Indigenous Business Australia will fund, with a $6m loan, Australia’s first earth ground station owned by an Aboriginal company.
The facility for tracking satellites will be built and owned by the Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd (CfAT) in its Heath Road complex, according to a media release this morning.
CfAT is an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit science and technology company.
Global communications company Viasat Inc has partnered with CfAT to launch the real-time earth facility.
The investment enables Central Australia to be a key player in the global satellite and space industry and Indigenous Australians to be leading participants in the sector. The investment is also strongly aligned with the priorities for the Australian Space Agency, says the release.
The facility will be used to track the next generation of low earth orbiting satellites for earth observation used for scientific research, environmental monitoring, and commercial applications.
CfAT Chairperson Peter Renehan is quoted as saying: ‘This facility brings together our mission of engagement and people, innovation and excellence – and puts Aboriginal people at the forefront of Australia’s growing space sector.
‘This state-of-the-art development will provide a positive contribution to the local economy through employment opportunities for local businesses during each phase of construction as well as ongoing jobs for local Aboriginal people once operational.
“CfAT exists to provide people in regional and remote Australia with options for maintaining their relationship with country. We do this by providing technologically innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges with digital connectivity as a core focus of the company’s work.”
PHOTO: This is the existing Geoscience Australia Antenna at the Heath Road site. The development will comprise two similar antenna.
Report amended at 9.59am.