If all goes to plan, Mission 1 (M1), the first of two Royal Australian Air Force-funded small satellite efforts, will soon be placed into space by a U.S. launch vehicle, according to a news story at The Australian infosite written by Nigel Pittaway.
The M1 and later M2 missions are being funded by the air force and conducted in partnership with the University of NSW Canberra, with the aims of developing a cadre of expertise in satellite capabilities and demonstrating innovative space technologies and rapid small-satellite development.
“The main goal from an air force perspective is the development of human capability, so M1 and M2 won’t be conducting operational missions for Defence, but they will develop skills for satellite operations from the ground up,” said Wing Commander Steve Henry, Deputy Director, Surveillance of Space, at air force headquarters. The Australian space industry is not new in itself but building satellites from start to finish is a new capability and having our people learn about those things is important to us.
The M1/M2 missions follow on from the successful launch in November 2017 of the Buccaneer smallsat, developed by the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) in partnership with UNSW Canberra. The M1 spacecraft will perform technology demonstration and research roles in the areas of space situational awareness (SSA), communications and surveillance in the next few years. The mission will utilise commercial off-the- shelf equipment including some GPS tracking capabilities, together with a software-defined radio and flight computer developed by UNSW Canberra.
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