Our Projects

Project Rainbow Python

Project description and overview:

This project will see the development and space qualification of the Rainbow Python: a world first integrated hyperspectral instrument and onboard computer. Satellite based hyperspectral imaging can be used for chemical analysis of any location on the Earth, enabling applications for agriculture, forestry, mining, and other industries. Spiral Blue will work with the primary partner Esper, and this project will see contributions from Wise Networking and UNSW.

Australia spends an annual $5.3 billion on satellite observation to provide data for national industries such as defence, mining, oil & gas, agriculture, and finance. However, there are many problems associated with satellite imaging.

Rainbow Python tackles the satellite imaging problems by utilising Spiral Blue’s Space Edge 1 Hyperspectral (SE-1H) to analyse stored hyperspectral data cubes while Esper’s Over The Rainbow high resolution hyperspectral imager (OTR) will attempt to capture these datacubes. Rainbow Python will be Australia’s first hyperspectral mission.

Rainbow Python and the other payloads are to fly together aboard Australia’s first hosted payload and satellite deployment spacecraft, Space Machines’ Optimus. A second hosted payload launch opportunity will be procured with Modularity Space for Rainbow Python alone.

Launch and hosted payload costs are being discounted to accelerate the space qualification of the payloads from Spiral, Esper, and Wise. The aim of this project is to bring Rainbow Python to TRL 6, System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level).

The AMGC project funding will be used for Hardware upgrade; Data processing software; Redundant hardware and software. In addition, the space qualification hurdle is being overcome through this collaboration and by flying as a hosted payload. This collaborative hosted payload model is repeatable, and may be used to help accelerate timelines for other new space hardware companies.


  • Increased collaboration with other manufacturers
  • Increased collaboration with researchers
  • Increased spending on R&D
  • Higher information and communication technology (ICT) intensity
  • Larger patent portfolio
  • Increased number of staff with science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills
  • Better qualified employees
  • Greater share of services in total revenue
  • Higher product value density (by weight)


  • Spiral Blue and other project partners together forecast $36M in revenue over 5 years


  • This project is projected to upskill and create an additional 49 jobs during the project and one year after project completion

Government Funds: $578,000 | Industry: $578,000 | In-Kind: $1,812,000

Project Collaborators