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Spiral Blue Awarded Space Flight After Winning Waratah Seed Competition

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Left to right: Joint first place winners, Sherry Zhang (Spiral Blue) and Anita Ho-Baillie (EurokaPower), joint second place winners, Bohan Deng (Sperospace) and Dr. Gavin Conibeer (Extraterrestrial Power) and third place winner, Brian Lim (Dandelions).

(Sydney, NSW - 24th of January, 2022) On 19 December 2021, Spiral Blue was announced as the joint first prize winner of the Waratah Seed WS-1 Payload Competition, Australia’s first cubesat rideshare mission. Joining Spiral Blue, the 6U cubesat mission due to launch no earlier than late 2022, will host 4 other innovative NSW payloads developed by EurokaPower, Extraterrestrial Power, Sperospace and Dandelions.

Initiated by the NSW Government’s Space Industry Development Strategy and funded by Investment NSW, the aim of the Waratah Seed mission is to provide an accessible platform for NSW businesses to test and prove their technologies in space affordably.

“Supporting space startups to get their products market-ready not only helps build a thriving future industry in NSW,” CEO Investment NSW, Amy Brown said, “but also equips us with innovative new technologies to monitor carbon emissions, manage natural resources, support disaster response efforts and provide critical earth observation data to tackle problems here on earth.”

The competition awarded Spiral Blue a subsidised ride-share slot on the 6U satellite for its innovative Space Edge Computing solution. Spiral Blue’s edge computer, Space Edge-1 (SE-1), is a version upgrade from its prototype Space Edge Zero (SEZ) computers launched into orbit mid-2021 and early 2022 and will enable in-orbit image processing and delivery of near real-time earth observation data. In this mission the SE-1 will undergo LEO radiation testing as well as improving processes around tasking, execution, uplink and downlink.

Spiral Blue CEO, Taofiq Huq said, “Once our technology is proven in space, we look forward to supporting national and commercial missions in areas as diverse as fighting bushfires, improving agricultural yields, and keeping watch over our borders.”

The mission is being run by a consortium of key Australian space industry partners, Centre for Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA), Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER), Wolfpack Space Hub, Saber Astronautics, Delta-V Newspace Alliance, University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University.

Leading the mission, Director of CUAVA, Professor Iver Cairns said, “The Waratah Seed mission will create jobs and drive development of space-ready technology, services and people for our space sector. CUAVA and its partners are ready for the challenge of delivering the first Australian rideshare.”

Dr Jason Held, CEO of both Wolfpack Space Hub and Saber Astronautics said, “The Waratah Seed flight represents an opportunity for exceptional Australian researchers and startups to get a chance to fly. Flight experience is the most important part of our successful future.”

Spiral Blue was recently a recipient of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grant, a grant which supports the Australian space industry to build capacity to deliver products and services into domestic and/or international space industry supply chains that could support Moon to Mars activities. This grant is supporting the development of Spiral Blue’s Space Edge Services platform.

About Spiral Blue

Spiral Blue is a Sydney SME focused on building the next generation of Earth observation services with artificial intelligence and Space Edge Computing. Spiral Blue technology has applications in defence, city planning, utilities, and other industries. Founded in 2018, the company launched its first Space Edge Zero prototype into orbit in July 2021.

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