Saber Astronautics developing space operations centre

Saber Astronautics is promising that the new space mission control centre being developed for the Australian Space Agency will be the first professional control centre in the world to use machine learning in the day-to-day operation of spacecraft.

Saber will also incorporate innovative 3D gaming technology in the new centre.

The company, which spans space with operations in Colorado and Australia, is creating what it calls the Responsive Space Operations Centre (RSOC) at Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen industry innovation centre.

The Bureau of Meteorology is one of the first to sign an agreement with Saber and will provide space weather information according to Saber CEO Dr Jason Held.

Held said: “Spacecraft operators need to know what is happening in space in the same way a boat needs to know what is happening at sea.”

The Bureau’s Space Weather Services tracks solar storms and high energy radiation, which can produce a range of effects in space and on Earth.

Solar storms can damage or disrupt satellites, affecting navigation (including GPS) and communications. The largest storms can even damage power grids.

The Bureau’s Space Weather Services National Manager Dr Sarah Spackman said: “(This) provides us with an opportunity to develop novel environmental intelligence to help position the rapidly growing Australian space industry at the forefront of efficient spacecraft operations.”

The agreement between Saber and the Bureau of Meteorology secures a critical data stream for the RSOC, which goes live for Australian and US space operations customers in March 2021.

Concurrent design, pre-flight testing, launch support, and live in-flight operations will all be managed by the RSOC.

The Responsive Space Operations Centre has received $6 million in funding from the Australian Space Agency.

Picture: Saber Astronautics

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