Australian govt awards AU$1.235m defence contract to Saber Astronautics

Representative image, courtesy of Tony Stoddard.

Australia’s Department of Defence has awarded space engineering company Saber Astronautics a Phase II Defence Innovation Hub contract to advance the capability in detecting degraded electronic signals, according to the company’s press release.

Valued at AU$1,235,000 (US$916,264), the work is the second of a potential three-Phase project using Saber’s advanced machine learning capability. According to the press release, the application “adds significant capabilities to Australian Defence and also has potential spinoffs for commercial space operations by autonomously protecting the quality of satellite data during solar storms.”

“The team is exceptionally proud of the Phase One results. This phase allows us to work closer to the Air Force in fielding some serious Defence capabilities,” said Andreas Antoniades, Lead Avionics Engineer at Saber Astronautics. “The combination of our machine learning with new, advanced signals processing systems benefits both our country and customers alike.”

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With an Australian Space Agency recently announced and the number of new Australian space ventures growing each month, the technology “can also be a differentiator for space companies making space-derived products which shape the economy.”

“Many new space ventures make space products for consumers, such as satellite photos for mines and farms, or data for Internet of Things,” explained Saber Astronautics CEO Dr. Jason Held.  “Space weather events, such as solar flares, can reduce the quality of these products costing the company money.  The ability to detect damage to a signal can give great benefits which the consumer will see with clearer pictures and better data.”

Saber Astronautics will be deploying early versions of the technology at the end of 2019.


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