Australian satellite tech wins international award

By on 7 April, 2014

Institute for Telecommunications Research's Global Sensor Network

Australia’s Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR) at the University of South Australia (UniSA) has won an international award for innovative communications technology.

The Institute’s Global Sensor Network (GSN) has been voted Technology of the Year 2013 by the Wireless Innovation Forum, a non-profit ‘mutual benefit corporation’ dedicated to technology innovation in commercial, civil, and defence communications around the world.

The ITR GSN won the award against some strong competition from NASA, which was nominated for a communication system, developed for the International Space Station.

GSN technical director, Dr David Haley says the GSN was developed for remote data collection and bidirectional communication via low earth orbit satellites.

“The system is special because it includes new software defined radio (SDR) based architectures and waveform designs that provide high spectral efficiency in heavily loaded multiuser scenarios,” he says.

“SDR technology is used for the space segment, ground station and terminals.

“The end result is a cost effective, scalable and flexible system that is able to support very large numbers of users while maximising the use of precious satellite frequency spectrum.”

WinnForum presents the award each year to an individual or organisation for a breakthrough product or technology in the field of Software Defined or Cognitive Radio.

ITR Acting Director, Jeff Kasparian and Senior Research Fellow and GSN Technical Director, Dr David Haley both accepted the award at the Wireless Innovation Forum’s annual WinnComm Conference in Illinois.

“This is a fantastic win for the ITR,” Kasparian says.

“We were in very good company when we were nominated this year, which makes the award even more thrilling. The GSN program represents a significant outcome, with contributions from 28 academics and engineers within ITR.  I’m immensely proud of what David and his team have achieved.”

An ITR-led consortium developed the GSN from concept to field-proven system in only 24 months, with ITR also responsible for the technology development under the program.

GSN partners included COM DEV (Canada) and SAGE Automation, CSIRO, DSTO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The development of the Global Sensor Network was assisted by funding from the Federal Government’s Australian Space Research Program.

You can watch a 4 minute video on the technology on YouTube.

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