Australian Antenna to Keep and Eye on Space Junk

1 month ago 9

A 7.3m (23.95 foot) antenna successful agrarian Tasmania, dubbed the southernmost of its kind, volition boost the tracking of satellites and assistance support them harmless from abstraction debris.

The $2 cardinal communications antenna was connected Tuesday unveiled astatine the University of Tasmania’s Greenhill Observatory, astir 70 km northbound of Hobart.

Prof. Simon Ellingsen, the dean of the university’s schoolhouse of earthy sciences, said the exertion would supply space-to-earth communications for low-earth-orbit satellites.

“(This is) a large caller capableness successful presumption of being capable to pass and way satellites and different objects successful space,” helium said.

“(As good as) successful presumption of abstraction domain awareness, which is wherever we find retired what’s successful space, way it and assistance support progressive satellites harmless from abstraction debris and different bits of space junk.”

Ellingsen said the antenna, developed successful concern with the Australian Space Agency, was the southernmost of its benignant successful the world.

“In the past, we person lone been capable to perceive to transmissions from spacecraft,” helium said.

“But present we are capable to transmit messages done vigor frequence communications to spacecraft, sending commands arsenic good arsenic receiving data.”

Ellingsen said satellites were being launched into abstraction astatine an expanding rate.

“To motorboat safely and to support the assets harmless erstwhile they are successful orbit, we request to cognize wherever the worldly already up determination is,” helium said.

“We are moving connected innovative techniques and technologies to tackle the challenges this brings. Our caller antenna plays an important relation successful this work.

“For the archetypal time, we volition beryllium capable to make a afloat sovereign bi-static radar capability—a much delicate and close signifier of locating satellites and abstraction debris – transmitting from the caller antenna and receiving reflected signals astatine different sites crossed our array.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, said the upgraded facilities would beforehand Australia’s expertise and unfastened doors to caller probe and commercialized partnerships.