Fleet Space Technologies transforms satellite manufacturing
Australian manufacturer - Fleet Space Technologies - has announced its application for an AUD$5mn Federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) grant.
How does Fleet Space Technologies plan to use the grant?
If successful, Fleet Space Technologies plans to use the grant to supplement its self-raised AUD$4mn, in order to scale up its operations from building three hand-built nanosatellites a year to mass-producing 50.
“At present, every satellite launched by an Australian company is hand-made, and many of the components come from overseas. Our manufacturing rate is very low. Australia lacks many of the manufacturing capabilities its industry needs to build satellite payloads and the satellites themselves. And we certainly can’t produce them in volume. We want to establish these manufacturing capabilities here in Adelaide so that we can kick-start Australia’s space industry,” said , Co-Founder and CEO at Fleet Space Technologies
In addition, the grant will make Fleet Space Technologies a major satellite manufacturing hub, increasing its employees from 31 to 128 by 2024, with most of the new employees being engineers and specialist satellite assembly technicians.
Spending AUD$12mn since 2015 on research and development (R&D), Fleet Space Technologies has been working to develop “the world’s most advanced beam-steering antenna and to miniaturise its satellites’ communications payload.”
In doing so, Fleet Space Technologies makes it possible to deliver its Nebula space-based data network using a 10kg nanosatellite where previously it was only possible with a 100kg satellite.
With the grant from the MMI, Fleet Space Technologies plans to build a new factory that will have more than double the capacity for R&D and manufacturing. Fleet Space Technologies will also partner with the University of Adelaide’s Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing, Redarc Electronics, Hawker Richardson and Lintek to build the industrial capabilities to manufacture the nanosatellites in Australia.
“Winning this grant would mean Fleet Space and its partners can develop and manufacture the smartest parts of future satellites right here in Australia and provide an Australian service to a worldwide customer base. Only a handful of companies worldwide such as SpaceX and Airbus have the capacity to mass-produce satellites. We can join them, if we move quickly,” concluded Nardini.