SmartSat commits AU$1M+ to Waratah Seed Space Qualification Mission

ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs & Their Applications

We are pleased to announce that research centre SmartSat has committed over $1 million to support the development of new tech that will be tested on the Waratah Seed WS-1 rideshare mission, Australia’s first space qualification-focused ride-share mission.

Andy Koronios, CEO of SmartSat CRC, said Waratah Seed is an historic step for NSW’s space industry.

“SmartSat welcomes NSW’s commitment to Waratah Seed, and we are excited to be a part of such a momentous project. We enjoy a strong relationship with Investment NSW and support the growth of the NSW space ecosystem to deliver cutting-edge projects critical to the nation’s space priorities. These two projects are extremely significant for furthering space technology and developing the space sector in NSW and Australia.”

Professor Iver Cairns, Director of Waratah Seed project and CUAVA, said the support Waratah Seed is receiving from SmartSat CRC is critical to mission success.

“I’m delighted to be partnering with SmartSat CRC to bring our vision of Space Flight Qualification for novel Australian space technology to life. The payload teams that SmartSat has selected are creating exciting solutions for difficult problems in space edge computing and satellite resilience.

Waratah Seed is an Australian-built 6U-sized satellite, partly funded by NSW Government and developed by the ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and their Applications (CUAVA), based at the University of Sydney (USYD) with the support of a number of NSW-based partners: Saber Astronautics, Macquarie University, the Delta-V Space Hub, ACSER at University of NSW, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and USYD.

Mission payloads were determined by a competition run in 2021. One of two funded projects is a heat management solution for onboard ‘space edge’ computer chips, developed by an industry-research consortium formed by space startup companies Mawson Rovers and Spiral Blue with SmartSat CRC research partner UTS. The second supported payload is an on-orbit demonstration of the capabilities of AICRAFT’s space edge computing module, Pulsar-2, which was selected for sponsorship by the Aurora Space Startups Cluster, another SmartSat CRC initiative.

Dr Tim Parsons, SmartSat NSW Node Coordinator, member of the Waratah Seed project, and board member of the Aurora Space Cluster, said that the mission is giving Australian startups and their partners in R&D a valuable pathway to earning space-flight heritage, critical to win customers locally and internationally.

“NSW is a leader in Australian space research and is home to more than a third of the nation’s space startups and SMEs. The space sector is critical for our nation’s future.  Learning how to support space startups to become space-qualified and grow their market share drives sustainable long-term economic growth, and positions Australia at the forefront of emerging space technologies and business models.”

Read more about the Waratah Seed Space Qualification Mission.

Download the full media release here

IMAGE: A novel heat management based on specially designed 3D-printed meta-material structures with optimised thermal properties and low mass. (Mawson Rovers, Spiral Blue, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney)