Skykraft officially opened its new manufacturing facility in the center of Canberra at the UNSW Canberra City campus today. The new facility is enabling the development of the largest ever Australian manufactured space payload, weighing 300 kg., which is confirmed for launch this year with SpaceX from Florida.
Skykraft, is an Australian company that delivers services from space. Skykraft is currently focusing on the development and deployment of a space-based Air Traffic Management (ATM) service. The new Canberra manufacturing facility will produce the 200+ satellites that will form the constellation providing the ATM services, with the operating constellation launched during 2023. The upcoming launch with SpaceX will be a proof of concept for the deployment of Skykraft’s ATM services. Space-based ATM addresses the gaps in surveillance and communications for aircraft travelling across regions that are not covered by existing systems, such as oceanic or remote areas.
With a strong engineering team, based around co-founders Dr. Doug Griffin (Chief Engineer) and Dr. Craig Benson (Chief Innovation Officer), and an agile technology approach, Skykraft is positioned to offer a unique global product that will not only offer the prospect of significant job creation and onshore opportunities for the growing Space sector but also deliver the sovereign capability needed for our defence and government programs.
The new facility will have produced five satellites by June 30, 2022, and a further 12 satellites will be manufactured in the second half of 2022. Production will ramp up in 2023, with 45 satellites targeted in the first half of 2023 and then build to 120 satellites manufactured in the second half of 2023.
The manufacturing facility was officially opened by the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, who said it highlighted the rapid growth of the local space sector.
“Skykraft’s space-based solution allows real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots, allowing for the reduction in separation between aircraft over oceanic airspace, enhancing efficiency and delivering environmental benefits. Our satellite constellation will be a world-first, proudly out of Australia.” said Skykraft’s Chairman, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore.
“This facility further emphasizes the great momentum that’s been fostered since the establishment of the Australian Space Agency and why space is one of six priorities under the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy,” Mr Palermo said. “When our space sector grows, it not only creates opportunities within those space businesses but across a range of industries, which means jobs with all different skillsets.”