Skykraft satellites secure ground support from the University of Tasmania


Satellite system operator Skykraft will be one of the first customers to benefit from a new 7.3-metre communications antenna unveilled by the University of Tasmania (UTas) at Bisdee Tier (pictured).

Part of the Southern Skies Network, the antenna will provide ground support to Skykraft’s Air Traffic Management constellation of satellites under a contract signed with the University of Tasmania Space Research.

Skykraft is deploying the satellites in association with Airservices Australia which is responsible for the safe and efficient management of Australia’s skies.

The Dean of School of Natural Sciences Professor Simon Ellingsen said the new 7.3-metre antenna, 70 kilometres north of Hobart at the university’s Greenhill Observatory would provide space-to-Earth communications for low Earth orbit satellites.

Professor Ellingsen said: “This is now the southernmost antenna of its kind in the world, adding to our Southern Skies Network.

“In the past, we have only been able to listen to transmissions from spacecraft but now we are able to transmit messages through radio frequency communications to spacecraft, sending commands as well as receiving data.”

The University of Tasmania’s unique southern position coupled with its clear skies are ideal to move data to and from our polar-orbiting satellites.

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Picture: UTas

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