This milestone represents the first time an Australian electric propulsion product has qualified for integration on a satellite and signals the progress that these companies have made together toward increasing the capability and commercial viability of Australia’s space industry.
Neumann Space and Inovor Technologies progress on integrating the Neumann Drive has enabled the readiness for flight heritage of an Australian made satellite platform with electric propulsion, further de-risking the integrated product for the global market.
Neumann Space currently has two product classes in various phases of development and testing, one that is designed for cubesats and the other for the smallsat market. The Neumann Drive selected for the Apogee satellite is its CubeSat Product Class incorporating a Thruster Unit that contains Molybdenum as the solid metallic propellant. The propulsion system is based on the company’s patented pulsed cathodic arc thruster technology and is designed to be safer, storable fully fueled and integrated, more efficient, and importantly more robust and easier to operate than other solutions currently on the market.
Inovor Technologies has developed a family of small satellite buses in the CubeSat (Apogee Bus) class and is designing its smallsat (Australis Bus) class. This technology can be used to build satellites across a range of sizes, and for most mission types, including space domain awareness, Earth imaging, communications, climate science, AgTech, scientific experimentation, and more. Propulsion is a key technology enabler to support customer mission requirements and Inovor Technologies’ Hyperion and Skyris missions.
Neumann Space’s CEO, Herve Astier, said, “The Neumann Drive offers a step change in mobility to the global satellite market, and this milestone represents an important step forward in ensuring that this critical technology is able to serve the growing need for better propulsion in space. Proving the performance of the Neumann Drive in space will enable our company to continue the solid progress we are making to commercialize our products. We are excited about the work we are doing with Inovor Technologies and the contribution that we are making to securing flight heritage of a system with the real potential to significantly disrupt the way satellite propulsion is done today.”
Dr. Matthew Tetlow, Founder and CEO of Inovor Technologies, said, “The Apogee satellite platform is a high-performance spacecraft requiring a highly efficient propulsion system, which is why we are very pleased to be ready for spacecraft integration and launch. Both our products are Australian-designed and made, demonstrating the sovereign capability that exists within our nation’s space sector, and the potential for growth of the industry. Continuing to prove and test our industry’s platforms and capability in space is essential to progress.”