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Southern Skies Network

Close connections create far-reaching results

The University of Tasmania’s Southern Skies Network connects world-class space and sensing research expertise with specialist infrastructure and international space partnerships. Our unique southern position, and proven track record of working with industry and government, makes us ideally positioned to support Australia’s future space capability and the global space sector.

The University’s Southern Skies Network has proven capabilities in geodetic and telemetry data collection, analysis and interpretation. The Network is an integral partner with national and international agencies in communications, radio astronomy and space geodesy.

Tasmania’s geospatial and astronomical infrastructure coupled with its clear skies and geographic advantage in the Southern Ocean will enable the State to play a key role in supporting Australia’s Space Agency and a re-energised space industry.

Contact the Southern Skies Network

Key components

Clear skies and geodesy

  • Radio astronomy
  • Optical astronomy
  • Radio communications
  • Space geodesy
  • Analytical geoscience
  • Geodetic GPS (Global Navigation Satellite System)
  • Geospatial modelling

Remote sensing and spatial sciences

  • Unmanned aircraft systems and drone technology
  • Optical remote sensing
  • Ionosphere and troposphere studies

Big Data

  • New algorithm and visualisation approaches
  • Human/computer interaction
  • 3D modelling
  • Geophysical modelling

Government

  • Government contracted by Geoscience Australia to develop, support and manage AuScope Array under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
  • Member of consortia to use the European Southern Observatory (ESO)
  • European Space Agency (ESA) scientific Earth Explorer FLEX (Fluorescence Experiment) mission
  • Partnerships through the Integrated Marine Observing System, and the ARC Antarctic Gateway Partnership with the Australian Antarctic Division and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • French Space Agency (CNES) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Centre partners on the discrete radiative transfer model (DART) project
  • Associate Member of the International GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) Service
  • Contracted by CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science to support the operation of the Long Baseline Array national facility for very long baseline interferometry (VLBI)
  • Scientific collaborator in multiple space missions that have required high-precision tracking, including ESA Huygens & Mars Express, JAXA HALCA, SELENE, Ikaros, CNSA (China) Chang’e 3, APOD, NASA – NICER ; Russia – RadioAstron
  • PLANET consortium- exoplanet detection
  • International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS)
  • International VLBI Service (IVS)

Industry

  • Partnerships including SpaceX and Altium
  • Callisto Space – Broadband receivers with low-maintenance cooling systems
  • Elson Space Engineering – Australian Research Council (ARC) funded world-first high altitude scientific observations from a long-range stratospheric glider with British Ordinance Survey (BOS)
  • Frontiers SI (on behalf of Geoscience Australia) – satellite based augmentation systems (SBAS) for positioning of drone sensors
  • AuScope Array – 3 x 12m radio telescopes (TAS, WA, NT) including Very Long Baseline Interferometry enabling integrated spatial measuring system to support GPS and GNSS. 30m ex-telecommunications telescope near Ceduna SA
  • 2 x satellite altimeter calibration facilities (in Burnie & Cambridge)
  • Greenhill Observatory – optical astronomy and spacecraft up and down-link station
  • Associated data support through Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC) and Sense-T
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)

The University has established a pipeline from undergraduate to PhD education. Courses in the following:

  • Mathematics & Physics (Radio Astronomy, Optical Astronomy, Theoretical Physics)
  • Earth Sciences (Analytical Geoscience)
  • Spatial Sciences (Remote Sensing, Geodesy, Precise Positioning)