The space industry touches most sectors of the Australian economy. From weather forecasting to emergency management planning, satellite communications to internet solutions, robotics to sensors and automation, the space value chain creates opportunities for collaboration and future workforce growth.

The broad nature of the space industry means that wider societal and economic changes, such as increases in global competition, new satellite and geospatial technologies and landmark exploration missions, all present an opportunity for Australia to lead new capabilities and regulation efforts.

At UniSA, we connect our researchers to industry partners and find novel ways to achieve sector growth. Our researchers come from multidisciplinary areas, including engineering, telecommunications, advanced materials, information technology and computing, business, data management, and cybersecurity.

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What we do

Surveillance and space intelligence (AI and interoperability, data analytics, cybersecurity, telecommunications, signal processing and sensor systems, photonics)

Psychology and human factors (AR, VR and user interface, human-machine interactions, confined habitats study, cognitive neurosciences, HASS)

Advanced manufacturing and monitoring (nanofabrication, additive manufacturing, digital twin, remote operations, autonomous systems, material testing)

We offer industry professionals the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the factors impacting the space industry through the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program (SHSSP) and Graduate Certificate in Space Studies. Additionally, UniSA offers the Global Executive Master of Business Administration (Defence and Space), a highly customised program designed for experienced leaders in the defence and space sector, or those from adjacent industries. The 18-month program is a unique collaboration with international experts and is delivered across three countries. Startup companies can also work with UniSA to grow their ideas for the sector through the Innovation & Collaboration Centre’s Venture Catalyst Space program – an accelerator and incubator program. Existing space companies looking to scale can also apply for the Growth Ramp space pathway offered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth.

Inspiring young talent through project-based PhD opportunities is another way that we work with industry to support thought leadership and address the complex problems of our partners.  Our researchers and students work with industry on a variety of projects, including:

  • Developing wearable sensors that provide real-time information about the health of astronauts
  • Improving satellite-based search and rescue systems
  • Freeform optics for small satellites that enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capacity and capability of space satellites
  • Increasing data rates for observation satellites.

With expert researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, we have the capabilities to work with partners on a range of sector-related challenges and opportunities.

Our partners

At UniSA, we match our research strengths and capability with the demands and opportunities of our partners, and maximise the mutual benefits of engagement.

Australian Space Agency
Aust Govt – Defence
International Space University
SmartSat CRC

UniSA's Enterprise Hub

The Enterprise Hub creates and sustains partnerships with organisations of all sizes, leveraging UniSA’s industry expertise and experience to solve problems, innovate and add value. Discover a range of services that can help you achieve your business goals.

Why partner with UniSA?



Results in Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).



2018 ARC Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI), Combined Impact – Approach to Impact and Engagement on Assessed



2024 THE Young University Rankings – Industry Income Indicator.



UniSA’s Engineering research rated well above world-class – 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



2023 THE World University Rankings



2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), 4-digit Fields of Research.

Partner case studies

Helping keep astronauts healthy in space

As humanity looks to expand its presence beyond Earth, the wellbeing of the women and men who undertake off-planet activities remains top priority. With space missions likely to become longer over coming years, developing reliable ways to monitor the health of astronauts is a crucial aspect of space exploration. UniSA’s Associate Professor Craig Priest is currently working with NASA to develop non-invasive sensors to monitor health through the testing of bodily fluids such as sweat and saliva, identifying potential health issues quickly and easily.

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“The combined expertise and capabilities comprised in this effort have been beneficial in addressing problems of mutual scientific interests to our respective organizations, which could open the doors for further collaborations in this area, as well as other related areas of interest.”

Dr Félix A. Miranda, Deputy Chief, Communications and Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Glenn Research Center

Explore our research

As Australia’s University of Enterprise, our research centres work closely with industry, drawing on expertise in areas like autonomous systems, laser physics, artificial intelligence and more, to support production areas in the Australian space sector.

Experts in space

Meet our researchers and learn about how they are working towards solving industry and partner challenges.

Space exploration relies on cutting-edge scientific instrumentation able to work effectively in the harsh environment of space. My expertise lies in developing such instruments, from those that can identify ions in the Martian magnetosphere to those imaging the Sun’s transition region in UV;  not only in terms of the necessary technical advances but also in the systems engineering and management processes needed to assure their successful implementation.

Recently my research has also focused on multi-spacecraft mission architectures and resilient solutions for spacecraft design and development.

Associate Professor Ady James
Co-Director for the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program and Director of Education & Training with the SmartSat CRC


Associate Professor Ady James
Co-Director for the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program and Director of Education & Training with the SmartSat CRC

Tiny devices have transformed the world around us by sensing and connecting information, machines, and people. As they get smaller, they are transforming how we do science, healthcare, manufacturing, and environmental management. My research studies “lab-on-a-chip” and micro/nanofluidic devices – tiny chips - that precisely sample, react, and sense to provide real-time status information for decision-makers in high-risk or high-value circumstances. In collaboration with Inovor Technologies, ULVAC Inc. and Nano Spaces, we are developing satellite systems that are smaller, more agile and more energy efficient, so they can withstand and respond to adverse events.

Associate Professor Craig Priest
Deputy Director, ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Integrated Devices for End-user Analysis at Low-levels (IDEAL)


Associate Professor Craig Priest
Deputy Director, ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Integrated Devices for End-user Analysis at Low-levels (IDEAL)

Cybersecurity for space systems is one of my main areas of research. My team and I, together with four research students, are working with SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre, Defence Science and Technology Group and a range of defence partners on identifying new approaches to the security and resilience of Australia’s space industry. Our research is developing enhanced theory, models, tools and capability for next-generation space scientists, engineers, and technologists for the application of cyber-security to the systems’ environment.

Professor Jill Slay AM


Professor Jill Slay AM

My research focuses on identifying space sector industry needs and applying expertise from humanities, arts and social sciences to meet these needs. I have a strong focus on space exploration, space research and space policy. Working closely with ex-NASA employees, including a flight controller, chief historian and retired astronauts, my colleagues and I developed an approach outlined in the paper "Necessity: the mother of invention? The relationship between management control and creativity: Lessons from the Apollo 13 mission". This approach emphasises the importance of control as well as creativity on Apollo 13, as well as in organisations today.

Dr Basil Tucker
Co-ordinator, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS) Space and Cosmology Research Group


Dr Basil Tucker
Co-ordinator, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS) Space and Cosmology Research Group

Find a research expert

Space training and development

UniSA offers a range of bachelor, master, PhD and Executive Education programs across STEM, business and law that align to the sector’s needs in developing and transforming its future workforce.

Space news from UniSA

Explore our industry sectors

Discover our research capabilities across similar industry sectors.

Key Contacts

Sebastien Hebert
Director: Defence & Space, Enterprise Partnerships Unit
EH1-15, City West Campus

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