Thanks to Mel Zerner for submitting this story
A radar which can track satellites and space debris from the ground using world-first, homegrown technology has been launched in South Australia on 9 December 2021.
Silentium Defence unveiled its Oculus Observatory near Brownlow approximately 25 kms from Eudunda, with the facility enabling the monitoring of wide tracts of space, in a vast improvement from current, more expensive technology. It is the first in the world to use a passive radar system to track objects in low Earth orbit, between 200km and 10000km above the earth’s surface.
The company’s Maverick S-Series device harnesses power from existing transmissions such as FM radio, to track objects such as space debris and the ever-growing number of satellites in orbit.
Customers for the information collected by the observatory would include defence and commercial entities. Silentium received almost $1.5 from the federal government’s International Space Investment program towards the new facility.
The location at Brownlow is on Bower Boundary Road, just south of the Foote Road intersection and is on the edge of the Murray-lands Dark Sky Reserve, so this means that complementary systems, like optical senses, can be used to get even better information about objects in orbit. The site has appropriate security fencing to protect the radar tracking structure, solar panels to power the observatory and other small buildings and equipment.
The launch of the observatory was widely reported in the Advertiser and ABC News. More information can be obtained at the website