Griffith partnership launches Gold Coast to new heights

Local rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies has teamed up with Griffith University to develop Low Earth Orbit satellites, launching early 2023.

The project will see Gilmour Space and Griffith University researchers, develop and build a 100-kilogram prototype that will orbit 500 kilometres above the Earth.

The five-year agreement includes a variety of projects aimed at increasing Australia’s satellite capability.

Head of School of Information and Communication Technology at Griffith University, Professor Paulo de Souza, who built sensors used on NASA’s Mars Rovers in 2003, said aerospace capability is deeply needed in Australia.

“As a country, we currently depend on overseas companies for the manufacture of sensors, actuators, components, structures, new materials, software and other systems for satellites and rockets,” Professor de Souza said.

“We need to develop our own advanced space manufacturing as soon as possible,” he said.

Griffith University Head of Information and Communication Technology, Professor Paulo de Souza, hopes the partnership will help transform the Gold Coast economy. Photo courtesy: Griffith University.

“This collaboration between Griffith and Gilmour is well timed because Gilmour Space Technology has a real opportunity to grow and transform the Gold Coast economy.

“The project is about designing and building a satellite here [on] the Gold Coast.”

CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, Adam Gilmour, said Gilmour Space will assist Professor Paulo de Souza’s team at Griffith University to define the requirements for the small satellite and launch it.

“We wanted to work with local industry-focused partners like Griffith University, and to help educate the next generation of space engineers who will take us to orbit,” said Mr Gilmour.

“This project is about demonstrating that Australians can build and launch a significant-sized satellite with significant capability,” he said.


CEO of Gilmour Space, Adam Gilmour [left] and Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans signing a Memorandum of Understanding. Photo courtesy: Griffith University.

“Satellites today power or enable a lot of applications and technologies, [which] we take for granted on earth.”

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the partnership would offer significant benefits to the local economy.

“We will be helping to create the jobs of the future by delivering world class capability hand-in-hand with industry, in this exciting and growing market,” Professor Evans said.

“There are exciting chances to co-design inspirational industry-focused educational programs for students and professionals,” she said.

“This is a great collaboration for us and indeed Gilmour Space has already hired some of our graduates.”

HEADER IMAGE: Artist’s impression of satellite to be developed by Gold Coast rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies and Griffith University. Photo courtesy: Griffith University.

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