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Media Release: Monday, 17 July 2000
Ref 2000/185
NASA supports Australian space program
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and CSIRO, on behalf of the Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems, have formally agreed to cooperate on the Australian FedSat space mission.
FedSat, an experimental microsatellite, is the first major project of the Centre, a joint venture with five companies, six universities and two government research agencies.
The FedSat mission objective is to obtain scientific research data from the satellite to be launched during 2001. FedSat will carry communication, space science, engineering test and navigation payloads.
As part of this mission, NASA has agreed to provide a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and a high performance computing experiment, that features the Centre’s design for adaptive, reconfigurable computing technology.
The GPS instrument will be used to determine the accurate position of the satellite and to provide timing control and data in support of the Centre’s scientific research program.
Dr Miriam Baltuck, NASA Senior Representative in Australia says NASA’s support for the Centre’s research program extends a long and successful history of cooperation with Australia.
"The results of the experiments will benefit both country’s plans for future microsatellite missions," she says.
Increasing the adaptability and performance of low cost space missions, through the use of equipment with the ability to be reconfigured remotely from Earth, will lead to significant savings on spacecraft development and operational costs. Reconfigurable microsatellites will have a greater capacity to support a variety of customer requirements.
Dr Brian Embleton, the Centre’s Executive Director says NASA’s contribution will significantly enhance the performance of Australia’s microsatellite.
"It will help us to test the Centre’s new design concepts for reconfigurable space systems," Dr Embleton says.
The Centre has undertaken to fly the NASA supplied equipment and to provide US research groups with data from both experiments.
More information:
Professor Mike Miller
Deputy Executive Director
Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems
08 8302 3310
Dr Miriam Baltuck
NASA Senior Representative in Australia and Southeast Asia
02 6281 8500 and 8501
Mr Jeff Kingwell
Centre Manager
Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems
02 6216 7278
More information about FedSat is available at