The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a contract to local firm CyberOps to explore the application of space technologies in military operations.

Under the A$299,000 ($206,680) contract, CyberOps will develop a security framework for nano-satellite development programmes and operating systems.

The partnership with the local business will help the DoD in understanding how space technologies can be used securely in the defence domain.

While highlighting the opportunities created by new space technologies for the space industry, Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price emphasised the importance of security.

Melissa Price said: “We rely on space-based technology to support our way of life, including a range of communication activities, satellite imagery and timing signals from GPS-type navigation systems.

“The contract with CyberOps aims to improve Australia’s growing sovereign space industry by increasing the security and resilience of our military space systems.

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“Since its inception, the Defence Innovation Hub has invested more than A$23m ($15.89m) in space-related innovations ranging from nano-satellites to radar systems that will enhance space situational awareness.”

The Australian Government is investing more than A$200bn ($138.24bn) over the next decade to build the country’s defence capability.

The government is focused on enhancing the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), space, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities.

In the space domain, the DoD intends to strengthen its space surveillance, imagery and targeting, and situational awareness capabilities.

Federal Member for Sturt James Stevens said: “CyberOps is just one of many SA businesses working with defence to deliver world-leading capability solutions, and I congratulate them on securing this contract.

“Companies working with defence through the Defence Innovation Hub are developing cutting-edge and world-first technologies to equip our warfighters with some of the most advanced capabilities.”

CyberOps has supported several defence and civilian satellite communications research and design projects.