• SpIRIT nanosatellite render.
Credit: University of Melbourne
    SpIRIT nanosatellite render. Credit: University of Melbourne

Australia has successfully launched into orbit its first scientific satellite in over two decades.

The SpIRIT nanosatellite emerged from a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the Italian Space Agency, with a consortium of Australian SME partners and support from the Australian Space Agency.

Melbourne-based additive manufacturing company Titomic developed its thermal radiator design, cold-sprayed in copper and coated with mirror tape on one side.

The radiator’s algorithm generated bird-shaped spray pattern maximises thermal efficiency, enabling the satellite to host heat-sensitive instruments typically reserved for larger satellites.

The satellite’s primary mission is to search for gamma rays, and is equipped with solar panels, cameras, guidance systems, an electric propulsion thruster, and computers. 

“The team utilised Titomic’s state-of-the-art TKF 1000 additive manufacturing unit to develop high-efficiency radiator panels that are crucial for the satellite’s operation,” said Herbert Koeck, Managing Director of Titomic.

“SpIRIT’s journey into space is not just a technological triumph. It’s also a significant step in scientific discovery.”

After completing its two-year mission, SpIRIT will return to Earth and burn up on re-entry.

comments powered by Disqus