KiwiStar Optics optical system to be used in Australian space research centre R&D project for bushfire resilience


A bushfire at Mt Solitary, NSW. Image: Adobe Stock/Leah-Anne Thompson

KiwiStar Optics and EOS Space Systems will play an integral part of a research project co-funded by Smartsat CRC and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government.

On 22 September 2023, Australia’s leading space research centre, SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) announced a suite of new R&D projects and university appointments in support of the ACT Space Update 2023, bringing its joint investment in the ACT to over $7M.

One of the new research projects co-funded by SmartSat and ACT Government brings together The Australian National University (ANU) and KiwiStar Optics, a subsidiary of EOS Space Systems. The collaboration will deliver advanced manufacturing technologies for the OzFuel instrument, a key payload of an Earth Observation Resilience satellite mission that will enable monitoring of Australian bushfire fuel flammability from space, assisting in bushfire prevention, detection, mitigation, and resilience.

Wellington-based KiwiStar Optics will design, build, and validate a space-based telescope optical system to be used with the ANU spaceborne infrared sensor OzFuel. The ANU will then develop and test the underpinning bushfire science algorithms.

Jason Henry, Vice President for KiwiStar Optics, said, “KiwiStar Optics is pleased to be a contributor to the OzFuel mission, leveraging our experience and knowledge in precision optics and optical manufacturing to deliver space-based capabilities for improved fire management and environmental monitoring. We are proud to be involved in a program that supports bushfire safety and resilience through Earth observation.”