Skip to content

Sustainable space: Researching reusable satellite systems

University of Southern Queensland enters agreement with aerospace company Hypersonix Launch Systems

Queensland innovation is blasting off in the rapidly growing industry of launching satellites into space.

Aerospace engineering, design and development company Hypersonix Launch System has teamed up with the University of Southern Queensland to create a re-usable hypersonic UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), Delta Velos.

Professor Peter Schubel, Director of University of Southern Queensland’s Centre for Future Materials, said the launch vehicle was a technology demonstrator for key aspects of a re-usable small satellite launch system.

“We are the first university to sign an agreement with Hypersonix Launch System to support their journey towards their first launch approximately two years from now,” Professor Schubel said.

“This project will involve high-temperature composites manufacturing which is an area of expertise for our team.

“USQ’s Centre for Future Materials is an industry-focused research and technology organisation, delivering real-world, large-scale solutions for our clients, utilising our extensive laboratories and manufacturing equipment.

“We are excited to have Hypersonix Launch Systems joining as our latest research partner.

“Their innovative technology requires advanced composite materials, and we look forward to working with them and testing the most suitable materials for their needs.”

The goal is to investigate materials for their high-temperature resistance and long durability qualities, accessing their potential for re-usable launch vehicles and engines.

Hypersonix Launch Systems Managing Director David Waterhouse said the agreement was ideal given the University’s extensive testing facilities.

“They offer a great range of testing including materials characterisation, polymer analysis, mechanical testing and large-scale structural testing; including motor performance testing up to 250kN thrust,” Mr Waterhouse said.

“This is exactly what we were looking for in our current building phase.”

Michael Smart, Chief Technical Officer/Head of R&D/Co-Founder agreed, adding that the company was “extremely lucky to have the support of a University that has extensive expertise in the materials we require”.

“It’s also just a stone’s throw away from our Brisbane office.”

Hypersonix Launch Systems vision is ‘to create the world’s leading sustainable hypersonic technology that fundamentally disrupts the way we fly to space and around the world.

With a focus and expertise on world-leading scramjet technology and hypersonic launch systems, their initial motivation is to deploy small satellites into low Earth orbit and find their unique place in the rapidly growing satellite launch market.

rocket in space
Graphic of proposed re-usable hypersonic unmanned aerial vehicle, Delta Velos (image supplied).