September 25, 2016

Governance & Organisation

It is envisaged that CSST will be established as a limited liability company that is owned by a charitable trust. The trust will be established with a mandate to benefit regional industries across New Zealand and to educate those industries in using space-based measurements in their operations and R&D activities. The trust will be overseen by a Board of Trustees. The primary responsibility of the Trust will be to act as the legal owner of CSST and to ensure that CSST operates in a way that is consistent with its founding principles. Any profits made by CSST would be returned to the trust as the owner. The trust will then use these funds for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.  These funds are envisaged to be used for training, specifically to increase the capacity of regional industries to use satellite data and space-based products held by CSST.


CSST will be governed by a Board of Directors. In addition, two Advisory Boards will provide external guidance on CSST R&D activities (a Research Advisory Board) and on CSST’s links to regional industries (an Industry Advisory Board).

CSST will be operated by a strong executive and relatively light middle management. The Board of Directors will seek a highly skilled CEO who has had extensive experience in the international space industry and in the development of products and services that capitalise on the availability of satellite data. The CEO will appoint a Director of Operations and Director of Research to oversee all operational and research aspects of CSST.  A number of core scientific staff will be chosen to lead teams and will report directly to the executive. These team leaders will be selected from the satellite data archive team, each product or service development team, and the CubeSat team.

CSST will source space-based data from, and contribute data to, a data conduit on the order of petabytes per year. Selected data from this pipe will feed a national satellite data repository maintained by CSST on behalf of New Zealand. The composition of the data held in this repository will be guided by the needs of selected regional industries across New Zealand. CSST will thereby act as a national information broker with offshore space agencies to source relevant data and facilitate the use of those data nationally.

The CSST archive will also feed a data product generation engine which, together with measurements from a New Zealand-dedicated CubeSat programme, will be used to generate tailored products for use in New Zealand’s regions and elsewhere. It is not CSST’s goal to create yet another competitor within the small New Zealand market. Rather, CSST seeks to extend the research and development capabilities of organisations working in allied industries. Where needed, CSST will contract in expertise from external research and development organisations, including universities and crown research institutes, to work alongside CSST teams to develop and, in collaboration with allied industries, deliver products to users.  In this way CSST will link the value inherent in the research conducted by organisations with traditional strengths in fundamental research to CSST-industry co-lead efforts to deliver high values products and services to clients.

In a similar fashion, external research and development organisations will provide skills and expertise to support a New Zealand-dedicated satellite programme. This programme will provide data to the national satellite data archive which will then be shared internationally with offshore space agencies through the CSST managed data brokerage.