South Australian-based space company, Hex20, is set to play a pivotal role in the Taiwanese National Central University’s (NCU) Automatic Identification System (AIS) mission.

Hex20 has been engaged by the Taiwanese university to build a 3U CubeSat mission named ‘SAISI’, to ‘space qualify’ the NCU-developed AIS that can be used for ship tracking, as well as collecting data for meteorological and oceanographic observations.

The partnership will bring together the spacecraft engineering capability and payload development expertise of both countries to deliver the mission.

CEO of Hex20, Lloyd Lopez, said the mission builds upon existing technology.

“The heritage of the platform technology we use comes from research and missions flown from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA,” said Mr Lopez.

“We are building on these platforms to push technological advances enabling the next generation of technologies, including optical communications, precision pointing, and high-resolution Earth imaging.”

The company is also working on developing satellite simulators for training purposes, as well as building a 3U CubeSat mission for small satellites to fly a radiation detector payload, and a 6U mission technology demonstrator.

As an alumni of the University of South Australia’s Venture Catalyst Space Program, which Hex20 participated in throughout 2021, Mr Lopez praised the State Government-sponsored program for helping to create a thriving and well-supported space sector.

“The Venture Catalyst Space Program helped us refine our core concept, validate the business model and articulate the value proposition better,” said Mr Lopez.

“The state’s strong focus on innovation and technology is helping to drive the growth of new companies in the sector.”

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