Catalyst: Strategic New Zealand–German Aerospace Centre Joint Research Programme

MBIE and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have announced eight collaborative projects under the NZ-DLR Joint Research Programme.

About this programme

In October 2018, MBIE and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) signed a Letter of Intent at the International Astronautical Congress to enable joint research collaboration, focused on space systems, earth observation technologies and applications, transport technologies and energy technologies.

The New Zealand–DLR Joint Research Programme began in 2020 with a set of twelve feasibility studies to lay frameworks for longer-term strategic research in the agreed thematic areas of propulsion, space communications and Synthetic Aperture Radar technologies.

New Zealand-DLR Joint Research Programme December 2020

Building on the success of these studies, MBIE and DLR have now agreed to jointly support a set of eight research projects, with the New Zealand research teams receiving a total of NZ$8 million (GST excluded) between them. This funding will support the development of aerospace technology capability, establishing enduring research partnerships with Germany and jointly contributing to solving global economic, environmental, and social challenges.

Funded projects

Lead organisation Project title Funding (NZ$ GST excluded)
University of Auckland Implementing a DLR SOFA Unit in New Zealand for Free Space Optical Communications $1.5 million
Dawn Aerospace Study of N2O-based green propulsion systems for large satellite and deep space applications $1.5 million
Kea Aerospace An Eye in the Southern Sky $800,000
University of Otago Long term quantum memories for satellite quantum communication $1.5 million
Moller Pollard Project Takahe: Advanced Object Detectability in a Water Clutter Environment Using InSAR $1.2 million
Victoria University of Wellington Continuous magnetic heat shielding for atmospheric entry using superconductivity $500,000
University of Auckland Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) for Spacecraft and Launch Vehicles $500,000
Victoria University of Wellington Thrust measurement of small-scale electric propulsion systems $500,000
Public Statements of funded projects (MBIE-administered)

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Last updated: 04 February 2022