SA company secures defence satellite contract

Nov 29, 2019, 12:16 PM

South Australian space technology company Inovor Technologies has beaten international competition to win a $2.5 million Defence contract to design and build a cube satellite to carry equipment into space.

Under the contract, Inovor Technologies will develop a satellite which will be used to house equipment in space for the Buccaneer Main Mission, as well as a secondary spacecraft vehicle for engineering development.

Inovor technologies Chief Executive Dr Matthew Tetlow said the project will be undertaken at South Australia’s Lot Fourteen, and the satellite and engineering model will be fully developed and integrated by local industry. 

“We’ll engage South Australian businesses and suppliers for the project, including companies involved in electronics manufacturing, software development and advisory services,” Dr Tetlow said.   

The project will provide a significant boost to the broader South Australian space economy and is expected create up to four new high-tech jobs, growing Inovor Technology’s total workforce to 20 full-time employees.   

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated Inovor Technologies on winning the contract to deliver a satellite bus that will be used to house equipment in space for the Buccaneer Main Mission. 

“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.”