20 Apr 2023
Research Update

Engaging with the global research community

20 Apr 2023

This month, the SmartSat CRC team attended the AmCham Australia lunch with NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator Bill Nelson, Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy and Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo. This visit to Australia was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the collaborative relationship between Australia and the US and humanity’s quest to venture further into space. They are certainly engaged with Australia’s space ecosystem pursuits and keen to collaborate with us.

(L-R) PwC Space Lead Imelda Alexopoulos moderating a panel discussion between NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Deputy NASA Administrator Colonel Pam Melroy USAF (Ret’d) and Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo at an AMCHAM event.

One clear takeaway for me was that our Australian pursuits in space must be underpinned with innovative technologies, which is the keystone of SmartSat projects, and we will continue support that for the long term. I am optimistic that the SmartSat research program, built on our partners’ technologies, is the right foundation for industry growth. With a long-term commitment to space, Australia can truly build a lasting space industry and make a meaningful contribution on the world space stage, such as Artemis.

(L-R) Dr Carl Seubert, Satellite Systems Engineer Nick Manser and Research Operations Manager Elizabeth Weeks at the ACHAM event.

This March, I also had the pleasure of presenting the opening keynote at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Artificial Intelligence in Space Sundowner event. As Artificial Intelligence is a cross cutting theme of our three integrated research programs, this was a great opportunity for me to highlight some of many projects within the SmartSat research program in this area. These included two projects approved under our SCARLET umbrella, a number of onboard AI and autonomy experiments linked to our state funded satellite, Kanyini, and several PhD scholarship projects. This is an area I am directly engaged with, from my days of spacecraft autonomy at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), so it was an absolute delight to discuss and highlight SmartSat’s activity in this area, as an enabling technology area that Australia can excel in.

Dr Carl Seubert
Chief Research Officer