Trusted Autonomous Systems, SmartSat CRC, and RAAF Air Warfare Centre in association with Sir Lawrence Wackett Defence and Aerospace Centre at RMIT have introduced the High-Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) Challenge for Australian companies.
The HAPS challenge is seeking Australian industry and research interest in developing novel ideas and solutions to a capability gap. It aims to energise local Australian development of key technologies and to ensure Australian sovereign HAPS that have accurate station-keeping capability or long endurance capacity needed to allow deployment over an area of operations for a period of days to weeks.
As described by Trusted Autonomous Systems, “high altitude platforms, or pseudo-satellites (HAPS), are uncrewed vehicles that take advantage of weak stratospheric winds and solar energy to operate without interfering with current commercial aviation.
“This provides the endurance required to provide long-term services to terrestrial users, much as satellites do.
“Target applications for HAPS include communications, Earth observation, positioning-navigation and science with potential for more applications in other disciplines.”
Air Warfare Centre, Integration and Innovation Director Group Captain Tobyn Bearman said Air Force is supporting the Australian efforts to prototype sovereign HAPS technologies.
“Work in this area seeks to enhance the quality and resilience of our high altitude capabilities by identifying creative solutions to difficult problems and pushing the boundaries of engineering knowledge,” Bearman said.
“This challenge is an exciting way to contribute to Australia’s security and defence in new ways”.
The Challenge will progress through three phases: from concept, to engineering, to prototype development and demonstration.
An information session will be held on April 30, 2021, and applications must be made by May 24, 2021 to be considered for Phase 2.