Industry Engagement

AAL’s role in astronomy industry engagement

The Astronomy Decadal Plan called for the establishment of ‘a central body to promote and facilitate industry engagement with the next generation of global facilities’. Whilst AAL is not that central body it does have a key role supporting its member organisations to develop stronger links with industry.

IE Champions

Rob Sharp, ANU
Ilana Feain, CSIRO
Tom Booler, Curtin
Andrew Burton, Curtin
Andrew Hopkins, Macquarie
Ilya Mandel, Monash
Chris Fluke, Swinburne
Jose Bellido Caceres, Adelaide
Michele Trenti, UniMelb
Michael Ashley, UNSW
Pat Scott, UQ
Brad Carter, USQ
Sergio Leon-Saval, USyd
Julia Bryant, USyd
Simon Ellingsen, UTas
Pru Steinarts, UWA
Nick Tothill, WSU

Closer ties between astronomy and industry can:

  • Connect Australian industry with new commercial opportunities here and overseas
  • Provide career paths for astronomy graduates
  • Support the original research through the commercial provision of services, facilities and equipment

This website brings together examples of astronomy research generating commercial outcomes and statements of capability from all the major astronomy research groups in Australia.

The goal is to inspire and inform astronomers and potential industry partners of the wealth of possibilities waiting to be explored.

About this website

Each of Australia’s astronomy research groups has been / will be asked to describe the particular facets of their research that could be of interest to industry. These are the capability statements and are intended to provide a high level introduction to the various groups across the country.

The site also features a number of case studies, as illustrations of the range of commercial applications of astronomical research.

Prospective industry partners (or astronomical researchers starting their commercial journey) are invited to contact the featured groups or individuals directly, or contact AAL for a broader view of the sector.

Wildfire monitoring from space

Credit: Fireball International.
Fireball International – Partnering with USQ

Fireball International is a wildfire remote sensing technology using automated deep learning originally developed for astronomy. 

Advancing Australia’s space industry

Credit: Quasar Satellite Technologies.
Quasar and SmartSat

Quasar Satellite Technologies is based on CSIRO’s phased array feeds for radio astronomy, designed to reduce the bottleneck in getting downstream data back to the ground. Instead of the current system, involving mechanical dishes that can only link to one satellite at a time, Quasar’s digital phased array technology can potentially link to hundreds of satellites simultaneously using a single installation. 

The SmartSat CRC is a consortium of universities and other research organisations, partnered with industry, funded by the Australian Government. The consortium was formed to develop technologies in advanced telecommunications and IoT connectivity, intelligent satellite systems and Earth observation next generation data services. Core partners include some key AAL member institutions.

Development of advanced robotics

Pepper the Robot. Credit: SoftBank Robotics.
ICRAR partnership – ST Solutions & Soft Bank Robotics

ICRAR is partnering with these companies to create possible future teaching assistants at schools and universities. These future assistants would also be designed to aid scientists and introduce science at museums, expos, libraries.

STSA is the solution provider, especially for the domain in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Robotics. STSA promotes the development of an AIR (Artificial Intelligence + Robotics) industry as well as to expand SoftBank technology in Australia by partnering with businesses, researchers, and start-ups.

​SoftBank Robotics Australia is bringing industry leading robotic solutions to the Australian market.

Advancing communications

Artist's concept – Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS). Credit: NASA.
ANU partnership with NASA, Australian Government

ANU is bringing together experts with deep technical experience in link acquisition and tracking, adaptive optics, and quantum encryption. Using adaptive optics to correct for atmospheric turbulence, they can provide robust, high-speed, free space (not optical fibre), ground-to-ground (or ship-to-shore), and ground-to-space laser communications.

This technology delivers data transmissions of superior quantity and range, for advanced satellite experiments and deep space exploration, for example. Quantum key distribution encrypts laser communications securely for Defence and Internet applications, such as high speed trading.

ANU is also collaborating with industry and NASA on space debris tracking and management, adaptive optics, and propagating laser beams through the atmosphere.

​Industry engagement success stories

AAL is proud to showcase examples of fruitful collaboration between the Astrophysics Research and Industry sectors. Click here for a PDF version of our brochure highlighting some of these success stories.

Contact Us

For further information about industry engagement, please contact:

E: [email protected]
T: +61 3 9214 5520