SA govt backs control centre for IoT satellite network

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Adelaide company Fleet Space Technologies recently secured a AU$500,000 Future Jobs Fund grant from the South Australian government to construct a new mission control centre in Adelaide for its planned global network of 100 nanosatellites to provide communications for IoT applications.


The ‘Mission Control South Australia’ project will create 17 ongoing jobs in IT and advanced manufacturing, more than doubling Fleet Space’s current staff numbers.

The grant will be matched by a $500,000 investment in the facility from Fleet Space Technologies, with new positions created to include mission operators, network operations specialists and technical support staff. These funds will enable the company to construct and run a mission control centre using local, in-house employees, and staff the centre 24/7.


Fleet Space Technologies manufacture ultra-low cost ‘nanosatellites’ for applications such as tracking livestock movements, environmental, soil and water monitoring and supply chain logistics.


Commenting on the grant, South Australia’s Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis said: “Jobs are Labor’s number one priority and we’re backing innovative companies like Fleet Space Technologies because these firms are creating the exciting employment opportunities that will keep our young people in South Australia.


“This grant means that instead of outsourcing mission control services overseas, these highly-skilled jobs can be created here in Adelaide.”


Fleet Space Technologies CEO, Flavia Tata Nardini added: “We want to put South Australia on the map as a space hub. This grant enables us to create technical jobs that will grow the space industry here in Adelaide.”


Fleet Space Technologies’ mission is to provide a free, ubiquitous connectivity platform that will “connect everything using cutting-edge communications and space technologies to maximise the resource efficiency of human civilisation and enable the next industrial revolution.”


The company plans to have a network of 100 satellites, five each in 20 low earth orbits, by 2020 or 2021, depending on how fast it can secure launch services, and about 12 ground stations.


The satellites will take data from the ground stations and hold it until they come within sight of a ground station – communication in the reverse direction will also be possible. The satellites won’t communicate directly with IoT devices but with nearby Fleet Space gateways that will use wireless technology to communicate with individual devices.