24 May 2023
Research Update

World-leading technology on show at Australian Space Forum

24 May 2023

Last week, the SmartSat team had the pleasure of attending the 15th Australian Space Forum, hosted by The Andy Thomas Space Foundation and we were thrilled to share with everyone for the first time the Compact Hybrid Optical/RF User Segment (CHORUS) Terminal. The world-leading technology embedded in this prototype has been entirely developed in Australia following three years of research funded by SmartSat. The team includes Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), industry partners EOS Space Systems, EM Solutions, Lyrebird Antenna Research, Shoal Group, and academic partners Australian National University and University of South Australia.

The SmartSat team (left to right) Dr Carl Seubert, Professor Andy Koronios, Elizabeth Weeks, Madison White, Tuul Machlay, Dr Sarah Cannard, Jeff Kasparian, Alison Bowman, Andrew Barton and Peter Kerr at the 15th Australian Space Forum.

Satellite optical communications links can offer higher data rates and a lower interception probability than standard radio frequency (RF) satellite communications, which are vulnerable to electronic warfare. CHORUS is a viable commercialisation pathway to enable future military mobile SATCOM needs with optical capabilities with the environmental robustness of RF. You can find out more here.

As our project portfolio matures, it’s exciting to see technology development progress to this prototype and demonstration stage. Most importantly, this display at the Australian Space Forum created an opportunity to highlight an engineering prototype developed through this corporative research project which will help identify further utilisation pathways. Thanks to all of the CHORUS project team and SmartSat team involved in making this highlight possible!

Professor Andy Koronios announces the establishment of the SCARLET Lab at the Australian Space Forum Networking Dinner, where the CHORUS terminal (background) was displayed.

At the 15th Australian Space Forum Networking Dinner, SmartSat CEO Professor Andy Koronios also announced a new SmartSat initiative – the SCARLET Laboratory. This initiative will bring together researchers and industry to advance applied spacecraft autonomy to produce tangible outcomes for Defence and Civil pursuits, ultimately enabling Australia’s next space missions. A number of SCARLET Lab projects already approved and underway include SCARLET-alpha, SCARLET-beta and onboard AI projects related to our state-sponsored satellite, Kanyini. SCARLET Lab is to be Australia’s place for research and innovative technologies in spacecraft autonomy, on-board AI and data analytics. You can find out more about the lab here.

Dr Carl Seubert
Chief Research Officer