Australia awards satellite bus contract to support Buccaneer project

2 December 2019 (Last Updated December 2nd, 2019 10:09)

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a contract to Inovor Technologies to provide a satellite bus for the Buccaneer space research programme.

Australia awards satellite bus contract to support Buccaneer project
Lunch-box sized satellites (Cubesats) for the Buccaneer and Biarri space missions. Credit: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a contract to Inovor Technologies to provide a satellite bus for the Buccaneer space research programme.

Inovor Technologies has secured the A$2.5m ($1.69m) contract through a competitive process.

The satellite bus set to be delivered under the contract will ‘house equipment in space for the Buccaneer Main Mission’, the DoD said.

The Buccaneer mission is a joint project between Defence Science and Technology (DST) and the University of New South Wales (NSW).

The Buccaneer Risk Mitigation Mission (Buccaneer RRM) satellite is indented to support calibrate activities for Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

JORN is an over-the-horizon radar network that provides sovereign surveillance capability for Australia. The network helps detect air targets and objects on the water.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The Buccaneer programme is aimed at improving our understanding of the outer atmosphere, in particular the ionosphere, which plays a key role in Australia’s world-leading over-the-horizon radar capability.

“Small, low-cost satellites like Buccaneer provide a unique opportunity to support the development of an Australian space capability for defence and to rejuvenate Australian space research.”

In 2017, a Buccaneer cube satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US.

Australia Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said: “There is huge potential for our advanced manufacturers who are working in defence or other industries to expand into the space sector and vice-versa, which will see them grow and create new Australian jobs.”