NSW industry heads into space

6 May 2014

Richard Cislowski and Jason Held at CeBIT 2014.

The recent launch of a satellite served by NSW technology is a potential step forward for the future of the State's economy.

Part of the new satellite's ground-based mission control system was developed in NSW by Sydney-based start-up Saber Astronautics.

The satellite was launched from the International Space Station last month which is the first in a number of exciting achievements for the company.

The next will be the launch soon of a Manipal Institute of Technology in India satellite fitted with Saber Astronautics technology. The Saber Astronautics product will help to address the increasing problem of 'space junk' by enabling controllers to pull satellites out of orbit for a safe return to earth at the end of their useful life.

Saber Astronautics' systems are great examples of cutting edge technology being developed in NSW and signal a new and exciting industry opportunity that could create significant dividends for the State.

The NSW Government is supporting the industry-led formation of Australia's first space startup accelerator, Delta-V, through its InnovateNSW and Bridging the Gap programs to help build the State's fledgling space industry sector.

Delta-V brings together NSW-based space technology companies Saber Astronautics and Launchbox as well as the University of NSW's Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research and the University of Sydney's SpaceNet.

Collaboration between industry and the research sector will provide a great platform for development and commercialisation of new technologies in this exciting new field.

While Delta-V is currently a small, highly specialised group, there are huge opportunities to take advantage of the State's world class IP and skills in robotics, navigation, machine learning, software and system design.

Saber Astronautics CEO, Dr Jason Held, said the development of the Delta-V accelerator will strengthen his and other companies' efforts to break into the highly specialised global space industry.

"NSW has some fantastic, world leading technology in this sector and a lot to offer the space sector globally," he said.

"We are keen to position ourselves as global leaders in the field and we are quickly gaining worldwide recognition, particularly in the US.

"The formation of the Delta-V accelerator will boost the efforts of NSW companies trying to break into the sector and help to create links between research discoveries and commercial applications both in space and here on Earth.

"As a NSW-based company we are proud to have our technology in use in space and appreciate the support we've received from NSW Trade & Investment.

"The assistance provided has enabled us to accept an invitation from NASA to test our Tether System on their Zero-G flight program, also a first for an Australian company," Dr Held said.

The Delta-V announcement was made during the launch of the 2014 CeBIT ICT tradeshow at Sydney Olympic Park on 5 May 2014.

CeBIT is the Asia Pacific's leading tech tradeshow and an opportunity to showcase NSW's world class capacity in the ICT sector to more than 30,000 attendees from 45 countries.