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Partners: AROSE, Curtin University

Binar Satellite

AROSE is proud to have Curtin University as one of its founding partner organisations. Curtin University has a long-standing commitment to space science and research, aligning well with the AROSE vision of facilitating the uptake and use of technology to service international space missions. Coinciding with the launch of AROSE is the launch of the Curtin University’s own mini satellite in September later this year. The satellite, or ‘cubesat’, will be launched from Japan on a re-supply mission to the International Space Station.

The founding partners of AROSE have teamed up to demonstrate the art-of-the-possible for remote operations, and to show how simple projects can create impact. Onboard the satellite will be a software payload with the ability to interface with various systems typical of remote operations.

The small satellite project is part of a larger research initiative spearheaded by Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) called ‘Binar’, after the Noongar word for ‘fireball’. The Binar 1 cubesat to be launched in September measures 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (termed 1-Unit) making it smaller than a loaf of bread. It will house a single eight-layer printed circuit board, integrating all of the necessary satellite systems, which SSTC Director, Professor Phil Bland says is “about the size of a rather small sandwich.”

The SSTC have partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) to manage communications and mission control aspects. The SSTC partnership with ESA will pave the way to develop future space technologies in order to assist in an eventual WA mission to the Moon.

The unique challenges brought about by deep-space engineering requires solutions that directly relate to remote operations technologies. As we venture into space, the technology needed to service long-distance communication and operation in variable, low-temperature conditions can be applied to enhance our working environments back home. This includes improving efficiency and safety for industrial processes by introducing digital automation and remote asset management of systems where needed, thus enabling access to complete high-risk activities previously impossible for humans. Technology used for deep-space communication and operation is a key pillar in being able to execute these tasks and is one of many examples for why AROSE is pinpointing space applicable technologies for terrestrial uptake as well as for providing value to the Australian space industry.

Space-ready technology is robust and reliable, making it a great candidate for safety-critical or asset-critical activities required for remote operations. Hardware flown on small satellites has essentially been ‘flight-proven’ and has demonstrated capability to be used in other systems. The Binar 1 cube satellite epitomizes the idea that collaboration between groups can bring about the level of innovation and follow-through needed to establish an Australian market in space.

The Launch of Binar 1 sets a precedent for AROSE to continue to build upon the momentum it has amassed and to signify the strength and ethos of our project team.

The power of collaboration

Fostering collaboration across industries and academia.

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