CUAVA space research and training centre now open

In a boost to the capacity and capabilities of the Australian space industry, the ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA) is now officially open.

Led by the University of Sydney, CUAVA will work on training the next generation of workers in the commercial space industry and pursuing cutting-edge space research.

Federal Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos said the new training centre puts Australia on the world map for advanced manufacturing in the space industries.

“The international collaboration between leading universities, government and industry will fundamentally change the capabilities and applications of CubeSats, making the international satellite market more accessible and economical than ever before,” Sinodinos said.

The federal government is providing $4.6 million to support the training centre to skill-up the next generation of workers in advanced manufacturing in the commercial space and unmanned aerial vehicle industries.

Federal education minister Dan Tehan said the new centre would boost Australia’s space communications and capability.

“Improvements in these areas will mean great advancements in existing satellite systems used for earth and weather observations, high-speed communication and GPS. These devices have major commercial value for the Australian economy,” Tehan said.

University of Sydney Professor of Space Physics and Director of CUAVA Iver Cairns said the university was thrilled to be working with 11 partners, including three industry partners, four government labs, and three Australian universities and two American universities.

“We have five PhD students and four Postdoctoral fellows engaged and making exciting progress on our research and commercialisation projects. Within the next year we will be launching our first satellite and new instruments into orbit, and performing our first Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAV) campaign,” Cairns said.

“CUAVA-1 is the first satellite being developed by CUAVA, with the purpose of certifying advanced communication, remote sensing, GPS, and space environment instruments in order to provide their data to users on Earth.”

The Australian Research Council (ARC)’s CEO, Professor Sue Thomas, said that the council was proud to support the training centre, as it would be sure to boost capacity and capabilities in the Australian space industry.

“The applications of Cubesats and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles will have great importance to the Australian economy, improving satellite communications and observations, and making space more accessible than ever before,” Thomas said.