iLAuNCH Trailblazer to Build Durable Satellites and Structures Using Additive Manufacturing

iLAuNCH Trailblazer to Build Durable Satellites and Structures Using Additive Manufacturing

The first iLAuNCH Trailblazer project is underway to establish an advanced manufacturing facility that will design and deliver stronger more durable satellite and hypersonic vehicle structures using additive manufacturing (AM). 

Additive manufacturing, the process of creating an object by building it one layer at a time has disrupted the traditional manufacturing world, where subtractive manufacturing, created by cutting away at a solid block of material until the final product is complete was once the norm. Partners in this iLAuNCH Trailblazer program include the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Adelaide-based advanced manufacturer VPG Innovation.

“This important project is well underway in one of our key focus areas – additive manufacturing,” said iLAuNCH Trailblazer Executive Director, Darin Lovett. “Increasing the availability of custom structures, which are space-ready, will support the growing space sector.” “The partnership will also support a world-class Australian sovereign manufacturing capability that will create new jobs, alongside a highly trained workforce, leading to global exports within the space industry and other markets.”

The facility will be located near space sector businesses in Adelaide and will support the industry with rapid 3D printing of metals for space structures.

“The iLAuNCH hub is dedicated to building the space engineering capability of Australian Manufacturing. This project, the first to kick off for the space trailblazer program, will deliver additive manufacturing, at scale to Australia,” said University of South Australia’s Industry Professor Colin Hall. “The project is full steam ahead; we already have two engineers in Sweden developing the practical skills to operate and maintain the systems. It’s great to work with a company, that is innovative, proactive, and has a long-term vision.”

Partnering with UniSA’s established additive manufacturing capability, this project will support an increase of VPG employees and the upskilling of current ones in the area of AM for space applications.

VPG Innovation is excited to collaborate closely with the esteemed researchers from the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia (UniSA) to introduce and advance this cutting-edge technology within the Australian landscape. This partnership reflects our commitment to fostering innovation and cultivating sovereign capability on a national level,” said the Group CEO and Co-founder of Stärke-AMG, the parent company of VPG Innovation, Al Jawhari. The technology behind this new endeavor will use additive manufacturing through Electron Beam Melting (EBM) of metals.

The EBM technique has the huge advantage that almost all of the energy put into creating the electron beam goes into melting the metallic dust. This is extremely important as the dust that we are talking about is high-temperature metals such as titanium and nickel which melt at very high temperatures or can become brittle. 

The EBM process takes place in a vacuum, allowing for a high temperature in a non-oxygenated environment, which relieves internal stresses and results in more resilient, flexible parts. The design freedoms allowed by additive manufacturing methods such as 3D printing provide designers of space objects with immense opportunities to optimize parts for performance by removing the limitations imposed by traditional manufacturing methods. 

Together through iLAuNCH, this project will enable the partners to develop best practices for manufacturing design and devise the most appropriate way to build parts with this novel new technology.

Click here to learn about iLAuNCH Space Accelerator (iSA).

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  SatelliteLaunchGround

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013