29 Mar 2023
Project News

CHORUS Testing and Demonstration Program Complete

29 Mar 2023

Following three years of intense collaboration, the Compact Hybrid Optical-RF User Segment (CHORUS) is approaching its conclusion as a SmartSat CRC funded project.

The final scheduled activity comprises a series of tests and demonstrations of the CHORUS Engineering Model terminal developed by the project.

The delegation inspecting the SATCOM terminal

With access to a fully functioning SATCOM terminal, the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) took the opportunity to host a VIP demonstration day for SmartSat staff, project participants, the Department of Defence and the Australian Space Agency.

The demonstration showcased the outstanding research and development conducted within two phases of the SmartSat co-funded project. It drew on impressive efforts by DSTG to support testing at their LASER range, including designing and building a ‘pseudo-satellite’ to prove the hybrid RF-Optical aperture worked as designed. The availability of an EM Solutions provided Cobra maritime SATCOM terminal* allowed the project to manufacture possibly the world’s first coaxial hybrid RF-Optical aperture, known within the project as an AntennaScope™.

The SATCOM terminal in situ on the Laser Range at DSTG’s Headquarters

DSTG, industry partners and SmartSat will continue to engage the broader Defence community to explore future opportunities to prove this world leading technology operates as designed to and from space. As there are currently no operational or planned satellites hosting the necessary communications payloads, this will final testing have to be conducted outside of the SmartSat project.

The AntennaScope™

Overall, CHORUS is seen as an outstanding success by SmartSat and our partners. It has brought together RF and Optical communications experts from across Australia and proved that Australia can achieve world-class outcomes in advanced research, development and manufacturing if given a well-defined research goal and access to necessary skills and resources.

Find out more about Project P1.19: Compact Hybrid Optical/RF User Segment (CHORUS)