Skykraft is Space Start-up services company that specializes in the design, manufacture and operation of a planned satellite constellation of 210 satellites for the delivery of space-based Air Traffic Management services with operations commencing in 2024.
Skykraft’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) services aim to deliver seamless communication to remote locations that standard air traffic control cannot. Currently, ground-based infrastructure is limited to approximately 400km from land which makes it difficult to accurately track aircraft and ensure their safety over oceanic and remote areas.
The company was founded in 2017 and is based in Canberra, Australia
The first batch of four satellites for Skykraft’s constellation was launched on January 3rd, 2023 with the Transporter-6 RideShare mission on a Falcon 9 rocket operated by SpaceX, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
Skykraft was originally established by founders James Prior and Doug Griffin, to commercialize the R&D capabilities of UNSW Canberra Space. The company spun off in 2017 from UNSW to become Skykraft working closely with a university.
In late 2020 Skykraft signed a MoU with Airservices Australia for exploring and demonstrate the feasibility of space-based surveillance and communication technologies and its application in the aviation eco-system.
In June 2021 the company completed rigorous ground testing and validation of its prototype, Block I (Majura). The prototype satellite was planned to fly on a Momentus Vigoride space tug with the Transporter-5 RideShare mission in June 2022 with SpaceX. The prototype satellite was built, but not launched as Skykraft decided to start launching directly with Skykraft Block 2 satellites.
In December 2021 the company raised 3.5 million USD for its plan to build a satellite constellation for space-based air-traffic management services. Among the investors are Allan Moss from the Macquarie Group, Lennoxgrove Capital and Adcock Private Equity.
On March 21st, 2022, the company officially opened its new manufacturing facility in the center of Canberra, Australia, at the UNSW Canberra City. The new facility is enabling the development of the largest ever Australian manufactured space payload, weighing 300kgs.
In June 2022 Skykraft launched a new collaboration with Fiji Airports to share information and technical expertise as part of the development of Skykraft’s commercial space-based Air Traffic Management (ATM) service.
On January 3rd, 2023 SpaceX launched the first batch of four satellites for Skykraft’s constellation with the Transporter-6 RideShare mission on a Falcon 9 rocket operated by SpaceX, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
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