A Special Meeting for the SMARC Coastal Group

Due to Christmas, the usual Sunday morning coffee meeting was changed to the following Tuesday. It was unfortunate that family activities prevent many of the regulars from attending, but we were fortunate to, once again, have with us, Stuart Bartlett.
Stuart completed a double degree (B.Eng/B.Sci) in Mechatronics Engineering and Physics in 2017 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). During his honours year he did research at the Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology. While completing his studies, he was also involved with the design and construction of BLUESAT (Basic Low-earth orbit UNSW Experimental SATellite) and later with CUBE-SATS.
Presently he is a Project Engineer at High Earth Orbit (HEO) Robotics, a privately owned Australian start-up aerospace company who are a world leader in AI-based navigation technologies, robotics, and satellite-to-satellite photography. His role there is to determine the parameters which will allow a camera on an orbiting satellite to image other orbiting objects (space junk, unidentified objects, asteroids, etc) as they whizz by at up to 54,000 km/h and are in the frame for only a fraction of a second. His other interest is in “off-world” robotics. He is a Ph.D. student at ACSER (Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research) based at UNSW with a particular interest in studying the use of small mobile robots for the mapping of water-ice deposits at the lunar poles.
Plenty of questions and answers while enjoying a cup of coffee which gave those present a great insight into the world of quantum computing and the technologies being developed to explore and mine minerals on the Moon. Questions were raised about how robots working on the Moon could be powered (several possibilities are being investigated); mining rights and space law (especially now that Russia and America are not the only parties involved); about the possibility of a space launch being kept secret; and much more.
It was very encouraging to hear about Stuart’s work and to realise that careers and opportunities for young people to be involved in research and development in high-tech, leading-edge space technologies are now available in Australia for students following STEM-based studies at high schools, TAFE colleges, and universities.
The photograph records those present at the meeting. From left to right – Russell VK2VRW, Bruce VK2DEQ, Dave VK2DE, Susan Dart, and Stuart Bartlett.