25 September 2014

AUS: Space Surveillance Telescope facilities a step closer

Space Surveillance Telescope

A $63 million facilities project to support the Defence Space Surveillance Telescope has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence the Hon Darren Chester MP announced today.

The project, at the Harold E Holt Naval Communications Station in Exmouth, WA, involves the construction of a telescope enclosure facility and associated supporting infrastructure, including roads.

The new facility will enable the installation and commissioning of the US Space Surveillance Telescope, currently located in New Mexico, USA.

The project will significantly improve the ADF’s space situational awareness and be linked into the US global Space Surveillance Network.

“When complete, the telescope will provide the Australian Defence Force with an enhanced space surveillance capability in cooperation with the United States Department of Defense,” Mr Chester said.

“Space is becoming increasingly congested, with active satellites and discarded space junk posing a collision risk to space assets. Space situational awareness will give the operators of space-based capabilities the ability to anticipate the influence of other space objects and take action to ensure continued and unimpeded operations of space vehicles.”

Subject to Parliamentary approval, construction is expected to begin in early 2015 and be completed by mid-2016.