SmartSat and NZSA sign space growth MOU

By on 31 January, 2024
Professor Andy Koronios, CEO of the SmartSat CRC, and Robyn Henderson, Acting Head of the New Zealand Space Agency.

Australia’s SmartSat CRC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA) to collaborate on projects that will grow the Australian and New Zealand space sectors.

The agreement was signed at the NZSA headquarters in Wellington by Professor Andy Koronios, SmartSat’s CEO, and Robyn Henderson, Acting Head of the New Zealand Space Agency.

Under this arrangement, up to NZ$6 million will be made available from the NZ Government’s Catalyst Fund to support New Zealand researchers to participate in new joint research initiatives in:

Earth Observation: Covering natural capital, biosecurity, crop health, pasture condition, emission monitoring, south pacific synthetic aperture radar and maritime domain awareness projects for using space data to enhance decision making for land and sea-based environments.

Space Situational Awareness: Developing new techniques to monitor the orbital environment better, such as Satping, obtaining spacecraft position and velocity and ID from the spacecraft. Another is ground-sensor data processing and visualisations for anomalies and manoeuvre detections.

Optical Communications: Joint science work on adaptive optics to explore how to coordinate a network of Australasian optical ground stations that can actively support space exploration.

“We’re delighted to sign this agreement with the New Zealand Space Agency. This partnership will enable us to join forces and harness our resources and expertise for several important projects,” said Professor Koronios.

“Earth Observation research plays a critical role in better understanding environmental challenges that pose significant risks to both our countries.

“The agriculture sector is crucial for both Australia and New Zealand, and improving sustainable practices through pasture mapping, human activity, and emission monitoring will be vital for current and future food security.”

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