Gilmour Space Technologies to build new Australian hybrid rocket

Queensland-based rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies will begin manufacturing a new hybrid rocket with funding support from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMCG).

Gilmour’s first composite tank will be a lighter propulsion vehicle built to increase rocket payload capacity and reduce the overall weight of the vehicle to 20kg. It will also deliver payloads up to into Low Earth Orbits to service the fast-growing small satellite market.

Gilmour Space CEO and founder Adam Gilmour said collaborations with outside organisations have helped the company reach commercialisation more quickly, and that AMCG has provided “critical linkages” to industry partners in Australia.

“Space is not just an R&D effort,” Gilmour said.

“It’s a competitive and dynamic industry that provides real business and manufacturing opportunities for new and existing companies in Australia.”

The first composite tanks will be produced in conjunction with Sydney-based CST Aero using their filament winding process.

It involves an automated process of wrapping resin-impregnated filaments in a geometric pattern over a rotating mandrel, which is cured under high pressure and temperature.

The project is expected to improve space manufacturing capabilities in Australia and provide several new highly skilled and semi-skilled jobs.

AMGC and Gilmour have each pledged $224,500 to fund the project.

AMGC managing director Jens Goennemann believes the project will lead to a world-leading product while showcasing Australian problem-solving talent.

“AMGC is proud to partner with Gilmour Space, which is yet another shining example of Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector developing local solutions with significant global potential,” Goennemann said.

The University of Southern Queensland, Protonautics and Graphene Manufacturing Group are also involved in the project.