Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences (IAESS)

University of Southern Queensland

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Inside the Mount Kent space observatory

The Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences provides a dedicated facility for Space and Defence research with a focus on hypersonic propulsion systems, rockets, advanced materials and astrophysics. With world-class infrastructure and equipment, USQ is home to the Mt Kent Observatory which provides the only ground-based support in the southern hemisphere for NASA’s TESS mission, a long duration hypersonic wind tunnel and rocket lab, as well as one of Australia’s largest dedicated composite materials, manufacturing and testing facilities.


Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Structural Testing Services
  • Composite Materials Research
  • Hypersonics Wind tunnel Testing
  • Exoplanet exploration
  • Space debris tracking
  • Shape memory polymer composites for space deployable structure
  • Composite rocket fuel tank for low cost space launch
  • Static Rocket testing
  • Solid rocket motor manufacturing

Facilities and major equipment

  • Mt Kent observatory
  • Long duration hypersonic wind tunnel
  • Large scale automated composites manufacturing
  • Structural testing facilities
  • Fire test facilites
  • Static rocket test site
  • Rocket manufacturing lab
  • Flexible robotic cell
  • Agricultural research machinery - tractors

Number of research staff

100-200 research staff


Z2 Block, USQ, Darling Heights QLD 4350

Lead researchers

Organisation type

  • University Research Centre

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