Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne has announced that the Buccaneer cube satellite has been successfully launched into orbit.
The miniature satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US, on a Delta-II rocket.
Communication with the satellite has already been established, Payne stated.
The satellite was developed by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) and the University of New South Wales to support the country’s Over-the-Horizon radar capability.
Payne said: “Small, low-cost satellites like Buccaneer provide a unique opportunity to support Australian Defence Force capabilities and to rejuvenate Australian space research.
“Buccaneer is designed to improve understanding of the outer atmosphere, in particular the Ionosphere, which plays a key role in Australia’s world-leading Over-the-Horizon radar capability.”
The satellite will be used to test key technologies in preparation for the calibration of the Jindalee Over-the-Horizon Operational Radar Network.
Payne added: “The government will invest significantly in space-related projects for defence over the next two decades and it has made a commitment to establish a national space agency to drive Australia’s involvement in space.”
Last year, Buccaneer underwent tests that simulated the harsh environment of space.
According to the 2016 Defence White Paper, space research and space-based systems play a key role in Australia’s defence capability and national security.