The space industry in Australia generates total revenues of around $3 billion to $4 billion and employs around 10,000 full time equivalents. It comprises around 388 companies, 56 education and research institutions and directly involves around 24 government agencies.
Australia has capabilities along most of the space industry supply chain. By far the strongest areas are in applications where Australia has experience in integrating space sourced data into communications, Earth Observations from Space and Global Navigational Satellite Services (GNSS).
Australia has no capability in the manufacture of large satellites and limited capability in design and specification of launch vehicles. However it does have capability in the specification and design of communications satellites through Optus and an emerging capability in the design and manufacture of nano- and micro-satellites in universities and emerging start-up companies.
Manufacturing of satellite sub-systems is an emerging capability that has good prospects. This includes high performance optics, radio communications systems, optical communications systems and on-board data handling. Many of these activities build on Australia’s capability in the manufacture of ground-based optical systems for astronomy, satellite laser ranging and space debris tracking.