Taking Tasmania’s space industry to warp speed

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Science and Technology

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is charting a path to the stars with an exciting initiative to position our State as a significant contributor to the nation’s ambitions in space research and development.

Tasmania is proud to welcome globally recognised technology solutions company HENSOLDT Australia to Tasmania, following the official opening of its office in Hobart today.

HENSOLDT’s new office signifies the genesis of the ‘TEAM Tasmania’ partnership between HENSOLDT, the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government to create the Southern Guardian Space Domain Awareness System (Southern Guardian).

As Australia launches more sovereign satellites, protecting these assets from Earth orbiting objects, satellites and space debris is of critical importance.

Southern Guardian will combine HENSOLDT’s advanced space radar technologies with the University of Tasmania’s unique array of telescope infrastructure to provide reliable and precise tracking of objects to avoid collisions and protect this growing satellite network into the future.

Backed by a State Government investment of $100,000, the ‘Team Tasmania’ partnership aims to position Tasmania as the centre for Space Domain Awareness in the country and will seek to attract domestic and international investment, a skilled workforce, start-ups, and national and international expertise to the State.

Today’s MOU signing delivers on the commitment outlined in our first 100 day plan and comes on top of other recent announcements aimed at stimulating Tasmania’s space industry.

This includes a $150,000 contribution towards the installation of high-speed optical fibre at the Greenhill Observatory to integrate the University’s facilities into the Australian Space Agency’s Mission Control framework, as well as an $80,000 investment to extend functionality of the Royal Hobart Hospital’s Hyper/Hypobaric chamber to support cutting-edge aerospace and space human life sciences capabilities.

With an expectation towards growth, HENSOLDT’s commitment to Tasmania includes five new FTE jobs in its initial stage, as well as sponsorship of a PhD scholarship for a University of Tasmania student in the field of Space Domain Awareness.

The ‘Team Tasmania’ partnership opens the door for increased global and national recognition of Tasmania’s advanced research, increasingly sophisticated space infrastructure capability, local innovation and new highly skilled jobs and is an important part of our plan to secure Tasmania’s future.

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