Canberra scientists launch their first satellite into space

Proudly supported by

  Last updated March 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Topics:  

UNSW Canberra has launched its first miniature satellite into orbit from the United States, achieving another important milestone in growing Australia’s space sector.


The Buccaneer cube satellite, which was jointly developed by UNSW Canberra and Defence Science Technology scientists, is now undergoing preliminary testing in orbit.


Launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Buccaneer has attained a stable orbit, with scientists and engineers able to successfully communicate with the spacecraft, obtaining telemetry.


Buccaneer, which is about the size of a shoe box, will help calibrate Australia’s groundbreaking Jindalee over the horizon radar as well as provide crucial data on predicting orbits of space objects including space “junk”.


Over the next few weeks and months the spacecraft will undergo operations to check and commission its systems before undertaking its risk mitigation activities and experiments in early 2018.



UNSW Canberra Space director, Professor Russell Boyce says: “Being able to avoid collisions in space is essential if we are to safeguard the space based technologies upon which society depends. Our cubesats will play an important role in gathering data for this research, among other outcomes such as demonstrating space-based capability ranging from remote sensing to ultra-secure quantum communications.”


Buccaneer is one of five funded spacecraft and a further three in early development, at UNSW Canberra Space, a flagship program established with a $10m internal investment. The cube satellite is jointly owned and developed with the Defence Science Technology Group.


Russell Boyce and his team of the UNSW Canberra Space Research. Captured on campus in SEIT labs and at the Falcon Telescope. L-R: Igor Dimitrijevic, Simon Barraclough, Douglas Griffin, Russ Boyce, Arvind Ramana. Credit: Andrew Taylor


“With a team of over 40 space engineers, scientists and PhD students, we have the in-house ability and capacity to conceive, develop and fly innovative space missions with our own hands, supported by world class space research, rather than relying on others,” says Professor Boyce. “It’s about building a sustainable domestic space capability with affordable methods of delivery.”


UNSW Canberra Rector, Professor Michael Frater says: “What we’re seeing now, throughout government, is an understanding that it is critically important for Australia to operate in space, both from a security point of view and economically.”


“We want Australia to have a really vibrant space industry. It makes sense for Australia to play niche roles and benefit from the innovation, spin offs and export dollars that come with it.”


This first successful mission is the first of more to come from Canberra.


Today Australia’s first national space mission design facility was officially opened by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at the UNSW Canberra.


Professor Boyce says the new Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF) complements Australian National University’s spacecraft test facilities and means Canberra now has the capability to develop space missions from start to finish.


“For the first time, Australia has a facility that will enable spacecraft design engineers and scientists to rapidly design and determine the technical and economic viability of proposed space missions,” Professor Boyce said.




Education Resource:


Canberra scientists launch their first satellite into space




About the Author

Kylie Simmonds

Published By

Featured Videos

Placeholder
A future of nanobots in 180 seconds
Placeholder
Multi-user VR opens new worlds for medical research
Placeholder
Precision atom qubits achieve major quantum computing milestone
Placeholder
World's first complete design of a silicon quantum computer chip
Placeholder
Micro-factories - turning the world's waste burden into economic opportunities
Placeholder
Flip-flop qubits: a whole new quantum computing architecture
Placeholder
Ancient Babylonian tablet - world's first trig table
Placeholder
Life on Earth - and Mars?
Placeholder
“Desirable defects: Nano-scale structures of piezoelectrics” – Patrick Tung
Placeholder
Keeping Your Phone Safe from Hackers
Placeholder
Thru Fuze - a revolution in chronic back pain treatment (2015)
Placeholder
Breakthrough for stem cell therapies (2016)
Placeholder
The fortune contained in your mobile phone
Placeholder
Underwater With Emma Johnston
Placeholder
Flip-flop qubits: a whole new quantum computing architecture
Placeholder
The “Dressed Qubit” - breakthrough in quantum state stability (2016)
Placeholder
Pinpointing qubits in a silicon quantum computer (2016)
Placeholder
How to build a quantum computer in silicon (2015)
Placeholder
Quantum computer coding in silicon now possible (2015)
Placeholder
Crucial hurdle overcome for quantum computing (2015)
Placeholder
New world record for silicon quantum computing (2014)
Placeholder
Quantum data at the atom's heart (2013)
Placeholder
Towards a quantum internet (2013)
Placeholder
Single-atom transistor (2012)
Placeholder
Down to the Wire (2012)
Placeholder
Landmark in quantum computing (2012)
Placeholder
1. How Quantum Computers Will Change Our World
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – What will a quantum computer do?
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – Quantum Hardware
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – Quantum Algorithms
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – Quantum Logic
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – Entanglement
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts - Quantum Measurement
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts – Spin
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts - Quantum Bits
Placeholder
Quantum Computing Concepts - Binary Logic
Placeholder
Rose Amal - Sustainable fuels from the Sun
Placeholder
Veena Sahajwalla - The E-Waste Alchemist
Placeholder
Katharina Gaus - Extreme Close-up on Immunity
Placeholder
In her element - Professor Emma Johnston
Placeholder
Martina Stenzel - Targeting Tumours with Tiny Assassins
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Why are we all athletes?
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Megafauna murder mystery
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Why are we so hairy?
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Why grannies matter
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Why do only humans experience puberty?
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Evolution of the backside
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Why we use symbols
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Evolutionary MasterChefs
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - The Paleo Diet fad
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Are races real?
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Are We Still Evolving?
Placeholder
How Did We Get Here? - Dangly Bits
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: Climate Migrants
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: De-Extinction
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: Nuclear Disasters
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: Storm Surges
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: How the Japan tsunami changed science
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: How the World Trade Centre collapsed
Placeholder
Catastrophic Science: Bushfires