ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs & Their Applications

Our mission…

Our economy, security, and society increasingly rely on access to space for vital data and services.  However, Australia needs a skilled workforce to grow the local Space Industry and capitalise on global opportunities.

CubeSats are a new class of small satellites, which with Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are disrupting the international satellite market. These have great commercial value, and have very low costs, making space more accessible than ever before.

The Centre aims to train and create an Australian workforce in sustainable, advanced manufacturing, space and UAV industries of national importance.

We aim to fundamentally change the capabilities and applications of CubeSats, UAVs, and their instruments (plus those for larger satellites) for Earth observations, GPS, satellite communications, and space weather purposes; and progress these devices to create a major commercial value with wide applications across these and other areas.

The Centre’s Aims

Aim 1: Systems

To fundamentally change the accessibility and functionality of CubeSats by developing advanced, commercialised, plasma thruster, Gigabit/s communication, and snap-together CubeSat systems.


Aim 2: Instruments

To develop novel, miniature, world-leading imagers for satellites and UAVs, especially hyperspectral imagers based on advanced photonic approaches, and variable spacecraft drag devices that enable major advances in Earth observations and characterisation of Earth’s time-varying space environment.


Aim 3: Products

To apply the new systems and instruments and our existing GPS expertise on CubeSats and UAVs to answer important research questions, develop new eData / mining algorithims, and provide powerful new commercialisable data and products that address crucial aspects of coastal, marine, agriculture, forestry, mining, and terrestrial and space weather applications.

Research Training Programme

Our Research Training programme is intended to be rigorous and innovative and consists of:

  • Up to two courses chosen from existing Honours / Postgraduate programmes offered at the University of Sydney and University of NSW. One course to be chosen from the student’s area of expertise, and the other in business, management, or law.
  • Up to one year industry placement with an Industry partner.
  • One start-up / entrepreneurship experience involving being part of a team that identifies and develops a technological, commercialisable solution to a significant space problem and then pitches it to a start-up incubator / accelerator.
  • One flight experience involving participation in our annual UAV or CubeSat flight teams. Each flight experience will involve project design, build, integration, test, and operational work.

Students graduating from the Centre will be well-rounded and prepared for working in industry with strong research and problem-solving skills.

The Centre’s trained students, postdocs, CIs, PIs, and partner organisations are expected to develop into global players in space-related research, industry, data, and services.