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World leading experts to spearhead $20m of space sector by SmartSat CRC
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jul 21, 2020

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In a $20m investment, nine professorial Chairs have been established by SmartSat and its partner universities in artificial intelligence, optical communications and cybersecurity for the development of next generation space technologies to stimulate Australia's economic growth in space.

Adelaide University, Swinburne University and University of South Australia are the first universities to announce three professorial chairs today.These experts will drive new frontier research in artificial intelligence for satellite systems and new space cyber security technologies.

The trio, Professors Tat-Jun Chin, Christopher Fluke and Jill Slay, will form a Research and Development advisory group to refine the SmartSat research program in priority areas for space systems research and development, and boost the translation of research for industry application.

A further six professorial chairs will boost this first-of-its-kind space R and D initiative, with the Australian National University, Sydney University, and the University of NSW also taking part in this nation-building space capability development along with future appointments from University of South Australia.

SmartSat CEO, Professor Andy Koronios, says the appointment of the Professorial Chairs is a significant step towards growing Australia's space capabilities and expertise and to strengthening international collaboration.

"We are thrilled to announce the appointment of these outstanding Professorial Chairs who will grow SmartSat's national knowledge network and extend important existing international connections to our research programs," Prof Koronios says.

"SmartSat is committed to attracting high calibre researchers who have strong track records in leading translational research and proven experience in contributing to Australia's space research performance. We're confident these Professorial Chairs will accelerate the progress of our research portfolios in vital areas for our space industry and for national security."

Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) of the University of Adelaide confirmed that Assoc Prof Tat-Jun Chin is an international leader in AI and machine learning for space applications.

"As a global leader, it is very appropriate Tat-Jun Chin brings his extensive knowledge of advanced space system autonomy, intelligence and decision making, on-board machine learning and AI technology to SmartSat CRC," Professor Middelberg says.

"The mandate of CRCs is to develop sustainable new industries. This requires the right people to fill future jobs and in addition to his global leadership, TJ brings the inspiration and mentorship to build a dedicated CRC activity to deliver next-generation space technologies."

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Swinburne, Professor Bronwyn Fox, says the appointment of the professorial chairs will enhance the impactful research of the SmartSat CRC and drive the growth of the emerging Australian space sector.

"Astrophysicist Professor Fluke is a highly respected interdisciplinary researcher and his collaborative approach coupled with his advanced visualisation and data expertise will be important for tackling the unique industry problems that the SmartSat CRC will address," she says.

"Swinburne's world-leading expertise in astronomical data processing and visualisation, machine learning and AI techniques, and our internationally recognised Industry 4.0 capabilities will help to develop space technologies that will transform our industries and society."

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of South Australia, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington says global demand for secure systems of communication can be met through smart investment in people.

"As a proud partner of SmartSat, UniSA is delighted to be working with the CRC to make a significant investment in capability," she says.

"Jill Slay's expertise is internationally respected and she will make a significant contribution through her knowledge, networks and her leadership in teaching and research."

An industry-focused doctoral program through SmartSat will further build Australia's space high-tech knowledge. Five PhD scholarships have already been approved and a further six are under consideration with a total goal of more than 70 PHDs over seven years.

Related Links
SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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Place for space testing
Noordwijk, Netherlands (ESA) Jul 17, 2020
ESA's Compact Antenna Test Range at its ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. This anechoic chamber is used to test space antennas of 1 m across or less, or else entire small satellites. The CATR is screened against external electromagnetic radiation, while their inside walls is covered with pyramid-shaped non-reflective foam to absorb signals and prevent unwanted reflections, mimicking infinite space. In addition, a pair of wall-mounted parabolic cylindrical aluminium reflec ... read more

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