Airbus and the Australian Space Agency (ASA) have signed a statement of intent, which establishes the company as an industry partner. This is the first such agreement signed by ASA, and includes Airbus’ support for space discovery, technology development and connectivity, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Australia.
Pierre Jaffre, President Asia-Pacific Airbus said: “Airbus aims to support projects and partnerships that contribute to growth and jobs in Australia, with a special focus on innovation and skills. We look forward to working with the Australian Space Agency, as well as the country’s academia, SMEs and start-ups, to develop Australia’s space sovereign capability. This includes nurturing and developing areas of strategic priority and technologies identified by an expert reference group panel.”
Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency, said: “The Australian Space Agency is committed to a transparent and significant engagement with industry. Our purpose is to transform and grow the Australian space sector, and the broader use of space across the country’s economy, to inspire and deliver benefit to all Australians. We welcome Airbus’ choice of Australia for the world’s first operations of the Zephyr and Skynet 5 platforms. We also welcome Airbus’ efforts to actively support STEM education and training opportunities in Australia and internationally.”
This collaboration will include commercialisation at every point along the space value-added chain, from research and development to high-tech manufacturing, transportation, satellite operations and consumer services based on satellite signals and data.
Airbus Defence and Space has a major presence in Australia. In the space sector, Airbus has been supplying earth observation satellite imagery to the Australian market for over 25 years. In 2016, a new purpose built satellite ground station was established in Adelaide to land Airbus’ Skynet secure military satellite communications. In June 2018, Airbus selected Wyndham airfield in Western Australia as the first flight base for its pioneering Zephyr solar-powered unmanned aircraft.