Sydney Uni partners with Japanese start-up to launch CubeSats

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Sydney Uni partners with Japanese start-up to launch CubeSats
CUAVA director Iver Cairns. Source: University of Sydney

Plans to launch first satellite from ISS.

An Australian Research Council training centre for mini satellites based at the University of Sydney will today partner with Japanese start-up Space BD to deploy its CubeSats from the International Space Station.

The Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA) is currently developing two CubeSats to test the uses for cheaper, smaller satellites in the Australian context while developing local expertise in the field.

‘CUAVA-1’ is set to be the first satellite launched later this year, and will be laden with remote sensing, GPS, and communications equipment, along with sensors to monitor the environment in space.

Space BD, who is also a commercial service provider with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will provide end-to-end launch and deployment services for CUAVA.

Centre director professor Iver Cairns said that signing the contract with Space BD is a “crucial and very exciting step forward for CUAVA and all of students and partners”.

“We look forward to a long-term partnership with Space BD and to the CUAVA-1 CubeSat enabling major progress on our research and commercialisation projects.”

Yuske Taguchi, senior manager at Space BD, added that the company is exited to establish its first international agreement.

“Starting with this project, we hope that cooperation in space between the two countries will further advance and strengthen our partnership across the Pacific region. Space BD will endeavour to further our contributions to the Australian space industry,” Taguchi said.

Other institutions supporting the centre include Macquarie University, UNSW, Texas A&M University and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Bureau of Meteorology, Defence Science and Technology Group and NSW Office for Science and Medical Research have also partnered with CUAVA.

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