Gilmour Space Technologies

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Gilmour Space Technologies
Private
Founded July 17, 2012; 6 years ago (2012-07-17)
Founder Adam Gilmour
Headquarters

Pimpama, Queensland, Australia

27°49′02″S 153°17′03″E / 27.8171°S 153.2842°E / -27.8171; 153.2842Coordinates: 27°49′02″S 153°17′03″E / 27.8171°S 153.2842°E / -27.8171; 153.2842
Key people
  • Adam Gilmour
    (CEO and CTO)
  • Michelle Gilmour
    (Director and Head of Marketing and Communications)
  • James Gilmour
    (Director)
Services Orbital rocket launch
Number of employees
28
Website www.gspacetech.com

Gilmour Space Technologies (also known as Gilmour Space, Gilmour Space Tech or GSpaceTech) is an Australian private space company with a subsidiary in Singapore. Headquartered in Queensland, Australia, the company is developing new hybrid-engine rockets and associated technology to support the development of a low-cost space launch vehicle.[1]

Its stated mission is to provide affordable space launch services to the region’s fast-growing small satellite industry – beginning with a commercial sounding rocket in 2019, and small satellites up to 400 kg to Low Earth Orbit by the end of 2020.[2] Eventually, the company is also looking to provide low-cost space access for human spaceflight and exploration.[3]

Founding

Gilmour Space was founded in 2012 in Singapore by former banker, Adam Gilmour. In 2013, the Australian CEO & Founder set up similar operations in Queensland, Australia with his brother James Gilmour.[4]

The company’s first project in 2013 was to design and manufacture high-fidelity spaceflight simulators and replicas for a number of space-related exhibits[5], and education centers, including Spaceflight Academy Gold Coast, Australia’s first astronaut training center[4]. It began its rocket development program in 2015; and within 18 months, successfully launched Australia and Singapore’s first privately developed hybrid test rocket using proprietary 3D printed fuel.[6] The Gilmour brothers have also met with NASA officials at the Kennedy Space Center to discuss launch opportunities.[7]

Technology

Rocket Archetype

Rasta Launch

Gilmour Space employs a proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology. A hybrid-propellant rocket utilises a mixture of solid and liquid fuel. Advantages of hybrid rockets include acceptably high specific impulse values with relatively very low complexity and associated risks. In general, hybrid rocket engines are the safest of the three major rocket engines [8] – e.g. as compared to a solid-propellant rocket which is typically propelled by an explosive compound; and a liquid-propellant rocket which typically requires cryogenic fuel storage and complex turbine systems to provide sufficient combustion chamber pressure.

Engine Development

Gilmour Space was listed as a commercial launch vehicle provider when it successfully [9] launched its first test vehicle, at Westmar, Queensland on June 2016.[6] The RASTA launch vehicle flew to an altitude of 5 km and was reportedly among the first successful demonstrations of 3D printed rocket fuel in the world.[10]

Since then, the Queensland-based company has conducted a series of orbital-class engine test fires, including a 12-second test in May 2018 that recorded 75 kN (16,900 lbs) of thrust.[11]

A second test launch is scheduled in third quarter 2018, and the engine is then expected to propel the ARIEL commercial sounding rocket in 2019. In the next phase, multiple engine will be combined in a multi-stage orbital launch vehicle called ERIS, which is expected to deliver payloads up to 400 kg to LEO by fourth quarter 2020.[2]

Deep Space & Exploration Research

Gilmour Space has also supported a number of proof-of-concept technology projects related to the development of a long-term space habitat. An example is the M.A.R.S (Mars Aqua Retrieval System) [12] rover project, a collaborative educational project at SUTD which received an award at the 2016 ASME international student competition [13]. and was featured in National Geographic’s Exploring Mars exhibit in Singapore. [14].

The company is also working on an in-space cubesat propulsion system, which could potentially be used to send a 1U cubesat from Earth’s orbit to that of other moons or planets in the solar system.[15]

In Feb 2018, it signed a reimbursable Space Act Agreement with NASA to collaborate on various research, technology development and educational initiatives, including the testing of its MARS rover at Kennedy Space Center.[16]

Spaceflight Simulators

The company has earlier developed a number of unique high-fidelity spaceflight simulators and replicas, including a 6 degree-of-freedom space plane simulator, space capsule simulator, fighter cockpit trainers, low gravity climb, mission control simulators, and others.[17]

In February 2017, the Design Business Chamber of Singapore awarded Gilmour Space with the Singapore Good Design Mark (SG Mark 2017) for excellence in design and quality of its simulators.[18]

Funding and Awards

In fourth quarter 2016, its Singapore business was awarded a grant by the country’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to develop aerospace-related additive manufacturing capabilities with the Singapore University of Technology and Design ( SUTD).[19]

In May 2017, Gilmour Space Tech secured AUD 5 million in Series A round funding to develop and launch a low-cost launch vehicle for the small payload market. The lead investor was Australian venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, with co-investors including global venture capital firm 500 Startups and other private investors.[1][3]

The company has also been awarded other grants by Advance Queensland[20] in Australia, and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

In June 2018, it received the Australian Trade & Investment Commission Innovation Award by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore "for the individual or organisation that has demonstrated innovation through bringing progressive and new ideas to business in priority sectors". [21]

References

  1. ^ a b John Mcduling (30 May 2017). "Blackbird shoots for the moon and Mars with Gilmour Space investment". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Gilmour space launch services: 2020 to LEO". Gilmour Space Technologies. Retrieved 17 September 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Samuel Chan (27 February 2017). "five questions with Gilmour Space Technologies". The Straights Times. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Andrew Potts (17 June 2016). "Gold Coast company aims for stars at Pimpama". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Fly like Bert with new Hinkler Hall exhibition". Bundaberg Regional Council. 25 May 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Jack Harbour (29 July 2016). "Gold Coast's first suborbital rocket successfully launched". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  7. ^ Linda Herridge (11 April 2016). "Prospective partners attend partnership landscape forum at NASA's Kennedy Space Center". NASA. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  8. ^ Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama (March 2010). "Nitrous Oxide/Paraffin Hybrid Rocket Engines" (PDF). NASA Tech Briefs. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  9. ^ Orie Cecil and Joseph Majdalani (December 2016). "Several hybrid rocket technologies hit advanced test stages". Aerospace America. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  10. ^ Irene Tham (3 Aug 2017). "3D Printing taking off in emerging 'space' in Singapore". The Straits Times. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  11. ^ McMahon, Amelia (2018-05-29). "Queensland rocket company prepares for suborbital hybrid rocket launch". Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  12. ^ Eric Mack (25 August 2015). "Designing a rover to mine for water on Mars". New Atlas. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  13. ^ SUTD-MIT IDC (2016). "Grand prize winner for Team MARS at ASME". SUTD-MIT International Design Centre. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  14. ^ Mohamed Firdaus Al-amin (11 Nov 2016). "Five things to try at the Experience Mars showcase". The New Paper. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Gilmour Space completes first of four tests for world's first interplanetary CubeSat propulsion system | SpaceTech Asia". SpaceTech Asia. 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  16. ^ Grubb, Ben (2018-02-19). "Aussie rocket brothers ink NASA deal as local space agency wait continues". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  17. ^ "Space Flight Academy". Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  18. ^ Design Business Chamber of Singapore (2017). "Singapore Good Design 2017". Bundaberg Regional Council. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  19. ^ Lester Kok (23 Jan 2017). "National cluster helps companies tap on new 3D printing technologies". NTU News Releases. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Advance Queensland support for new rocket propulsion technology". Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  21. ^ "AustCham President's Lunch & Business Awards 2018" (PDF). https://www.austcham.org.sg/default.aspx. June 8, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 8, 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-15.  External link in |website= (help)
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