SITAEL AUSTRALIA cooperates with the University of Melbourne and Australian industry partners for new Australian Satellite

 In Australia, News

SpIRIT Satellite – Image: S. Barraclough, M. Trenti (University of Melbourne) and the SpIRIT mission team.

June 17th, 2020 – SITAEL AUSTRALIA has continued its strong start to the year with the announcement today of the University of Melbourne’s success in being awarded a $3.95 million Australian government grant to build the SpIRIT satellite.

SITAEL AUSTRALIA is pleased to partner with the University of Melbourne, to help deliver systems engineering, integration and test of the SpIRIT satellite, and ensure a successful flight mission with all project partners. “The SpIRIT satellite will deliver international cooperation, help grow Australian industry, and deliver science and industry outcomes” Executive Director and General Manager Mark Ramsey said.

“SpIRIT will be very small – about the size of a shoe box – but powerful. It will carry innovative X-ray sensors, sophisticated on-board computers and radios, and even a miniaturised electric propulsion engine, so we could well say that we will be building a tiny robotic spaceship,” said Associate Professor Michele Trenti, from the School of Physics, the Lead Investigator of the Space Industry Responsive Intelligent Thermal (SpIRIT) satellite.

The grant has been awarded under the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment: Expand Capability grant opportunity, and will help grow Australia’s capability in designing, building and operating Small Satellite missions.

The SpIRIT mission will also demonstrate key innovative technological elements in the areas of thermal management, real-time communications and on-board autonomous decision capabilities that University of Melbourne researchers plan to utilise in future space telescope projects for both Earth and astronomical observations.

The SpIRIT project led by the University of Melbourne, involves several key Australian space industry partners, including SITAEL AUSTRALIA, Inovor Technologies, Neumann Space and Nova Systems. “The SpIRIT project team demonstrates the increasing capability and success of the Australian Space industry partners, and we are pleased to be working with such a capable team. Building a local industrial capability in the space domain is critical to deliver against national space priorities, and equally delivers on employment growth in this high technology sector.” Mr. Ramsey said.

The SpIRIT spacecraft will also host an X-ray detector provided by the Italian Space Agency, demonstrating the increasingly strong partnership between the Italian and Australian Space Agencies, following on from their Memorandum of Understanding in 2019, and Statement of Intent earlier this year. “The SpIRIT project will further bring together already close friends in Australia and Italy, and in particular deliver cooperation in the Space domain” Mr. Ramsey said.


About SITAEL Australia –

SITAEL is a global leader in the development of next-generation small satellites and satellite electric propulsion technologies and is headquartered in Italy. SITAEL Australia is the first company in Australia with the ability to design and manufacture satellites of up to 300kg for local and regional customers. SITAEL Australia’s capabilities include design, build and test of small satellites for a broad range of missions including research and development, communications, and earth observation. The company’s establishment in Adelaide in 2018 followed the signing of a Letter of Intent between the Italian Space Agency and the State Government in 2016.


About SITAEL S.p.A.- 

SITAEL is the largest privately-owned Space Company in Italy and worldwide leader in the Small Satellites sector. With highly qualified employees and state-of-the-art facilities, SITAEL covers a wide range of activities in development of small satellite platforms, advanced propulsion systems and on board avionics, providing turn-key solutions for Earth observation, telecom and science. Being one of the main players of the Space Economy, SITAEL is changing the way to conceive space products, both in the upstream and downstream segments, providing, thanks to its IoT capabilities, competitive smart services for a wide range of applications. SITAEL belongs to Angel Group, an Italian holding world leader in Railway, Aerospace and Aeronautics, IoT and Cyber Security international markets.  

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