Defence Connect sat down with Lockheed Martin Australia's managing director Australia and New Zealand for Space Systems Rod Drury at IAC2017 to discuss the company's plans for expanding its footprint in the Australian space industry, with Drury flagging increased opportunities in space awareness, IT network management and the collection and collation of data by various space-based sensors.
"Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has been active for about 20 years in Australia and we have a number of different products and services that we deliver today, ranging from the Uralla TT and C facility in northern NSW, where we monitor the health of various spacecraft and payloads, provision of services to the Australian Geospatial Organisation and other Defence related activities," said Drury
"The direction LM is currently headed is based on our combination of our current projects and our future plans for investing in a number of R&D activities with several Australian universities and small-medium enterprises."
Their investment in locally generated ground-based space situational awareness (SSA) capabilities will see Lockheed Martin and its Australian SME partner Electro Optic Systems collect, collate and deliver SSA data that is more precise and more accurate than currently available through commercial sources.
"The SSA sensors will collect very high-end, very precise, ground-based space situational awareness data and our business model is to make that data available to either government or commercial customers," Drury explained.
"Potentially, should the business case conditions exist, then we would further develop the SSA network so that we have a number of those sensor nodes in various locations – all contributing very unique and accurate data, and we believe that there is significant demand for that data service."
Lockheed Martin is also currently working with the Geoscience Australia to undertake a test bed project to prove their satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) – ultimately, the key outcome of this test program is to improve navigation signals for defence, government or commercial customers.
"Another example of our local activities would be the satellite-based augmentation system, known as SBAS, it's about improving the accuracy of navigation signals," Drury said.