Spacecraft, instruments, robots, and tools

Research Goal 1 is: Spacecraft, instruments, robots and tools.

This theme delivers the space capabilities, assets, and tools that underpin SpaceNet and directly address the Decadal Plan, the 2011 Roadmap, and parts of the new Satellite Utilisation Policy.

a. Spacecraft

Build, launch, and operate the i-INSPIRE and INSPIRE-2 spacecraft (already funded separately) and extend them into a sustainable, multi-generational, innovative program of balloon flights and spacecraft projects that stimulates and leads Australia’s national efforts and contributes strongly to international space, astronomy, & EOS research.

b. Instruments & spacecraft systems

Develop new instruments (e.g., advanced photonics-based spectrographs and imagers for EOS) and spacecraft systems (e.g., plasma-based thrusters, integrated and miniaturized control systems) for RG1a that also address national needs for operational EOS imaging and spectroscopy.

c. Numerical & computational tools

Develop and use novel numerical and computational tools that enable linked research between the CIs and colleagues across the University and beyond.

d. Rovers and UAVs

Use ACFR’s expertise in planetary rovers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) , and related robots to design and test the sensors and satellite systems developed in RG1b (including UAV rather than balloon flights) and then use them to provide EOS data for RG3a-b to test Mars rover designs and planetary / soil analogue research for RG3c.