Australia’s leading space research centre, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), has unveiled a Compact Hybrid Optical-RF User Segment (CHORUS) prototype terminal that is set to transform military satellite communications.
Launched at the 15th Australian Space Forum in Adelaide, the CHORUS prototype features world-leading technology developed entirely in Australia by the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and partners EOS Space Systems, EM Solutions, Lyrebird Antenna Research, Shoal Group, Australian National University and the University of South Australia.
The project saw DSTG support testing at their LASER range, which included designing and building a ‘pseudo-satellite’ to prove the hybrid radio frequency (RF) and optical telescope aperture worked as planned.
This hybrid technology, called AntennaScope™, provides reliable communications at all times while offering higher data rates and lower interception probability than standard RF satellite communications, which are vulnerable to electronic warfare, such as jamming, geolocation and interception.
CEO of SmartSat CRC, Professor Andy Koronios, said CHORUS has the potential to position Australia as a leader in developing and delivering a new class of satellite communications for Australian and allied defence forces.
“By combining RF communications with the more secure optical communication technology, CHORUS has enabled the development of an entirely new class of satellite communications terminal,” Professor Koronios said.
“CHORUS is a testament that Australia can achieve world-first outcomes in advanced research, development and manufacturing.”