Ensuring space instrumentation can survive launch and operate reliably in the vacuum of space is one of the most complex forms of engineering. Space Systems Engineering is an extension of ‘rocket science’. It is fundamental to ensuring the assets in orbit around the earth function reliably. 

Lead by Professor Peter Moar and working closely with international organisations such as the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Fraunhofer Organisation, Teledyne Brown Engineering, OHB and more, this group has provided TRL9 space flight heritage capability towards several global space instrumentation missions. The team implements the most stringent systems engineering methodology to ensure delivery of capability to global international standards, such as ESA ECSS. 

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a scale of maturity of technologies, with 1 being initial theoretical research and 9 being fully validated and ready for deployment in space. The team has successfully taken low-TRL university laboratory research work to TRL9 with the support of international partners, such as the DLR.

Current and Delivered Space Missions / Projects

DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS)

The DESIS mission was a Space 2.0 public-private partnership between Teledyne Brown Engineering in the US and the DLR to provide mission critical, on-board capability for the DESIS, a hyperspectral instrument. It was launched and installed on the International Space Station in late 2018 and provides vital imagery for managing the Earth’s delicate ecosystem.

Media relating to successful launch:



In partnership with the DLR, the DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) instrument has been successfully installed on the International Space Station. DESIS is a hyperspectral earth observation device that greatly advances our ability to characterise vegetation health and stress, water quality and pollution, as well as the Earth's mineral resources.

Image credit: German Aerospace Centre / Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) - CC-BY 3.0

Research Expertise

  • Digital design of High speed RF electronics
  • Reconfigurable FPGA SoC based flight computers
  • Space Systems Engineering virtual design, prototyping, test verification of components and sub-systems for ESA ECSS standards
  • Complex space qualified instrumentation control systems
  • Earth Observation missions and related applications
  • 16-year heritage participation in international 150kg+ microsatellite earth observation missions from initial concept through to space flight operations and decommissioning.

Projects Under Development

  • Establishment and operations of Space Instrumentation Systems Engineering Lab 
  • Space industry supply chain dynamics Victoria/Australia
  • Earth Observation Ground Segment in partnership with Industry partner ESS Weathertech
  • Design of antenna systems for telecommunications and accessing remote sensing data from assets in space activities
  • Hyperspectral Microwave Sounder Instrumentation for meteorological application

Explore our other research programs

Contact the Space Technology and Industry Institute

If your organisation would like to collaborate with us to solve a complex problem, or you simply want to contact our team, get in touch by calling +61 3 9214 5177 or emailing spaceinstitute@swinburne.edu.au.

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