Industry invited to set objectives for space control centre

The Australian Space Agency has opened consultations for the design of its Robotics, Automation and AI Command and Control Centre.

Input is being sought on the objectives of the centre, the mission types for potential users, and overall program design.

The Centre will be located in Western Australia and is funded through $4.5 million from the Space Infrastructure Fund as well as funding from the WA state government and the successful applicant.

While the primary aim of the Centre is to support the development and operation of robotic and remote asset management activities in space, the facility will also be open to start-ups and SMEs to develop products and services. These technologies could be used to allow projects to operate in remote, extreme, and unsafe environments, either in space or on Earth.

The Centre will include technologies for in-orbit servicing of satellites, object handling, manipulation, and assembly of satellites. In the future, the Centre could also be a hub for the construction of off-earth bases and equipment.

On September 23, the Agency will hold face-to-face briefings with interested parties in Perth.

Further to the objectives of the program as a whole, the successful applicant will construct a centre that can establish partnerships with non-government organisations to conduct and support operations in space or Earth. In addition, the operator of the control centre will consider how Australian industry can benefit from the Centre, both during its running and delivery.

The Centre is required to have the capability to efficiently communicate between Earth and space bodies, test a range of equipment, and integrate with the Mission Control Centre, located in South Australia.

Once applications are received, the Agency will consider the proposals and an expert panel will advise the successful applicant.

Consultations are open until September 24.

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