Two Australian academic satellites successfully launched on August 29
TOKYO — Space BD, a leading Japanese space startup, announces the launch of two Australian satellites through Space BD’s small satellite deployment service on August 29, 2021 at 3:14 a.m. (EDT). Space BD has been appointed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as the private partner for the small satellite deployment service from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module Kibo since 2018. And it has led to the commercialization of Japanese space assets as a private sector.
This was the first satellite launch for the State of Western Australia, the first satellite launch for of the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA), and the first overseas satellite launch for Space BD.
Space BD provided one-stop support for the technical coordination, safety reviews, and governmental applications related to this launch. Space BD aims to strengthen its collaboration with the Australian space agency and local industry to promote space in the country through satellite launches and the space-based solution business. Beyond that, Space BD also plans to expand its business model to early-stage countries in the space industry, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
About the satellites
The satellites launched on this mission are “CUAVA-1” by CUAVA, an industry-university consortium consisting of the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and ten other industrial and government organizations, and “Binar-1” by the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Both satellites were launched as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS)-23 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.A., aboard Space X’s ISS resupply ship Dragon 23. The two satellites are scheduled to be deployed from the ISS Kibo in fall 2021.
CUAVA-1 aims to demonstrate advanced communications, remote sensing, GPS, and space environment measurement technologies in space, and utilize the data obtained from the satellite. Other objectives including training the engineers who will lead the future Australian space industry through satellite development experience, and contributing to the Australian space industry’s development by solving important research problems in the space domain.
Binar-1 is the first satellite to be launched in Western Australia. Curtin University, which coded, designed and built Binar-1, focused mainly on developing the bus section that controls the satellite’s operational functions. By mounting the power supply, computer, steering, and communication devices on a small printed circuit board (8 layers), it succeeded in making the bus section compact (approx. 10cm x 10cm x 2.5cm), expanding the mission area in the limited space of the satellite.