South Australian space technology company Neumann Space is going from strength to strength, signing two new partnership agreements with UK smallsat pioneer, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and Queensland-based, Gilmour Space Technologies.

A technology leader of in-space electric propulsion, Lot Fourteen-based Neumann Space has partnered with SSTL to test an Australian designed and manufactured in-space propulsion system as part of the CarbSAR In Orbit Demonstration Mission.

Work will commence this year to integrate the next generation Neumann Drive® as an IOD payload on board the SSTL CarbSAR satellite, as part of a partnership between SSTL and Oxford Space Systems that is designed to prove a ground-breaking Synthetic Aperture Radar concept. The satellite is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2024.

The CarbSAR Demo Mission will provide Neumann Space with the opportunity to grow its space heritage and, having established its first Australian office at Lot Fourteen in 2022, demonstrates SSTL’s commitment to collaborate with and stimulate local growth in the Australian space industry.

Neumann Space CEO Herve Astier said the collaboration with SSTL was significant to the commercialisation of the company’s innovative propulsion technology.

“This is an important addition to our program of in orbit demonstrations, providing us with the opportunity to validate the performance of our sovereign capability on SSTL’s latest generation 150+kg satellite platform, and to work more closely with a leader in the UK’s space industry for both commercial and defence applications,” said Mr Astier.

Business Development Director of SSTL Andrew Cawthorne welcomed the partnership.

“CarbSAR is an important development for SSTL and so are our activities in Australia,” he said. “We are therefore delighted to welcome this collaboration with Neumann and look forward to growing our partnership here and on future small satellite missions.”

The collaboration has also been welcomed by Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo, as an exciting step in the UK-Australia Space Bridge agreement.

“This agreement is further evidence of the global space sector’s interest in what Australia’s innovators have to offer, and the mutual benefit that can be gained from working together with our partners,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the continuing development of this innovative Australian propulsion technology and how Neumann Space can use this space heritage to continue to grow and create economic and career opportunities here at home.”

Under the agreement with Gilmour Space Technologies, the two companies work together to develop a more powerful version of the Neumann Drive® suitable for use by the international SmallSat market.

Neumann Space’s world-leading propulsion system, the Neumann Drive, uses solid metallic propellant and is today available in a format suitable for satellites weighing less than 50kg with the ability to be clustered for larger satellites. As part of the project, the two Australian space companies will collaborate to ensure product compatibility for satellites up to 500kg, enabling the broader satellite industry to gain access to technology that delivers superior mobility in space.