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ANU launches satellite instrumentation building facility

THE Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre at Mount Stromlo Observatory will allow local satellite building, claims the ANU.

The space sector generates up to $1.6 billion in revenue every year and employs over 4,000 scientists, engineers, policy makers and support personnel.

As part of the launch of the AITC, the Australian National University announced two major contracts totalling over $11 million for projects at the facility.

The first project will see the ANU undertake a $5 million design contract for one of the first instruments to be installed on the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), the GMT Integral Field Spectrometer.

The GMT is expected to yield images of space that are ten times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.

The second contract is a $6.4 million project to develop a space junk tracking system for the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute. Researchers at ANU are providing technological support for industry partner EOS to build an adaptive optics system for a ground-based telescope system.

The ANU expects additional construction contracts worth around $20 million to follow on from the design contract.

The AITC has the only facilities in Australia that enable the engineering of equipment right from the design stage through to being launch-pad ready, and will function as a hub for Australia’s space industry, which consists of many SMEs.

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