The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research
The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) was launched at the University of New South Wales on the 22nd November 2010 by former astronaut Dr. Jan Davis. The centre aims to assist in the Federal Government's push to increase Australia's capabilities in the space industry.
The centre will build on existing UNSW strengths of satellite navigation, earth observation, and hypersonics, and can draw on the huge expertise of Australia's largest Engineering faculty. UNSW is participating in five Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) projects.
The Garada (SAR Formation Flying) collaborative space engineering research project, funded by ASRP, is based at the centre. This project investigates constellation of low cost and light-weight Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) spacecraft that can image the earth day/night and in any weather. These can be used for flood monitoring in Australia and have application to forest monitoring for carbon accounting, border protection, oil spill detection, agricultural monitoring and ocean surface current mapping.
ACSER is also developing a collaborative education program in Satellite Systems Engineering. The grant was awarded by ASRP in June 2011 for the project that will develop and deliver a comprehensive, sustainable two-year Master program to be offered at UNSW in 2013. This program will address the current education gap and help prepare graduates with industry experience for Australia's developing space industry.
ACSER regularly organises workshops and seminars on a range of space related topics. One such workshop on platforms and payloads resulted in two payload prizes and two student research prizes being awarded.
The centre will also establish a new satellite navigation testing centre, a new scheme for students to build and launch satellites, as well as pursuing important research in space instrumentation and vehicles.
Photos from the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research launch can be viewed from here.