Gilmour Space Technologies aiming for sovereign Defence satellite capability

24 July 2020

The rockets are currently used for commercial purposes and the company believes its motors have the right capability for a Defence application.

Adam Gilmour, CEO and founder of Gilmour Space Technologies, said no defence force in the world currently uses tactical rapid response satellites, although the Americans are working on it.

'Sovereign launch capabilities will give Australian Defence greater self-reliance in space,' Mr Gilmour said.

'With the rising risk of space warfare and space debris collisions, our own launch capabilities will allow us to quickly replace damaged or destroyed assets such as ISR, PNT – that is, positioning navigation and timing – communications and imaging satellites.'

Gilmour Space Technologies is currently designing a vehicle that could launch a number of satellites, including satellites similar to the Buccaneer, which was launched in 2017. Mr Gilmour said the company plans to provide this capability in 2021.

CDIC business advisers helped Gilmour Space Technologies with guidance about the defence marketplace, technology control regulations and industry grant programs, and audited the business’s defence market preparedness.

'We knew that engaging with the CDIC, the advisers could provide the connections and advice we require to work with Defence, as well as assisting us with proposals and generally helping facilitate business,' Mr Gilmour said.

'They provided a report of recommended improvements which could be supported with a matched grant. We have now applied for a Capability Improvement Grant to improve our operations, quality management, marketing, business development and security.'

'It’s been fantastic to be able to talk to the CDIC when we come across issues. The government is doing a great job of linking industry with Defence.'

'Since working with the CDIC we have become more professional and our systems more robust. We continue to make improvements and are aiming to work directly with Defence.'

Mr Gilmour said businesses wanting to enter the defence industry need patience. 'Don’t rely on defence as a primary customer and make sure you can demonstrate technology quickly.'

Gilmour Space Technologies has also worked with the Australian Space Agency to understand the Space Activities legislative framework, a central requirement for their business.