The Australian Defence Force and United States Air Force (USAF) have reached a major milestone in the relocation of a C-Band Space Surveillance Radar System, with the system now reaching Full Operational Capability (FOC).
The C-Band Space Surveillance Radar System was previously based in Antigua where it was used by the US for telemetry tracking of space launches from Cape Canaveral. It is now based near Exmouth, Western Australia.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said this joint initiative between the USAF and Australia will enable Australia to better protect the nation’s important space-based capabilities.
"The C-Band radar operated from Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station near Exmouth, Western Australia, is the first low-earth orbit space surveillance network sensor in the southern hemisphere," Minister Payne said.
"The C-Band radar system was gradually relocated to Harold E. Holt from 2014 and operates as a sensor node in the US global Space Surveillance Network.
"In its new location the radar provides both southern and eastern hemisphere coverage that will lead to improved positional accuracies and predictions.
"It can accurately track several hundred objects a day and identify space debris and satellites.
"The relocation of the radar has occurred on schedule thanks to the close co-operation between Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the USAF."