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Australia’s Myriota to connect up sensors in space missions

Australian startup Myriota has inked a statement of intent with the Australian Space Agency to provide sensor connectivity for future lunar and planetary exploration missions

Adelaide-based internet of things (IoT) startup Myriota will provide sensor connectivity for future space missions conducted by the Australian Space Agency under a “statement of strategic intent” aimed at expanding Australia’s growing space industry.

In addition, Myriota, a growing player in Australia’s space industry that specialises in satellite communications for the IoT, will be doubling its headcount from 25 to over 50, as well as expand its current constellation of satellites to 25 by 2022.

“The establishment of the Australian Space Agency comes at a time when nanosatellites and IoT are helping to solve major issues that have long plagued Australian businesses, such as manual water monitoring in regional Australia,” said Alex Grant, CEO and co-founder of Myriota.

Myriota said nanosatellite technology continues to be used to solve real-world problems, such as assisting with water and agricultural management in regional Australia.

Anthony Murfett, deputy head of the Australian Space Agency, said the statement of strategic intent “embodies the transformation we are witnessing in the space industry both here in Australia and around the world – it demonstrates that businesses of all sizes can make a significant contribution to Australia’s space industry”.

“As a startup with unique R&D [research and development] and IP, Myriota’s technological innovation is important not only to support the growth and transformation of our space industry, but is inspiring to the wider Australian community and space entrepreneurs,” he said.

Myriota plans to serve Australian and global industries through its use of direct-to-orbit connectivity, as well as the continued expansion and development of its space assets including low earth orbit nanosatellites and associated ground systems.

Australia aims to grow its space market from A$3.9bn to A$12bn by 2030 and double space industry employment from around 10,000 today to 30,000.

Market analysis by an Italian academic, Annalisa Piva, had suggested that the global space economy was worth $329bn in 2016, with Australia having just a 0.8% share.

If Australia can match the performance of the UK’s space agency, it could in its first eight years achieve a 132% improvement in space-related revenue, Piva noted in her report.

The Australian Space Agency was formed in 2018 to advance Australia’s space ambitions. In April 2019, the government announced a A$19.5m national space infrastructure fund, of which $2m will go towards building space manufacturing capability in New South Wales.

The fund will also be used to build a A$6m mission control centre in South Australia that will serve as a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and researchers to control small satellite missions.

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