Latest News


19 July 2018 - Saber Astronautics Secures Phase II Australian Defence Contract

Canberra, Australia: Australia’s Department of Defence awards Saber Astronautics a Phase II Defence Innovation Hub contract to advance the capability at detecting degraded electronic signals. Valued at $1,235,000, the work is the second of a potential three Phase project using Saber’s advanced machine learning capability. The application adds significant capabilities to Australian Defence and also has potential spinoffs for commercial space operations by autonomously protecting the quality of satellite data during solar storms.


29 January 2018 - Saber Astronautics to Support the US Air Force Research Lab

Boulder, Colorado: The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate has awarded Saber Astronautics a contract to develop new capabilities for space operations. Under this contract, Saber will leverage existing capabilities in modelling large constellations of satellites and their behavior, detecting and locating new spacecraft, and understanding how they can be kept safe in an increasingly conjested space.



24 July 2017 - Saber Astronautics to Support the Australian Air Force

Sydney, Australia: The Australian Department of Defence has awarded space engineering company Saber Astronautics an Innovation Contract for the development of technology that can autonomously identify electronic threats.  This contract, valued at $275,000, is the first phase of a three phase project using Saber’s advanced machine learning capability.  Aside from Defence applications, commercial uses of the technology can enable better communications between spacecraft operators and their satellites, especially during disruptive events such as solar flares.



19 December 2016 - Saber Astronautics Gains Space Certification Award from the Space Foundation

The PIGI project is designated as Certified Space Technology (TM) status by the Space Foundation, a US national non-profit organization whose mission is to vigorously advance and support space related endeavors. PIGI is recognized for its ability to enable the next generation of space operators. Designed to ease the challenge of controlling large constellations of satellites, the technology is showing itself as an enabler for students and entrepreneurs in developing mission plans, some of whom are earning cash prizes and investment as a result of the tool.

We completed a private Alpha release in September with select customers. You can download it here.



17 March 2016 – Saber Selected to Provide Space operations to Tackle the Internet of Things

The Sydney RSOC is selected as the operations provider for Fleet Space Technologies Pty Ltd new satellite constellation providing connectivity to the Internet of Things.  Fleet Space, based in Adelaide, plans to launch 100 small satellites starting in 2017. Areas that are difficult to reach, such as the Australian Outback and many farms and smaller townships, will be the first stakeholders of the network.  See their video here.



3 Aug 2015 – Saber Astronautics featured in The Guardian "Innovation Never Sleeps" Production

We had the great privilege of being selected for the ambitious interactive web documentary series for The Guardian Australia and General Electric called 'Innovation Never Sleeps’. This campaign explores 24 hours in the lives of several unsung heroes of technology to reveal how they are achieving major advances in various fields.

4 May 2015 – PIGI Academic License goes to Private Alpha

We are very happy to announce the start of the PIGI Academic license alpha release!  Our first units were shipped to the Australian Defense Force Academy (ADFA), University of New South Wales, and Melbourne University.  A range of selected individual and small business customers also purchased licenses.  The trial will continue until August 2015.

9 March 2015 – DragEN Tether Deployer Shipped!

After many parabolic flights, iterative improvement and refinement, we are happy to report the first flight version of our DragEN tether deployer was shipped to Manipal Institute of Technology, for installation on their 2-U cubesat.  The launch is scheduled for early 2016 as a secondary payload with ISRO.


12 Oct 2014 – Saber Astronautics Completes Trade Delegation to India

The trade delegation to India brought together lead Australian and Indian dignitaries in the space industry.  In depth discussion was held with Antrix, Raman Research Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DhruvaSpace, and several top Indian universities.  The Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research and the Delta-V SpaceHub also participated.

13 Sept 2014 – Saber Astronautics wins the "Best Technical Achievement" award at the Jeffco Innovation Faire

The Jefferson County Innovation Faire is a Colorado high technology and science faire new inventions, innovations, products and services in high tech, renewable energy, water, nanoscience, transportation, and robotics.  Saber won the best technology achievement award at the “STARS Innovation Challenge” competition for our PIGI mission control software.

6 Sept 2014 – The Mars-Arkaroola Challenge is Complete

Saber Astronautics completed the first phase of a joint Australian-Indian program of space operations R&D. The "Mars-Arkaroola" Challenge used the Responsive Space Operations Centre (RSOC) in Sydney to monitor an Indian Mars rover prototype from the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai).  The RSOC was set up in a simulated Mars condition providing direct support to teams for space weather analysis, diagnostics, and human-robotic interactions.  Funding for the program is from the Australian Government through the Australia-India Council, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

22 Aug 2014 – DragEN tether deployer passes parabolic flight testing at Nasa Flight Opportunities Program

Parabolic flight tested was completed under the NASA Flight Opportunities Program to validate the DragEN tether deployer deceleration strategy and prepare it for flight.  Nearly 80 parabolas were completed which looked at different loading tensions, tie down methods, and friction.  The tests gave detailed insights into DragEN’s behavior at the end of its rollout period, proving that the tether unroll will decelerate smoothly at the end of its line.  DragEN is now validated to TRL-6 and ready for flight onboard customer CubeSats.


16 June 2014 – Saber Astronautics Receives NASA SBIR Award to Develop Self-Correcting Spacecraft Avionics

Saber Astronautics received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $120,000 from NASA. The six-month grant will fund research in a new generation of spacecraft avionics which can self-diagnose and autonomously correct for various problems which can occur in space. These “Operationally Responsive” spacecraft have a wide range of applications for space and aviation. Deep space missions, such as asteroid mining and trips to Mars, will have limited contact with spacecraft operators so any repair must happen onboard. The ability to auto-diagnose will keep astronauts safe on their journey, and keep spacecraft systems fully operational.


27 March 2014 – Saber Astronautics Launches Australian-Indian Space Collaboration Program

Saber Astronautics has been awarded $45k to run a joint Australian-Indian program of space operations activities. The program aims to build professional ties between space innovation teams. The grant includes use of Saber’s Responsive Space Operations Centre (RSOC) in Sydney, Australia for a range of scientific and technical demonstration projects of interest to Australia and Indian space researchers.

Funding for the program is from the Australian Government through the Australia-India Council, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


19 February 2014 – DragEN Tether Deployer Passes Parabolic Flight Tests

DragEN recently completed its first round of parabolic flight testing. The DragEn was selected for funding by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, which is paying for its flight due to the agency's interest in maturing its technology. Zero-gravity tests were performed on a modified Boeing 727 out of Ellington Field, Houston. The aircraft flew a total of 46 periods parabolas during which time we measured the speed and stability of the DragEN's deployment in zero gravity to ensure that it will effectively operate in space. The tether deployed exactly as expected, rolling out smoothly without snagging. This is an important demonstration of our design since other tethers have been plagued by incomplete roll-outs caused by tangling.



5 November 2013 – Saber Astronautics Joins the World Technology Network

The World Technology Network (The WTN) recently announced Saber Astronautics as a finalist for a prestigious 2013 World Technology Award in the Space category. We join a roster of 50 corporate Finalists (in 10 categories) and 100 individual Finalists (in 20 categories) deemed by members of the WTN to be doing the “most innovative work of the greatest likely long term significance."

Other finalists include Deep Space Industries, NASA JPL, Honeybee Robotics, and SpaceX.

29 October 2013: Space Operations Deal Signed with Southern Stars.

Starting in December, we will be ready to provide services for the Southern Stars Group's new "SkyCube" satellite. SkyCube, funded by a successful kickstarter round last year, is missioned to service the education market with imagery and tweets from space. Saber Astronautics will relay customer data, commands, and monitor satellite health directly to the SkyCube network from our lab in Chippendale.



15 August 2013: Saber Astronautics Joins the Australian Technology Showcase.

We are pleased to announce that after many months of formal review we have been accepted into the NSW Trade & Investment's prestigious Australian Technology Showcase (ATS). ATS will support two of our technologies, the de-orbiting device DragEN and the Predictive Groundstation Project. ATS provides funding for travel and promotional support through their vast international network of high technology companies.

18 June 2013: Saber Astronautics selected for NASA 2013 parabolic flight campaign

NASA's Flight Opportunities Program has selected the DragEN Tether Deployer to fly on their 2013 sponsored microgravity flight campaign. We have tests planned to measure deployment, rollout, and breaking of the tether to validate the behaviours we expect in space. DragEN has our first spaceflight scheduled at the start of next year. The press release is here.


10 May 2013: Saber Astronautics Wins a TechVoucher for Space Operations

We are pleased to announce that the New South Wales Department of Innovation approved a TechVoucher for the Predictive Groundstation Project. The TechVoucher will fund a collaboration with the University of Sydney to upgrade their SATCOM station for use by our Mission Control. This is to support our first operations service customers coming online at the end of the year.

29 January 2013: Saber Astronautics Wins a Grant to Foster AUS-Indian Collaboration in Space

The Australian Government, through the Australian-India Council, recently awarded Saber Astronautics a grant to build collaboration and foster new relationships between Australian and Indian academics interested in space. A delegation from Saber Astronautics will travel to Manipal in early February to support Manipal's students and prepare integration with the satellite. You can read the press release here.


3 November 2012: Manipal's Use of DragEN Wins Top Poster Prize at ASSC 2012

Congratulations to the Manipal students for winning the top poster prize at this year's Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC)! The conference was held at RMIT University in Melbourne. This was the sixth ASSC jointly sponsored and organised by the National Committee for Space Science (NCSS) and the National Space Society of Australia (NSSA). The ASSC has become the premier meeting for Australian space science research. Winning the prize speaks to the high degree of skill applied by the Parikshit team.



15 August 2012: The DragEN Tether Deployer To Ride on an Indian Satellite

We are happy to announce the sale of our first DragEN Tether unit to Manipal Institute of Technology. The Manipal Institute’s team in collaboration with Saber Astronautics is incorporating DragEN as a payload into their Parikshit ( research satellite. At the end of its 1-year mission, the yo-yo shaped DragEN will deploy, unrolling 200 meters of a special conductive string which interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. This gently pulls the spacecraft back to earth, clearing the area for new satellites.


19 June 2012: Finalists in the $110,000 NewSpace 2012 Business Plan Competition

Saber Astronautics was chosen as a finalist in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition. The annual event selects the ten best space startups to pitch their business to top Silicon Valley investors. The companies are vying for a $100k first prize and a $10k second prize. We are very excited for this chance to showcase our capabilities, which can provide novel benefits to the space operations field.


18 June 2012: Joint Saber-CSIRO Team Shows Excellence in the 2012 RoboCup Challenge

CSIRO-ICT and Saber Astronautics showed our brain power by placing in the semi-finals at the 2012 international RoboCup Challenge. Our team “Gliders” represented Australia in this world-class research competition. RoboCup promotes the transition of novel technological advances from the laboratory to the real world. The RoboCup2D simulation division focuses on advancing new methods of path planning, strategy, and team theory. Gliders also placed 2nd in the Eindoven Regional competition in May.

Gliders was formed only a few months before the competition, so this was a surprising result against better funded and longer standing teams from China, Germany, Romania, Japan, Brazil, and Iran.

Here is a White Paper on the science.


22 Nov 2011: Our Thanks to NASA ACE!

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is giving us housekeeping telemetry from their satellite, the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). ACE is an important satellite used by space weather prediction services around the world. Saber Astronautics is using the data in our research to make spacecraft easier to operate and more responsive to dangerous situations. Many thanks to NASA and especially the ACE operations team for providing this critical data!

27 Oct 2011: Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine

Continuing the popularity of the Vostok Space Beer project, Saber Astronautics was featured along with our friends at the 4-Pines Brewery in this awesome article by Bloomberg Magazine. This story was also in the magazine's October print edition.

26 Sept 2011: Presenting at Australian Space Science Conference

Dr. Daniel Bunker presented an electrodynamic tether deployment system for picosatellites at the 2011 ASSC conference. The tether deployer is a preflight prototype useful for clean deorbit of a small satellite. We also discussed how it can be modified for use in future satellites for supplementary electric power and as a space environment sensor. Saber Astronautics is producing the tether deployer to support international research in space physics such as the QB50 Constellation. The deployer is available as a preflight prototype.

15 Aug 2011: Internship Program Begins

Our new internship program started on our predictive ground station. There are three internship rounds per year, in collaboration with university schedules. Positions are available in space weather, systems, and software engineering (C++ and graphics). Applications from students are very high quality, from the USA, India, UK, and across Australia.

21 June 2011: Saber Astronautics in the News

Massive international media has come our way due to the wide popularity of Vostok Space Beer. To date are nearly 380 news articles in over a dozen countries around the world. Some great stories by Reuters,Forbes, and In Australia, this was the #1 most clicked story on the day the video was released. A great story featured on ABC Catalyst also presents the project very well.

26 Feb 2011: Vostok Space beer completes 0-g flight test

The flight experiment was completed today on Zero Gravity Corporation's (ZERO-G) modified 727 aircraft flying in parabolic arcs for sets of 30-second of 0-g time. On each arc, the test subject drank a sample of beer while experiencing the full range from nearly twice Earth gravity (1.8g) down to zero. Equivalent to “shaking the beer inside the drinker”, the test was designed to exceed normal conditions that a person in space would experience, in order to agitate the carbonation. Results successfully validated the beer’s recipe and gave our first data points in understanding how the human body metabolises alcohol in microgravity.

18 Jan 2011: Presenting Vostok to the 2011 Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC)

For those interested in the scientific results from Vostok Space Beer, we have been accepted to present at the 2011 NSRC conference at University of Central Florida Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2011. The conference aims to bring together researchers from government, industry, and academia to learn about new crewed space vehicles that are low-cost access to space. We will overview our research plan and initial experiment results.