Skykraft has closed a funding round of AUD$3.5 million with the participation of investors including Allan Moss (former CEO of Macquarie Group) and Adcock Private Equity to deliver a world-first, global, satellite constellation for space-based Air Traffic Management.
Skykraft is positioned to offer a global product that will offer the prospect of significant job creation and onshore opportunities for the growing Space sector as well as deliver the sovereign capability needed for the nation’s defence and government programs.
The Australian developed and manufactured smallsats will replace ground-based infrastructure for Air Traffic Management with space-based systems, for both surveillance and communication services.
Skykraft Co-founders, Chief Engineer Dr. Doug Griffin and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Craig Benson, have 20+ years satellite mission and aerospace experience, including with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA missions, RAAF and UNSW Canberra Space.
In December 2020, Skykraft signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airservices Australia to explore and demonstrate the feasibility of space-based surveillance and communication technologies and its application in the aviation eco-system.
The capital will be used to design, build and launch the Block II validation satellites (nine smallsats scheduled to launch in June of 2022 via SpaceX).
Skykraft’s first launch will consist of a 300 kg. satellite payload. This follows Skykraft having successfully completed rigorous ground testing and validation of its Block I smallsat (Majura) in June of 2021.
Joe Capra, founding principal of Lennoxgrove Capital, said, "Skykraft has developed a leading technology with global relevance and unique attributes in Surveillance and Aviation Communication services for the large Air Traffic Management sector. Skykraft’s solution also contributes to CO2 abatement by allowing aircraft to travel on more efficient flight paths, which translates into both environmental benefits and reduced fuel costs for airlines."
Skykraft’s Executive Chairman, Air Vice Marshal (retired), Mark Skidmore, said, “Skykraft’s space-based solution allows real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots, allowing for the reduction in separation between aircraft over oceanic airspace, enhancing efficiency and delivering environmental benefits. Our smallsat constellation will be a world-first, proudly out of Australia.”