background

Saber Astronautics Awarded Grant for Development of Open Source Space Operations Technologies

17th June 2020

Sydney, Australia - Saber Astronautics is starting a new program to open source software to connect satellites to mission control centres. Called the Open Source Space Operations project, or “OSSO”, the aim is to make it easier for new space companies to rapidly deploy their missions.

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government’s International Space Investment: Expand Capability grant opportunity. The value of the grant is $788,792.

OSSO’s objective is to solve the bespoke nature of infrastructure needed to operate a space mission. The open sourcing of Saber’s operational infrastructure and making components available for free via the OSSO platform will allow any new space team to collaborate in a way which avoids competitive angst, builds on lessons learned, and allows for iterative improvement. New missions will quickly close the loop between spacecraft prototype and live flights.

A number of Saber’s technologies forming the OSSO project will be introduced in stages, including ways to connect Mission Control Centres, satellite dishes, and commonly used satellite standards. “OSSO will further lower the barriers to space for organisations, for example, smallsat operators and university programs,” noted Aidan O’Brien, Saber’s Head of Infrastructure and Analytics. “It will give people access to a full ground station system with space heritage that can be used by anyone, anywhere without vendor lock-in".

This project supports the mission operation for the Breakthrough Initiatives’ TOLIMAN spacecraft. TOLIMAN’s main payload is a 10cm class space telescope to prospect for Earth-like planets around our nearest neighbour star system, Alpha Centauri. When it flies, TOLIMAN will be the largest privately-funded astronomical space telescope to have been launched. Its audacious blue-sky science ambition will deliver an immediate and high profile Australian-led space asset supporting world class research.

The OSSO Project is led by Saber Astronautics, and is supported by a strong collective of Australian and international organisations who will be the first stakeholders. A community hub will be released so members of the public can interact with the space community and collaborate with Australia.

Saber’s CEO, Dr Jason Held, expressed why this mission was different “Billion-dollar space telescopes such as Hubble and James Webb are workhorses for astronomy but huge cost and weight make them difficult to access.” Time on large spacecraft is a very limited and hotly contested resource. “There is a whole universe to explore, so a targeted mission like TOLIMAN is actually quite refreshing.”

Smaller spacecraft are orders of magnitude cheaper, creating new opportunities. For Australians the trend has resulted in a virtual boom economy as the space sector sets to triple over the next ten years. For example, there are nearly 600 new satellites commissioned for manufacture by Australia alone—nearly half of the number operational satellites in orbit worldwide.

The OSSO Project is led by Saber Astronautics, and is supported by a strong collective of Australian and international organisations who will be the first stakeholders. A community hub will be released so members of the public can interact with the space community and collaborate with Australia.

###

For any enquiries, please contact:

Jason Held
CEO
Saber Astronautics LLC
Saber Astronautics Australia Pty Ltd
720-589-6086 (USA)
+61 433 178 740 (AU)
jheld@saberastro.com
Andreas Antoniades
Director (Australia)
Saber Astronautics Australia Pty Ltd
+61 407 058 507
andreas.antoniades@saberastro.com

Saber Astronautics is in the process of integrating and testing much of its exciting new mission operations and asset control infrastructure right now: Please stay up to date via our website https://saberastro.com, or follow us on Social Media - Twitter (@SaberAstro), Facebook (@SaberAstronautics).

About Saber Astronautics

Saber Astronautics is an Australian space company whose mission is to reduce barriers to space flight, making it more accessible to people on Earth. Lead by an experienced team of space operators, data scientists, engineers and UX designers, Saber creates mission operations software (PIGI), space data services (space weather, situational awareness, groundstations), space data visualisation tools and engineering solutions for space companies around the World, as well as the Australian and United States Air Forces. Saber is headquartered in Sydney, NSW with additional offices in Australia and Colorado, USA.