Several companies are set to showcase their capabilities to detect and track objects in space at SpaceFest 2019, a Department of Defence (DoD) sponsored event in Australia.
The DoD aims to forge partnerships with the industry to develop the department’s space capabilities.
SpaceFest is a capability demonstration and equipment trial organised by Australia Defence Science and Technology (DST) on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Several companies are expected to take part in the event, including EOS Space Systems, HEO Robotics, Inovor Technologies, Lockheed Martin Australia, Silentium Defence, Western Sydney University (WSU), Curtin University and DST.
Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne stated that the event will enable the department to assess Australian industry and university space surveillance capabilities first-hand.
Companies participating in SpaceFest 2019 need to undergo a series of trials designed by DST to assess their ability to detect and track objects in space.
Capability trials will be conducted at the Woomera Test Range within the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia.
Pyne said: “The Woomera Prohibited Area is a significant national security asset and provides defence with a secure environment for the testing and evaluation of advanced systems and capabilities.
“The area has a low-risk of electromagnetic interference, and clear visibility conditions with reduced risk of cloud, which is helpful when testing optical sensors.
“Defence is also seeking to partner with industry on existing and emerging space surveillance capabilities through a request for tender, which is currently open to the industry through AusTender.”
SpaceFest 2019 commenced on 18 March and will run until 29 March.
The event is backed by Plan Jericho, which aims to develop a future force that is agile, adaptive, and fully immersed in the information age.
Plan Jericho seeks to transform RAAF into a fifth-generation-enabled and fully integrated combat force.
According to abc.net.au, Silentium Defence has been working with the RAAF on the development of a radar system for the detection of orbiting objects.
The company won a contract from the Australia DoD in July to advance the concept of a system to provide enhanced space situational awareness.