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EOS Space Systems becomes SmartSat CRC core partner

By Zach Thompson
Wed 8 Jun 2022

EOS Space Systems has become a core partner of the SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), giving it priority to select and lead strategic research projects.

Additionally, core partner status will allow EOS Space Systems to nominate candidates for the SmartSat CRC and Industry Advisory boards.

EOS Space Systems is SmartSat’s 20th core partner to join its CRC and is in the company of universities and global organisations, including Airbus, BAE Systems and Nova Systems.

“EOS Space Systems becoming a core partner is the culmination of one of our most exciting space ventures: Project CHORUS,” SmartSat CRC CEO professor Andy Koronios says.

“SmartSat CRC brought together a cross-disciplinary team of industry and universities under the leadership of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and facilitated the requirements-gathering from end-users, developed system designs and the research components.

“What began as a 1.2 million dollar Phase 1 project has already moved to the next phase, with a further $2.8 million investment in the rapid development of this innovative technology.

“We are delighted that EOS have decided to become one of our core partners. They obviously see real benefit in their participation with the SmartSat CRC and we look forward to working together to help build Australian space technology capability.”

Project CHORUS intends to build on existing Australian technology in compact RF tactical terminals and optical communication by developing “leap-frogging” technology that exploits bearer diversity through a highly integrated hybrid Optical-RF tactical terminal.

The infrastructure will be available to the commercial and national security markets.

Phase one of CHORUS spanned 12 months, from April 2019 to April 2020.

This phase was a research activity to develop concepts for and explore the feasibility of a highly integrated, tactical satellite communications terminal combining radio frequency and optical frequency capabilities into a single compact terminal.

Phase 2 is on track to deliver a working terrestrial demonstration with a terminal in early 2023.

EOS Space Systems CEO Glen Miller says the speed at which Project CHORUS was created has spurred the organisation to step up as a core partner to SmartSat CRC.

“Project CHORUS has been an exercise in the best-practice commercialisation of a new technology,” Miller says.

“Driven by collaboration between government, industry, and the researchers, it was fast, efficient, and the IP negotiations were effortless, allowing us to control the IP, but Defence having a call on the technology at no extra cost.

“The success of this venture demonstrates the value of having an independent platform like SmartSat CRC to bring the various parties together and makes things happen for Australia’s space sector.”

“Having benefited from what SmartSat is doing, we are thrilled to be investing our time and joining the CRC to drive great outcomes for Australian space technology.”

DSTG strategic research and innovation chief technology officer, professor Michelle Gee, says Defence’s investment in the SmartSat CRC through the Next Generation Technologies Fund is clearly paying dividends.

“We are seeing the development of potentially break-through technologies that could be a game-changer for military satellite communications,” Gee says.

“Those are exactly the sorts of results we want and expect to see from the Next Generation Technologies Fund.”

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