Home-grown South Australian satellite Kanyini to lift off in 2023

Home-grown South Australian satellite Kanyini to lift off in 2023

(L-R): Inovor Technologies project manager Nuala O'Neill, Myriota space & mission engineer Andrew Meldrum, ISILAUNCH project manager & systems engineer Sander Voss, SmartSat CRC satellite systems engineer Nick Manser, and SASIC associate director of space Dr Catherine Grace. (Provided).

A low-earth orbit spacecraft backed by the South Australian government is booked to blast off next year, with its departure to be facilitated by Adelaide-based satellite connectivity company Myriota and launch provider ISILAUNCH.

Dubbed Kanyini, the launch of the 12kg satellite will mark the first time an Australian state has developed a satellite in its own right and will be part of the SpaceX Transporter mission.

Kanyini – which received $6.5 million in state funding – has been designed and built by a consortium comprising local space leaders Myriota, Inovor Technologies, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre and the South Australian Government. 

“This is an exciting next step for this ground-breaking South Australian space services mission which is set to benefit the State when it launches next year,” Myriota co-founder and CTO Dr David Haley said.

Founded in 2015, Myriota provides low-cost connectivity for sensors positioned on equipment, vehicles and shipping containers and is used by companies in the military, agriculture, renewables and logistics sector. These sensors are part of a system known as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and constantly feed back data to the satellites, allowing users to retrieve information from anywhere on Earth.  

“The IoT payload will add to the Myriota Network, communicating with devices and sensors on the Earth’s surface, working together with hyperspectral imaging collected from the earth observation payload to enable a wide array of applications,” Haley added.

“Kanyini will provide access to critical data anywhere and everywhere it’s needed to help improve and monitor water quality, crop health and bushfire resilience.”

The word Kanyini is derived from a Pitjantjatjara term describing the “principle of responsibility and unconditional love for all of creation”. In line with the ethos behind its name, the data gathered by the satellite will focus on improving bushfire preparedness, response and resilience, and monitoring inland and coastal water quality.

SmartSat, who is leading the mission, has already factored the data collected by Kanyini and the HyperScout 2 into a number of projects which will drive further research and build experience in operating Earth observation (EO) payloads in space. 

“Securing the launch with ISILAUNCH is another exciting step for the Kanyini mission which will pioneer sovereign technology in projects such as OzFuel, which will gather real-time data, monitor potentially hazardous conditions specific to Australia’s eucalypt-dominant bushland, and improve our bushfire preparedness, response and resilience,” SmartSat CEO Professor Andy Koronios said.

“Other real-world applications of the data collected by Kanyini include satellite image-based smoke detection for bushfire mitigation and monitoring inland and coastal water qualities.”

Based in the Netherlands, ISILAUNCH has helped send more than 570 satellites successfully sent into orbit over the last 15 years.

"We're grateful to have been selected by Myriota to get Kanyini in orbit to start its ambitious mission through our reliable, integrated launch services,” ISILAUNCH director Abe Bonnema said.

“Our team, which includes local representation in Australia for smooth and fast interaction with the customer, is looking forward to completing all the necessary launch activities to get Kanyini to space." 

South Australian deputy premier and minister for defence and space industries Susan Close said that SA is leading the charge in accelerating innovation and growth in the space sector.

“This mission presents an important opportunity for local industry to play a key role in furthering our national endeavours to build sovereign EO capability, provide secure access to data from space and expand our satellite design and manufacturing expertise.”

“Soon we will be the first State Government to send a locally manufactured small satellite to low Earth orbit and we’re excited to be partnering with ISILAUNCH to secure a launch date for Kanyini on SpaceX in 2023.” 

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