Agency has changed the
the International Astronautical Congress.         landscape as it has shone a light on a small
I recall the buzz around the International        but hardworking space industry. In doing
Astronautical Congress in Adelaide when           so, the Agency has, dare I say, helped make
word spread of an impending announcement…         space “cool” here in Australia.
the announcement that Australia would             At the time of writing our submission to the
establish its own space agency. The congress      review of the Australian space industry in
closed with Elon Musk outlining his vision for    2017, the key issues we faced when engaging
space travel and exploration. At his closing      with customers was around trust and
address, Mr Musk was outlining the plan           regulatory acceptance of satellite derived
for the “BFR” as it was affectionately known      analytic solutions. Today, 4 years later,
at that stage – four years later, SpaceX          we see those same customers embracing
has “bolted” on the 20-plus engines to the        downstream analytics for their business
Starship. An incredible feat.                     decisions and driving the need for more
                                                  intelligent answers to complex questions.
                                                  There is continued urgency to grow our

sovereign capability in this globally critical    technologies. Customers will expect real-
domain. Growing Australia’s capability,           time knowledge, and some will challenge us
capacity, and range of innovative offerings in    for more. Fortunately, we have the capability
downstream analytics is moving more rapidly       to provide more. Multi-sensor, multi-modal
than any time before, and we cannot rest.         data fusion and quantum technologies will
The next 5 years are critical for the sustained   be the standard go to tools for downstream
success of the Australian space industry –        analytics providers. Upstream providers
particularly for growing downstream analytics.    will be launching sovereign Earth observing
                                                  missions with increasingly advanced
A self-sustaining industry must be focused        systems and intelligent on-board processing
on feeding the needs of customers and end         capabilities to enhance on-ground analysis
users. We have highly sophisticated end           and decision making.
users, and new adopters, all pushing us as an
industry to be bold, but reminding us to keep     Australia’s capability in downstream analytics
their needs at the core of our innovations.       will change the way decisions are made here
Our industry must continue to inspire and         on Earth, in space, and on other planets.
deliver tangible benefits. The next five years    Decisions will not only be made with agility,
will see our customers demand solutions           but from anywhere, and with predictive
relating to improving food and water security,    capabilities.
establishing zero-entry autonomous mines,
                                                  That’s where we can be in five years’ time.
reducing risk when fighting fires, protecting
communities from natural disasters, helping       I’ll see you there…
companies and communities to protect and
rejuvenate our planets’ most valuable and         Alisa Starkey
vulnerable ecosystems.                            Founder and Applied Science
                                                  Solutions Lead, Ozius
Australian downstream analytics companies
are already here (and more will emerge)
to harness the ever-growing new stock
of satellite sensors and systems. We will
continue to be on the leading-edge of
innovative applications and capabilities
globally, that will deliver paradigm shifts for
customers willing to embrace space-derived,
data-lite, intelligence-rich, downstream
analytics solutions.

To sustain this level of innovation within
small and large enterprises, research, and
government agencies alike, we must ensure
Australia is also growing our pipeline of next-
generation skills. The link between Australian
space business needs and STEM next-
generation skills and curricula are critical to
align, to generate sustainable growth of our
ecosystem, into the future.

In five years’, we will be predicting the
future with more certainty and along further
time horizons, using space and integrated

                                                                    12th Australian Space Forum   25
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Speaker Profiles

                       12th Australian Space Forum   27
Professor Guglielmo Aglietti                       Peter Beck
Director of the Space Institute,                   CEO and Founder, Rocket Lab
Te Pūnaha Ātea, University of Auckland

Professor Guglielmo Aglietti is an                 Peter Beck is the founder and CEO of Rocket
internationally leading expert in space            Lab, a space systems company and the
engineering and, in particular, space              world’s leading dedicated small satellite
structures and mechanisms. His career              launch provider. Rocket Lab provides
started as a stress analyst at Alenia Spazio,      end-to-end mission services, including
working at the Columbus module of the              complete satellite build and launch solutions,
International Space Station. He then worked        that provide rapid, frequent and reliable
at the European Space Agency and in 1995           access to space. Rocket Lab has been
moved to the University of Southampton             launching since May 2017, delivering satellites
where he obtained a PhD and progressed             to orbit for commercial and government
his academic career obtaining a personal           customers, including DARPA, NASA, the
chair, becoming the Head of the Astronautics       United States Air Force and more.
Research Group. His activities spanned
                                                   Since founding the business in 2006, Peter
from academic research and teaching to
                                                   has grown Rocket Lab to become a globally
consultancy for industry, covering both
                                                   recognised industry leader in space and a
theoretical work and experimental activity.
                                                   billion-dollar company employing hundreds of
Awarded RAEng Research Chair in Space              world-class engineers. In addition to creating
Engineering, Professor Aglietti became             Electron, the world’s first fully carbon-fibre
Director of the Surrey Space Centre, with          orbital launch vehicle, Peter also oversaw
responsibilities covering all its research         the development of the world’s first and only
groups, working on a range of topics from          private orbital launch range, located on New
space missions design and delivery, to             Zealand's Māhia Peninsula. He played a crucial
hardware development (from concept to              role in establishing international treaties and
MAIT) to downstream applications, including        legislation to enable orbital launch capability
educational and knowledge transfer                 from New Zealand.
activities. Principal investigator of pioneering
                                                   Under Peter’s guidance, Rocket Lab will
missions for technology demonstrations like
                                                   launch thousands of small satellites to orbit,
active removal of space debris, his work has
                                                   enabling vital science, research and services
been presented at the leading international
                                                   from orbit including weather monitoring,
conferences, giving key note lectures and
                                                   communications, technology demonstrations
featured on various media outlets and is
                                                   and Earth-observation.
described in over 250 publications. Currently
he is the Director of the Space Institute at the
University of Auckland NZ

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