Space a focus in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy

By on 23 February, 2021

Modern Manufacturing Strategy satellite space

Under the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, road maps for six key areas of focus have been developed with industry to set out plans for both industry and Government to strengthen Australia’s manufacturing capability. The road maps have been led by industry taskforces to identify and set a future vision for the priority areas with clear goals, opportunities and actions over the next two, five and ten years.

Potential for the space sector

Australia’s competitive strengths in space manufacturing are creating great potential for industry. By delivering on this vision, Australian businesses can meet strategic national needs in space and defence, and produce quality goods and services for a growing global market.

As Australia builds its space manufacturing capability, manufacturers will need to draw on best practice from around the world, utilise new technologies to design and manufacture faster, collaborate with partners overseas to build skills and capabilities, and focus on those areas where Australia has strengths, a gap or need or an area of strategic interest.

The taskforce identified an initial set of manufacturing capabilities that need to be lifted across the ecosystem in order to achieve the vision over the lifespan of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Capabilities were mapped using small satellites and related launch capability as a focal point, but with flexibility to accommodate critical space applications that will emerge over the next ten years. They fall along the space value chain and will be critical to achieving this vision.

To lift space manufacturing capability, four distinct phases and recommended areas of focus have been identified:

  • Design phase: designing products and services that support space activities
  • Building phase: building components and products for space applications
  • Qualifying phase: developing capabilities to quality assure and qualify their manufactured products, components and services for use in space
  • Access space and operate phase: growing capabilities to operate and sustain products and services in space and access to space through Australian launch capability.

The vision

The program aims to support a globally recognised Australian space sector with the capability, capacity and expertise to locally design, develop, manufacture and deploy specialised products, equipment, systems and services for exporting to international markets and to support national and international space missions.

The program has set the following goals:

  • Two years: Increased onshore manufacturing of space products that are ‘flight qualified’ (TRL 8) through system testing and demonstration.
  • Five years: Greater local manufacturing capability of critical and specialist space products with increased demand for qualification facilities and demonstration flights.
  • Ten years: Greater end-to-end local manufacturer expertise including designing, testing and launching products from Australia such as small satellites to low and medium earth orbits.

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative is now open for space manufacturing projects that meet eligibility under the Translation and Integration streams.

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