Developing sovereign space capability

Space industry

Inquiry into Developing Australia’s Space Industry

Like many companies across Australia, Shoal has been energised by the approach of Government in the reigniting the domestic Space Industry. The Australian Space Agency is facilitating an environment that seeks to collaborate, foster, and grow the industry. However, Australia is a relative newcomer in a global market that has been growing in sophistication for over 40 years. To achieve Australia’s ambitions of $12B in revenue and 20,000 jobs by 2030, we must be internationally competitive.

Shoal has a long history in the Australian space industry and has a reputation for industry leadership in complex operational and technical analysis and design of modern space technology and systems in both commercial and defence sectors. Our work has included military satellite communications projects with major companies and the Defence Department and, more recently, defining the major defence space-based surveillance and reconnaissance project, DEF799, for the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation (AGO). We have also led development of a world-leading space safety capability for civil and defence use. As such, we are a major supplier of safety-related technical services to the Australian Space Agency.

With insights developed from both this experience and that of space experts in our team, Shoal made a submission to the ‘Inquiry into developing Australia’s space industry’, led by the Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources. The Committee sought to inquire into and report on developing Australia’s space industry. This included:

  • Development of space satellites, technology and equipment
  • International collaboration, engagement and missions
  • Commercialisation of research and development, including flow on benefits to other industry sectors
  • Future research capacity, workforce development and job creation
  • Other related matters.

Shoal submitted two responses to the inquiry; one focused on the industry itself and the other on the relationship between space industry capability and national resilience. The former submission included eight recommendations around the following topics:

  1. Supporting the development of sovereign capabilities in respect to facilities and range safety
  2. Barriers and remediation around industry participants and Professional Indemnity Insurance
  3. The development of sovereign capability around space debris observation and dissemination of unclassified information to civilian users
  4. The expansion of industry technology demonstration activities
  5. Fostering the growth of space and data processing capabilities in respect to economic and environmental management
  6. Supporting an internationally competitive, sovereign capability and exports
  7. Mandated use of international standards for all Commonwealth space procurements
  8. Dual use payloads, designed and manufactured in Australia.

To read our views and obtain the details of these recommendations in full, download our submission. It was prepared by Dr Derek Rogers, Engineering Lead – Defence and Space, Roger Franzen, Earthspace Consultant and Technical Advisor, and Shaun Wilson, Head of Business Development.

To find out more about our submission on space industry capability and national resilience, click here.