US moving radar to track space objects to Australia
By Geoff Fein
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and Australia to relocate a C-band radar from Antigua to Australia to identify and track objects in low-earth orbit.
The announcement was made during annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks held 14 November in Perth, Australia.
The space surveillance network (SSN) is meant to also enable the United States to track new, high-interest space launches from Asia, a US Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson told IHS Jane's . "The high-interest launch tracking capability refers to space satellite launches from those areas that can be physically better tracked from a system located in the southern hemisphere."
Harold E Holt Naval Communication Station in western Australia is to host the radar site.
The US Air Force (USAF) currently operates multiple C-band radars in the Eastern and Western Launch Ranges supporting US and commercial space launches as well as on Kwajalein Island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the DoD spokesperson said. "The current antennae, transmitter, and receiver will be moved [from Antigua] to Australia, and upgrades will be required to back end-processing subsystems to perform the Space Situational Awareness mission."196 of 517 words
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