Funded by the Australian Space Agency’s Space Infrastructure Fund to improve the nation’s space situational awareness, the new $2 million antenna will enable the monitoring of space-based objects including satellites and debris.
It is hoped that the new asset will enable Australia to play a leading role in space situational awareness, with demand for innovative monitoring techniques due to grow with the expansion of satellites in orbit and the risk of spacecraft collisions.
According to the Commonwealth, the 7.3 metre antenna will be operated by a team from the University of Tasmania at the Greenhill Observatory, with one of the team’s primary tasks to provide space-to-earth communications for satellites in low-earth-orbit.
“Australia is deeply experienced in spacecraft tracking and communications, and our geographical advantages provide an added boost to this capability,” Enrico Palermo, head of the Australian Space Agency explained.
“University of Tasmania’s upgraded facilities will further advance Australia’s expertise in this area and open doors to exciting new research and commercial partnerships.
“Space technology, like satellites, is critical in supporting our everyday life and national wellbeing, and the new antenna will track and protect vital technology in space that we rely on here on Earth.”
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