UNSW Canberra spin-off company Skykraft has been awarded $1 million in funding, which will enable it to design and manufacture small satellite constellations.

James Prior, Managing Director of Skykraft, said the ACT governments grant to Skykraft will enable the immediate conceptualisation and design work to begin for a SmallSat constellation that will provide global air traffic management capabilities.  This early definition work is significant as it establishes a tangible project for supply chain development and the creation of new space capabilities in the ACT.

“Importantly, this has enabled Skykraft to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Spanish multinational technology company Indra for the design, manufacture and operation of this SmallSat constellation,” he said.

“I am excited about where this will lead. It places Skykraft in a unique position to establish a space-based global service in a niche market.”

The $1 million ACT Government contribution, alongside another $1.2 million in cash and in kind from Skykraft, UNSW and Xtek, will enable and position the company to tap into the development and manufacture of 200 SmallSats that form this constellation.

The funding has been awarded as part of the ACT Government’s Priority Investment Program and follows the announcement that Skykraft and Canberra company, Equatorial Launch Australia, signed a strategic partnership agreement to leverage the strengths of the two firms.

This partnership brings together space industry skills and expertise from across Australia, enabling local companies to launch from Australia.

Skykraft, which is a UNSW Canberra spin-off company, specialises in the conceptualisation, design and manufacture of SmallSat constellations for the delivery of space-based global services. 

The company draws on the expertise and heritage of UNSW Canberra’s team of more than 50 engineers and academic staff, who are responsible for the design, build and operations of the Buccaneer, M1, M2PF and M2 CubeSats.

Skykraft has a wealth of expertise and flight heritage to draw upon for the development and operations of entire SmallSat constellations.

Skykraft is currently developing a class leading SmallSat constellation that will deliver global tracking, communication and location services.