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South Australia to Launch First Satellite

An Australian telecommunications service provider announced an agreement with a Dutch aerospace company to send Kanyini into orbit to start its ambitious mission to help take care of people and the planet.

Under the Launch Services Agreement, the telecom has booked a spot for South Australia’s home-grown satellite to blast off on a SpaceX Transporter mission in 2023. The word Kanyini is a Pitjantjatjara term describing the “principle of responsibility and unconditional love for all of creation”.

In the spirit of its namesake, satellite Kanyini will help take care of Australians and the environment by improving bushfire preparedness, response and resilience and monitoring inland and coastal water qualities. The spacecraft is being designed and built in a collaboration between local leaders of the space industry, namely the telecom, an aerospace company in Adelaide city centre, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre and the South Australian Government.

The Co-Founder and CTO of the telecom stated that the move is an exciting next step for this ground-breaking South Australian space services mission which is set to benefit the State when it launches next year. The IoT payload will add to the telecom’s network, communicating with devices and sensors on the Earth’s surface, working together with hyperspectral imaging collected from the earth observation payload to enable a wide array of applications. Kanyini will provide access to critical data anywhere and everywhere it’s needed to help improve and monitor water quality, crop health and bushfire resilience.

SmartSat, who is leading the mission, has already factored the data collected by Kanyini and the HyperScout 2 into several projects which will drive further research and build experience in operating Earth observation payloads in space.

The CEO of SmartSat stated that securing the launch with the Dutch aerospace company is another exciting step for the Kanyini mission which will pioneer sovereign technology in projects such as OzFuel, which will gather real-time data, monitor potentially hazardous conditions specific to Australia’s eucalypt-dominant bushland, and improve our bushfire preparedness, response and resilience.

He noted that other real-world applications of the data collected by Kanyini include satellite image-based smoke detection for bushfire mitigation and monitoring inland and coastal water qualities.

The South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries stated that South Australia is leading the charge in accelerating innovation and growth in the space sector and this mission presents an important opportunity for local industry to play a key role in furthering our national endeavours to build sovereign EO capability, provide secure access to data from space and expand our satellite design and manufacturing expertise.

About SmartSat

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre brings together over 100 national and international partners who have invested over AU$190 million, along with AU$55 million in Federal Government funding under its Cooperative Research Centres Program, in an AU$245 million research effort over seven years.

Working closely with the Australian Space Agency, SmartSat will make a strong contribution to the Australian Government’s goal of tripling the size of the space sector to AU$12 billion and creating up to 20,000 jobs by 2030. Priority industry sectors for SmartSat include telecommunications, agriculture and natural resources, transport and logistics, mining, and defence and national security.

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