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Australian space industry has a bright future

19 June 2019
Training Centre will boost capacity and capabilities in the Australian space industry
Led by the University of Sydney, CUAVA is working to train the next generation of workers in commercial space, solve vital research problems and develop a world-class Australian space industry.
photo of two female PhD students at the CUAVA launch, Savannah McGuirk and Alexandra Jones

University of Sydney PhD students Savannah McGuirk and Alexandra Jones (right) at the CUAVA launch.


The ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA) is now officially opened by Senator for NSW, Arthur Sinodinos AO.

“This new training centre puts Australia on the world map for advanced manufacturing in the space industries,” Senator Sinodinos said. “The international collaboration between leading universities, government and industry will fundamentally change the capabilities and applications of CubeSats, making the international satellite market more accessible and economical than ever before.”

Senator Sinodinos said the training centre will help to grow Australia’s participation and its burgeoning space industry.

Photo of Professor Iver Cairns, Professor Sue Thomas and Senator Arthur Sinodinos

Professor Iver Cairns, Professor Sue Thomas of the Australian Research Council and Senator Arthur Sinodinos.


The Morrison Government is providing $4.6 million to support the training centre to skill-up the next generation of workers in cutting edge advanced manufacturing in the commercial space and unmanned aerial vehicle industries.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the new centre would boost Australia’s space communications and capability.

“Improvements in these areas will mean great advancements in existing satellite systems used for earth and weather observations, high-speed communication and GPS. These devices have major commercial value for the Australian economy,” Mr Tehan said.

Photo of Professor Iver Cairns

University of Sydney Professor of Space Physics and Director of CUAVA, Iver Cairns.


University of Sydney Professor of Space Physics and Director of CUAVA, Iver Cairns said: “We are thrilled to be working with our 11 partners, including three industry partners, four government labs, and three Australian universities and two American universities. We have five PhD students and four Postdoctoral fellows engaged and making exciting progress on our research and commercialisation projects. Within the next year we will be launching our first satellite and new instruments into orbit, and performing our first Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAV) campaign.”

CUAVA-1’ is the first satellite being developed by CUAVA, with the purpose of certifying advanced communication, remote sensing, GPS, and space environment instruments in order to provide their data to users on Earth. 

Photo of Professor Sue Thomas, CEO of the Australian Research Council

Professor Sue Thomas, CEO of the Australian Research Council.


The Australian Research Council (ARC)’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas said that the council was proud to support the training centre as it would be sure to boost capacity and capabilities in the Australian space industry.

“The applications of Cubesats and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles will have great importance to the Australian economy, improving satellite communications and observations, and making space more accessible than ever before.”


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