A space revolution is underway in Queensland with university and private technology developers joining forces to reach the stars.
Gilmour Space Technologies, a leading Australian rocket company based on the Gold Coast, has signed a strategic agreement with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to collaborate on advanced rocket technology research, testing and STEM initiatives.
“We have some exciting projects in the pipeline with USQ,” said James Gilmour, Co-Founder of Gilmour Space Technologies, which is developing new hybrid-propelled rockets for commercial small satellite launches beginning in 2021. “Our initial focus for this Research Partnership will be to develop space-grade composite capabilities and to explore new rocket test facilities in Queensland,” he added.
Professor Peter Schubel, Executive Director of USQ’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences said: “This research partnership is a perfect match of space-related capabilities between industry and academia to develop advanced automated composite manufacturing, hypersonics, high temperature flow diagnostics, rocket fuel analysis and satellite tracking.
“USQ’s unique facilities such as the long duration Hypersonic wind tunnel, solid rocket fuel manufacturing facility, composite cryotank expertise and Mt Kent Observatory place USQ as a leading space research Institute in Australia, aligned to the needs of the fast-paced space industry.”
Gilmour Space and USQ are no stranger to collaboration having engaged with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others, on separate projects over the years.
However, it is notable that this local partnership will result in innovative space research and development activities in Queensland.
USQ and Gilmour Space, along with other national and international partners, are also developing STEM related activities to encourage and train the next generation of space scientists and engineers.
“We believe it’s important to provide more pathways for bright young minds to get involved locally in the global space industry without having to leave the country,” said Mr Gilmour.
“And we want to play our part in building this future-ready industry for Queensland and Australia.”
Reaching the stars … James Gilmour, Professor Peter Schubel, Adam Gilmour and Xuesen Zeng (USQ)