DEVELOPING WORLD-LEADING environmental monitoring technology and sparking student interest in space science are two priorities the Federal Government is funding under its Australian Space Research Programme.
Announcing $9 million for two space research projects and an innovative space education programme, Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr said Australia’s space activities contribute to our productivity and prosperity—satellites help us communicate and navigate across our rugged terrain, and help us observe environmental change.
“Earth observations from space are the single most important and richest source of environmental information for Australia. They support weather and climate prediction, and help us to manage our forests and marine eco-systems,” Senator Carr said.
“Under the programme, the University of South Australia is being awarded over $4.9 million to transmit data from field instruments to researchers live via satellite.
“This will help improve the ability to track animals and wildlife, manage ecosystems and monitor water, climate and marine environments. It will also have widespread applications in mining, agriculture and other industries.
“Improving satellite earth observation systems allow us to more accurately conduct activities like sowing seeds, applying fertilizers and ploughing fields, increasing our farmers’ productivity.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is being awarded over $3.4 million to develop international standard infrastructure, which will receive and analyse Landsat Earth observation data.
“This project will advance Australia’s unique satellite data processing capability for better global climate change research. It will have benefits for the agriculture, geology, forestry, surveillance and education sectors.
“The space education programme being funded will be led by Flinders University. The university is receiving over $950,000 to train 40 teachers about earth observation sciences. Also under this project, up to 400 secondary students will undertake research projects in space-related fields.”
Adapted from information issued by the Australian Government.
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