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Good neighbours in the space race

16 April 2020

Inovor Technologies’ Apogee satellite bus, which is used to house equipment in space. The company is working with Lot Fourteen neighbours SITAEL Australia on a contract to build a satellite bus for Defence.

The recent arrival of SITAEL, Australia’s new satellite design office at Lot Fourteen demonstrates how productive relationships can help accelerate business and innovation - a practical realisation of the neighbourhood’s dedication to collaboration.

The office was officially opened by Premier Steven Marshall in February, joining Lot Fourteen’s thriving ecosystem of space research, development and industry.

SITAEL is Italy’s largest privately-owned space company, and the new office will help expand the company’s capability to design, build and manufacture satellites in the 50-300kg class in Australia and is expected to create 10-15 new high technology jobs over the next few years.

SITAEL Australia General Manager Mark Ramsey said Lot Fourteen’s space and defence focus was a key factor behind SITAEL’s choice of location for its new office.

“The proximity to other space organisations such as the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat CRC, Inovor Technologies, Myriota and Neumann Space sealed the decision to locate in Lot Fourteen,”, Mr Ramsey said.

The move also enables SITAEL to further consolidate its relationship with fellow satellite company – and Hanson Building neighbour – Inovor Technologies.

The two companies signed a Letter of Intent at the International Aeronautical Congress in Adelaide in 2017, agreeing to work together on the design and build of satellites and ground stations.

This intent came to fruition in February when SITAEL Australia signed a contract with Inovor Technologies to formally support a $2.5m Defence contract secured by Inovor in late 2019 to develop the Buccaneer satellite bus.

The satellite will house and support the Buccaneer Main Mission payload, which is aimed at supporting Defence’s High Frequency (HF) radar research program, including research to improve diagnostics and calibration of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN).

The establishment of SITAEL Australia in Adelaide is also a tangible outcome of the Letter of Intent signed by the Government of South Australia and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, in Rome in 2016. Both parties agreed to pursue joint research and development, academic exchange and industry collaboration in the space sector.

Mr. Ramsey said SITAEL Australia was focused on developing innovative small satellites, space missions, and space technologies in upstream, downstream and ground segments.

“We believe Australia has a huge growth opportunity in the space sector, particularly with the establishment of the new Australian Space Agency, and a renewed focus on building a sovereign Space Industry for both civilian and Defence needs” Mr Ramsey said.

“South Australia in particular is an ideal environment to develop innovative new ideas.”

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