In 2021 the project team based on collaboration between the University of South Australia (UniSA), The University of Adelaide, Defence Science and Technology Group, AMAERO and SMR engaged in the Collaborative Research Project Round 4, funded by the Defence Innovation Partnership. This project developed a proof of concept prototype of a mirror for a space telescope, expanding local, sovereign additive manufacturing capabilities.
Small satellite platforms will play a major role in supporting Defence needs due to their lower cost, compressed launch schedule and lower perceived risk as compared to traditional high cost multi-redundant satellite platforms. This project contributed to expanding intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities by developing bespoke optical components for deployable space telescopes.
In 2023 the project entered into the next phase through the Trailblazer iLAuNCH programme, in partnership between UniSA, VPG Innovation and SMR Automotive Australia, and will develop compact, highly efficient advanced optical systems for satellites.