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EOS Space Systems to help commercialise SmartSat CRC’s CHORUS technology

EM Solutions has developed several smart SATCOM antennas, including this ‘SATCOM on the move’ antenna for BAE Systems. Photo: BAE Systems

Canberra-based EOS Space Systems has upgraded its membership of the SmartSat CRC from a supporting partner to become the 20th core partner alongside leading universities and global corporations such as Airbus, BAE Systems and Nova Systems. The company’s subsidiary, EM Solutions will play a significant role in commercialising the IP developed in the CRC’s high-risk, high-payoff satellite communications venture,Project CHORUS.

As a core partner, EOS Space Systems will have priority to select and lead strategic research projects and can nominate candidates for the SmartSat CRC Board and Industry Advisory Board.

SmartSat CRC CEO Professor Andy Koronios said EOS Space Systems’ growth into a core partner is the culmination of Project CHORUS which leverages existing world leading Australian industry capabilities in satellite terminal and optical systems design with the potential to position Australia as the technology leader in this vital future capability.

“SmartSat CRC brought together a cross-disciplinary team of industry and universities under the leadership of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and facilitated the requirements-gathering from end-users, developed system designs and the research components,” said Professor Koronios.

What began as a $1.2 million dollar Phase 1 project has already moved to the next phase, he added, with a further $2.8 million investment in the rapid development of this
innovative technology.

Project CHORUS aims to build on existing world-leading Australian technology in compact RF tactical terminals and optical communication to develop “leap-frogging” technology that exploits bearer diversity through a highly integrated hybrid Optical-RF tactical terminal with applications for the commercial and national security markets. Phase 1 of CHORUS, which ran from 2019 to 2020, was a research activity to develop concepts for, and explore the feasibility of, a highly integrated, tactical satellite communications terminal combining radio frequency and optical frequency capabilities into a single compact terminal. Phase 2 is on track to deliver a working terrestrial demonstration with a terminal in early 2023.

CEO of EOS Space System, Glen Tindall said: “The commercial potential of Project CHORUS is significant with the technology dovetailing neatly with our existing globally-recognised capabilities of EM Solutions.

“Project CHORUS has been an exercise in the best-practice commercialisation of a new technology driven by collaboration between government, industry, and academics,” he added. “The success of this venture to date demonstrates the value of having an independent platform like SmartSat CRC to bring the various parties together and accelerate the emergence of Australia’s space sector.”

“Having benefited from what SmartSat is doing, we are thrilled to be investing our time and joining the CRC to drive great outcomes for Australian space technology.” DSTG’s Chief Technology Officer, Strategic Research and Innovation, Professor Michelle Gee said that Defence’s investment in the SmartSat CRC through the Next Generation Technologies Fund was clearly paying dividends.

“We are seeing the development of potentially break-through technologies that could be a game- changer for military satellite communications,” she said.

“Those are exactly the sorts of results we want and expect to see from the Next Generation Technologies Fund.”

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