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Three Australian companies join AFRL Catalyst Accelerator’s international SDA cohort

Silentium Defence is one of three Australian companies selected to join the US AFRL’s Catalyst Accelerator program. Photo: Silentium defence

Eight small businesses, including three Australian companies, will come together from across the globe for the US Space Force Catalyst Accelerator’s cohort focused on international Space Domain Awareness (SDA).

The Catalyst Accelerator, powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), was developed to promote technology advancement for the warfighter and guide technology transfer for the government to industry and vice versa. It is a NewSpace-focused defence and national security industry accelerator, headquartered on the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

With private sectors around the world accelerating new capabilities for Space Domain Awareness, the US and its international partners are interested in increasing the ability to support and enhance the awareness of the space environment with commercial data and tools for shared security and prosperity.

The International Space Domain Awareness cohort will meet in-person for 2 weeks at a time over a 3-month period beginning on August 9th. Each company will collaborate with subject matter experts, work with government liaisons and commercial Sherpas, and complete an intensive customer discovery process. Each of the eight companies will receive grant funding thanks to the Catalyst Accelerator’s corporate sponsor, ONE Dev. The cohort will conclude with a Demo Day on November 3rd where they will pitch their technology to government and industry partners.

The Australian companies in this latest Catalyst Accelerator cohort are Sydney-based Astrosite and HEO Robotics and Adelaide-based Silentium Defence.  Astrosite is a mobile telescope observatory developed by the University of Western Sydney and uses neuromorphic sensors and AI to rapidly deliver new insights into the space domain. These create unique data and insights for SDA and EO applications. The system is low power and produces only relevant data which enables their proprietary algorithms to rapidly produce unique insights from the ground or in space. Astrosite solutions enable the design of an agile global sensor network that can be redeployed in 24 hours.

HEO Robotics provides resolved images and analytics of space objects to governments and commercial satellite operators that provide critical insights, such as object identification, satellite damage assessment and more. They do this through using their flyby inspection technique, where they use Earth observation satellites during their downtime to image other space objects as they fly past. They have 33 satellites that they have access to today and are building towards 2,500 cameras to provide ubiquitous and on-demand coverage of all Earth orbits.

Silentium Defence is a global leader in the design and deployment of passive radar systems for tactical and strategic surveillance scenarios. A disruptive technology, designed and developed in Australia, their unique situational awareness solutions enable customers to detect targets across sea, air, land, and space domains. Their MAVERICK S-series sensors provide the ability to persistently track objects across a wide arc of space, providing accurate, independent data for space traffic management.

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