Inovor Technologies has won a $2.5m contract from Australian Department of Defence to deliver a satellite bus that will be used to house equipment in space for the Buccaneer Main Mission (BMM).
The contract signing ceremony was held in Adelaide on Nov. 29 between the DoD and Dr Matthew Tetlow, the CEO of Inovor Technologies.
Buccaneer is a collaborative Australian project to jointly fly and operate two CubeSat missions developed by the DSTG (Defence Science and Technology Group) and UNSW (University of New South Wales) Canberra Space. This is the first, sovereignly developed defense-science CubeSat mission flown by Australia.
The primary objective of the overall two-flight program will be the calibration of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), Australia’s currently operational over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) network that can monitor air and sea movements across 37,000 km2. The secondary objective of the program is to provide reliable experimental data to support astrodynamics and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) research being carried out at UNSW Canberra.
The precursor of the Buccaneer Main Mission, the Buccaneer Risk Mitigation Mission (Buccaneer RMM, BRMM), was launched in 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA on board a Delta-II rocket.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated Inovor Technologies on winning the contract.
“The Buccaneer program is aimed at improving our understanding of the outer atmosphere, in particular, the ionosphere, which plays a key role in Australia’s world-leading Over-the-Horizon radar capability,” Minister Price said. “Small, low-cost satellites like Buccaneer provide a unique opportunity to support the development of an Australian Space Capability for Defence and to rejuvenate Australian space research. The Defence White Paper highlights space research and space-based systems as an important part of Australia’s Defence capability and national security.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said this investment will improve Australia’s space capability but also shows how committed the Morrison Government is to advanced manufacturing and the opportunities that space presents for those businesses.
“There is huge potential for our advanced manufacturers who are working in defence or other industries to expand into the space sector and vice-versa, which will see them grow and create new Australian jobs,” Minister Andrews said. “The Morrison Government is committed to tripling the size of the space sector to $12 billion a year and an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030. To achieve that goal, we need to make sure we’re engaging businesses from a range of sectors.”