Boeing and CSIRO have announced 20 new joint research projects for 2019, the largest programme in their 30-year partnership of research and development.
The projects form part of their current five-year, $35 million agreement and signal a new direction toward the joint development of space-related technologies.
The agreement includes four new joint space technology research projects: space situational awareness for commercial and civil purposes such as monitoring space debris, on-board image processing and analytics for Earth observation satellites, lightweight radiation shielding materials for spaceflight and on-orbit manufacturing of space structures or satellite components.
These projects expand the scope of joint research to five of CSIRO’s areas of expertise: advanced manufacturing, data analytics, energy, future insight consulting services and space technology.
They were announced in late February at the Avalon International Airshow in Victoria, where the two organisations are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their partnership.
“Boeing and CSIRO have a wealth of space technology expertise, and our collaboration stands to propel Australia's space industry forward,” Boeing Chief Technology Officer Dr Greg Hyslop says.
“Boeing’s extensive experience in space dates back to the beginnings of NASA’s crewed space program and the start of satellite-based communications systems, and CSIRO has a 75-year history in developing space technologies.”
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall says the record number of joint projects reflects the strength of the relationship.
“Extending our partnership with Boeing into space technology will fuel new discoveries for us while also driving towards Australia’s target of 20,000 jobs in the local space industry by 2030,” he says.
“Partnering with a global leader like Boeing is critical for CSIRO to deliver on our purpose – solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.
“Whether it’s new materials to withstand incredible forces, 3D-printed rocket fuel, or artificial intelligence to guide our way through intractable problems, CSIRO is using science to create innovative industries for Australia.”
Boeing and CSIRO have made numerous innovative breakthroughs since forming their partnership in 1989. These include CSIRO’s Paintbond technology, which has been used on more than a thousand Boeing aeroplanes worldwide, saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs. Boeing has named CSIRO as a supplier of the year three times, including the past two years.