Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll recently met with the Commonwealth Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash in Canberra to spruik Victoria’s space industry credentials.
Playing host to some of the world's largest names in aerospace, including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems, all of which carry out aerospace research, development and manufacturing in Victoria, serves as an example of the state's existing industrial capacity.
Lockheed Martin has led the way, establishing its first multi-disciplinary research facility outside the US, STELarLab, in Melbourne, while the state's research and development institutions are expanding on their existing capacity with partnerships including:
- Swinburne University's partnership with the California Institute of Technology giving Swinburne unique access to the Keck Observatory in Hawaii; and
- The $20 million partnership between La Trobe University and the German Space Agency to develop and design a super-sharp-image camera for use on the International Space Station, which is one of Australia's largest civilian space hardware development projects.
It is forecast that the global space industry will be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040, with key developments in S-Band space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR), for example, leading the global space race as a result of broad spectrum capabilities, including:
- Rapid natural disaster identification, monitoring and assessment for bushfires, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, pollution and oil spills;
- Improved infrastructure and agriculture mapping in northern Australia;
- Crop monitoring and assessment, including plant biomass and soil moisture;
- Detecting illegal deforestation;
- Flood risk assessment;
- Military surveillance and reconnaissance; and
- Maritime monitoring of shipping routes to detect illegal fishing, piracy and similar activities.
Minister Carroll said, "There is more to the space agency than just its physical home - Victoria is the perfect location to design, manufacture and analyse data from satellites."