We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

New Zealand, Germany boost space technology cooperation

New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions. The Research, Science, and Innovation Minister, Megan Woods, earlier this month announced that 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at DLR to complete feasibility studies related to propulsion, space communications, and remote sensing technologies.

According to a news report, Woods says these feasibility studies will lead to some larger-scale collaborations, potentially including joint New Zealand – Germany space missions. New Zealand has unique competitive advantages, which help to enable growth in the aerospace industry, including the country’s geographic location and innovative thinking.

Remote sensing technologies have huge potential for New Zealand, including monitoring the change in oceans and searching for vessels, pollutant spills, and sea ice. Optical communications will become increasingly important for securely and quickly relaying large volumes of data to and from spacecraft, particularly for missions to the Moon and beyond, she explained.

“Our Government has helped accelerate growth including through an enabling regulatory regime for space, the Airspace Integration Trials Programme, and investing in the MethaneSAT climate change space mission,” Megan Woods said.

Approximately NZ$900,000 (US$645,480) in funding has been allocated to the 12 space technology projects from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE)’s NZ$28 million (US$20 million) Catalyst Fund, which is aimed at growing partnerships with international research organisations. The 12 projects include:

  • Optical Communication Ground Station Feasibility Study
  • Development of a deployable Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna concept for nanosatellites
  • Long term quantum memories in satellite quantum communications networks
  • Synthetic aperture radar measurements of Antarctic sea ice
  • An eye in the southern sky – sensor design for high altitude pseudo satellites
  • Advanced Object Detectability in a Water Clutter Environment Using InSAR
  • Measuring the micro-thrust of small-scale electric propulsors
  • Study of advanced N2O-based green propulsion systems for large satellite and deep space applications
  • Measuring the Earth Surface using Small-Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar: Feasibility Study
  • Detecting Sparse Ice in the Southern Ocean
  • Magnetic Propulsion – Deceleration and Shielding of Spacecraft
  • Fibre Composites in Space and Re-entry Environments

Germany is one of New Zealand’s leading science and innovation partners and DLR houses some of the world’s most advanced aerospace technology capability, the report added. This is a natural partnership to enable New Zealand to be involved in cutting-edge aerospace research. The recipients of this funding range from universities and research organisations to start-up enterprises – many of which are conducting ground-breaking research for the future of New Zealand’s aerospace industry. This funding will contribute to studies that are essential for the development of their overall research and innovation efforts, Woods said.

The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop, and foster collaborations to benefit international science and innovation for New Zealand. At the 2018 International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, MBIE and DLR signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to enable joint research collaboration. MBIE invited proposals for feasibility studies under Catalyst: Strategic for feasibility studies with DLR in the areas of propulsion, space communications, and Synthetic Aperture Radar technologies.

Send this to a friend