Watch this space: Australia monitors the final frontier

Australia’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update (DSU2020) noted that the space domain is critical to warfighting effectiveness, delivery of real-time communications and situational awareness, flagging an AU$7bn investment in Australian Defence Force space capabilities over the next ten years. Nigel Pittaway examines the country’s ambitions and potential capabilities in a domain that is out of this world.

High Frequency Line of Sight Radar Receiver Array
Defence Science and Technology’s High Frequency Line of Sight Radar Receiver Array near Coondambo, captures signals reflected from overhead satellites, during SpaceFest 2019 at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia. Australian Department of Defence

Among the investments to be made is the development of sovereign satellite capability, but before that can happen, the Australian government is seeking to develop sovereign space domain awareness (SDA) capabilities.

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