Australian SME selected for Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight systems

Australian SME selected for Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight systems
Australian SME selected for Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight systems. Image by Virgin Galactic

While most small companies were taking a break over Christmas, Brisbane-based Absolute Data Group (ADG) was busy training Virgin Galactic staff in using its highly regarded technical publishing software, following the news they had secured the sought-after software contract.

It was announced late last week that Virgin Galactic has selected OneStrand LLC – of which ADG is a joint venture partner – as their preferred supplier of S1000D technical publishing software, services and support.

ADG’s R4i S1000D product suite will provide the technology required to create, manage and leverage technical information vital to the operation and maintenance of Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight systems.

ADG’s CEO Tammy Halter said the company was thrilled to be supporting the human spaceflight program and working with such highly motivated staff.

“The thrill of winning this contract is all about the trust that this young and highly innovative technology company has put in us, allowing us to work with them on their goals to deliver a safe human space program,” said Halter.

“Working with a customer that is so motivated towards the end goal of trying new things, and making things simpler and better for the average person, allows us to do the same with them.”

Around 40 per cent of ADG’s software users are based around civilian or military air programs, and defence programs (land, air and sea) dominate about 65 per cent of ADG’s business. Australian air programs utilising ADG’s software include Airbus’s ARH and MRH helicopters, Boeing Defence Australia for two projects and Virgin Australia, who has utilised ADG software for operations documentation for the past 10 years.

Most customers use a similar configuration to what Virgin Galactic will use. However, Virgin Galactic is taking it one step further by implementing one of ADG’s newest pieces of technology, the R4i CDMS. The R4i CDMS is a content distribution and management server, which is similar to having their own ‘app store’ for distributing electronic publications to devices and pushing updates to users.

Halter believes ADG’s constant innovation helped to secure the Virgin Galactic contract, in addition to their supply of relevant customer reference sites, future capabilities and the combined ADG and OneStrand teams’ in-depth understanding of Virgin Galactic’s complex requirements.

“At a technology level, unlike many other vendors, we allowed the Virgin Galactic team to evaluate our software installed at their site. After a couple of days training, the team realised that our software was not only fast, but very flexible and extremely easy to use, with consistent functionality and usability across the product range.”

With further high profile customer wins about to be announced (in February), Halter believes ADG’s and the OneStrand US team’s success ultimately comes down to their teams.

“Obviously smart technology is a good base and opens doors. But it’s not just about the technology. It’s about every individual in our business going above and beyond to demonstrate who we are and how we help our customers, from first enquiry through to training and support after installation,” said Halter.

Australian SME selected for Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight systems
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