Bowen base to launch in to space
THE countdown to rocket launches from a new Whitsundays space facility is generating plenty of buzz for the spectacle they will create on the ground.
Not a lot has been said about the functions of the satellite technology rockets launching from the proposed Bowen Orbital Spaceport.
But it’s what they will actually do when they get into orbit from mid next year that is most fascinating.
One of the most exciting aspects of the multimillion dollar project is the potential to change the way we communicate, work, and manage lifethreatening natural disasters.
Gilmour Space co-founder and CEO Adam Gilmour said satellites launched from Abbot Point, north of Bowen, could revolutionise responses to extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods, with unparalleled ability to detect, map and monitor threats in real-time as well as provide a reliable communication channel when others failed.
Mr Gilmour said Gilmour Space was in talks with two independent companies looking to put up fire detection satellites and a growing number of companies worldwide were working on the technology, as well as beta versions of portable satellite receiver dishes that connected to mobile phones.
“The idea is you’d have a receiver dish on top of your house that connects to your phone, a bit like a wi-fi hot spot, and when the normal communications systems get knocked out, you’ll still be able to access communications to the satellite – that could make a huge difference in cyclones
Friday, October 1
Winners for the afternoon were B Jackson, J Paynting, G Matfin defeated G Kelly, J Matfin, L Dawson.
R Stitt, L Madden, Christina defeated J Paynting, T Hemingway, H Nation.
The jackpot did not go off.
Sunday, October 3
Winners for the afternoon were L Madden, A Almond, M Loughhead defeated B Myers, P Warren, G Brownell.
R Stitt, M Tickle defeated J Walsh, M Drummond.
L Land, S Shearing, G Colquhoun defeated J Paynting, M Brunker, G or floods,” he said.
In the case of fires: “You can have satellites with sensors on them such as infra-red that can detect a bushfire and because they’re in space they have a much wider field of view than a bushfire spotting plane that might only have a 15 to 20km radius it can see smoke coming from, and even then, you can’t tell how big the fire is.”
Mr Gilmour said there were already satellites performing these functions, but the more the better.
“The challenge is not so much around the technology, it’s more around the frequency or amount of satellites up in space and how many times they can fly over an area,” he said.
“The next generation is to put up 10 to 12 satellites that can fly over Australia every six to 10 minutes- that’s super fast timeliness in terms of spotting a bushfire and directing emergency services to combat it.”
Another application already in use in the Northern Territory, was to track feral animal populations impacting the environment and agriculture productivity – something that could come in handy in the Whitsundays’ ongoing battle against an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 feral pigs.
“The main things are communications, observation, and the internet of things,” Mr Gilmour said.
“Satellites are multipurpose, so you can have different types of detectors or cameras looking for different things from the same satellite.”
The first launch from Bowen is planned for June/ July 2022, with spectators encouraged to watch from vantage points including Flagstaff Hill.
D Wallace, D Madden, G Matfin defeated J Matfin, M Elphinstone, L Danvers. W Moulton, K Almond, A Rolfe defeated T Bowen, P Warren, T Crozier.
The jackpot did not go off.
The afternoon was also a special occasion for Peter Warren who received a veteran badge from vice president Mark Drummond. Competition – Men’s Pairs final S Malone, M Tickle defeated K Moriarty, G Read.
Mixed Triples final
P Warren, L Tickle, M Tickle defeated F Duncan, M Wilson, A Rolfe.