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Quasar Satellite Technologies wins $5.3 million Defence Innovation Hub contract

Australian firm Quasar Satellite Technologies Pty Limited has been awarded a $5.3M Defence Innovation Hub contract to develop a multibeam phased array space communications ground station as well as enhanced space domain awareness. The company has also been shortlisted for the Avalon 2023 Innovation Award – the winners will be announced at the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at Avalon Airport, near Melbourne, on Tuesday 28 February.

With more than 50,000 satellites expected to be launched in the next decade (currently there are just 6,000), there is a large and pressing need to fundamentally improve the way that satellites are supported, and how space data is managed.

Quasar Satellite Technologies’ $5.3 million contract with the Defence Innovation Hub will help it to further develop its multibeam phased array ground station system that may support hundreds of satellite communications simultaneously with a single compact antenna. Currently, traditional parabolic dish-based ground communications antennas can only support one satellite at a time for communication and management, creating a communications bottleneck.

Quasar’s technology also meets another pressing space industry problem – Space Domain Awareness (SDA).

“We are very excited to receive this investment from the Defence Innovation Hub,” Phil Ridley, CEO Quasar Satellite Technologies said. “This support allows us to fast-track expansion of our unique phased array technology into new satellite bands, and ultimately contribute to our vision of creating a powerful, flexible, scalable, sovereign satellite communications capability for Australia.”

Quasar was started in 2021 from a partnership with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, repurposing advanced technology developed over the past decade for radio astronomy, to solve the data congestion challenge facing the satellite industry today. Customers will be able to access the patented true multibeam and all-digital phased array ground station system through its Software-as-a-Service model.

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