Aussie research agencies join forces for space project

Satellite technology to monitor climate change

Australian research agencies have teamed up for an $8 million space technology project aimed at monitoring climate change.

The program, funded through the Australian Space Research program, will run over three years and develop technologies to track satellites and space junk as well as precise global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technologies and atmospheric and climate modelling.

Curtin University of Technology has joined forces with RMIT University, the University of New South Wales, the Bureau of Meteorology, Electro Optic Systems Space System, GPSat Systems Australia, National Space Organisation Taiwan and NOAA’s World Data Centre for Metrology.

The program has the potential to save billions of dollars through environmental monitoring and management. Being able to track space junk, for example, could potentially minimise damage to satellites from errant artefacts. Tracking technology can also be deployed to monitor planes and vehicles for mechanical problems.

Curtin’s part in the project centres mainly around its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) research laboratory, where Professor Peter Teunissen and his team are developing new methods and algorithms for the next generation GNSS.

“The new space technology program in which we will be involved is a vital step towards improving our understanding of climate change in Australia and will play a critical role in the way we cope with changes to our environment,” Professor Teunissen said in a statement.