South Australian-based Fleet Space Technologies and the SmartSat Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) have successfully demonstrated satellite-enabled Push-to-Talk (PTT) technology, a breakthrough in tactical communication capabilities.

The milestone was demonstrated as part of the Defence Space Command-funded ASCEND2LEO project, with software being updated on an existing Fleet Space Centauri-4 satellite while in orbit.

Matt Pearson, Co-Founder and Chief Exploration Officer at Fleet Space Technologies said that the demonstration marked a known world-first.

“Our demonstration of PTT for the ASCNEC2LEO program is the latest example of Fleet Space’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation to meet the rapidly evolving and complex needs of the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Pearson said.

“By successfully delivering a software update to our Centauri satellite while in orbit, we are proud to be the developer and operator of the world’s smallest known voice-enabled satellite, creating new innovation pathways to advance new capabilities for the global space industry and beyond.”

SmartSat CRC and satellite-based solutions company Safety from Space supported Fleet Space by adapting a version of ‘Beagle’ – a communications waveform originally developed through a previous SmartSat-funded project. The demonstration validated the ability of highly adaptable microsatellite constellations to rapidly deliver purpose-built, high-quality SATCOM capabilities at scale to meet complex needs in diverse scenarios.

The groundbreaking PPT technology paves the way to more secure, reliable, instantaneous communications across vast distances using advanced microsatellite architectures. The next-generation voice technologies is a capability that could enable Australian Defence Force members to send secure voice messages from thousands of kilometres away in remote locations.

SmartSat CRC’s Defence & National Security Coordinator Peter Kerr celebrated the achievement.

“Enabling an entirely new voice capability for a satellite that is already in orbit is a tremendous technical accomplishment,” he said.

Learn more about the ACEND2LEO program milestone