WA company is the first to form an industry partnership under the AU-UK Space Bridge

Western Australia company, LatConnect 60 and the UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) have entered into an industry partnership, becoming the first to do so under the Australia-UK Space Bridge.

Kim Moss by Kim Moss,

The Space Bridge Agreement Framework was signed in February this year and aims to increase connection, exchange and investment across both countries’ space sectors. LatConnect 60 and SSTL announced that they had signed a contract under the Space Bridge Agreement which will enable the WA company to provide high resolution optical data from the SSTL S1-4 Earth observation satellite.

Under the partnership, SSTL will retain ownership and in-orbit satellite operation of the SSTL S1-4 and LatConnect 60 will generate high resolution panchromatic and multispectral optical data for the satellite’s lifetime, designed to be in excess of 7 years. The team in Perth, WA will process this further to provide analytics-ready data products and insights. Industries across mining, agriculture and government are set to benefit from the highly accurate, real time data sets which will have an immediate, practical impact on operations. Venkat Pillay, CEO of LatConnect  60 noted that the partnership will help grow the rapidly emerging Australian space sector and will fill key data gaps for customers by utilising satellite capacity exclusively in Australia.

The partnership is also significant for LatConnect 60 as they turn their attention to entering into a growth phase and global expansion, ahead of the planned launch of their own smart satellite constellation above Australia in 2022. The company already provides high resolution satellite imagery and medium resolution hyperspectral imagery over Australia, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and provides activity based intelligence workflows and situational awareness analytics services.   

Arfan Chaudhry, Head of International Policy at the UK Space Agency, highlighted that this first industry partnership under the Space Bridge demonstrates that the Agreement is already facilitating collaboration and improved access to trade and investment across the two countries’ space sectors.

Chaudhry added “Now, this exciting partnership between SSTL and Latconnect 60 is harnessing the UK’s world-leading Earth observation capabilities which bring a range of benefits here on Earth, including helping us monitor and tackle climate change, respond to natural disasters and manage our natural resources.”

About the Government of Western Australia’s London Office:

The Western Australian Government Office is based in London with responsibility across all of the UK, Europe and Israel. The global space sector is growing at pace and Western Australia continues to hold its position as a key player in the industry. WA already has a track record of international engagement, including with the UK and Europe, across the space sector. To investigate further opportunities, including the Australia-UK Space Bridge please get in touch with our team to hear more about how you can get involved.

SSTL S1-4 high resolution earth observation satellite. Credit SSTL.

Feature Image: Sub 1m GSD pan-sharpened image of Capital Hill, Canberra, Australia acquired by SSTL S1-4 satellite, May 2021. Credit: SSTL.