Viasat partners with Centre for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Business Australia to build real-time earth ground station in Australia
(10 June 2019 - Viasat) Building on its existing presence in Australia, Viasat announced today its plans to launch a Real-Time Earth (RTE) facility in Alice Springs, Australia.
Viasat has partnered with the Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd (CfAT), an Aboriginal not-for-profit science and technology company based in Alice Springs, which will build and own the facility through its wholly-owned commercial subsidiary CfAT Satellite Enterprises Pty Ltd, and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), an Australian Commonwealth commercially-focused government authority, which will help finance the project and provide related commercial advice and support.
This multi-million dollar investment in Alice Springs will enable Central Australia to be a key player in the burgeoning global satellite and space industry, and Indigenous Australians to be leading participants in the sector. The investment is also strongly aligned with the priorities for the Australian Space Agency which is seeking to increase opportunities within Australia's space industry and develop world-leading core satellite infrastructure.
The Viasat RTE system will be a hybrid space and ground network that is expected to bring affordability and reduced latency to earth observation and remote sensing applications. The Viasat RTE network is typically used by low earth orbit (LEO) satellite operators to bring end-users—environmental, shipping, oil and gas, government among other industries—access to data on demand without the need to invest in a dedicated antenna system.
Dr. Steve Rogers, CEO of CfAT Ltd said, "Working with Viasat and IBA on the development of the RTE facility demonstrates the capacity of CfAT to continue to contribute positively to technology and critical space advancements in outback Australia. The development will provide a positive contribution to the local economy through contract opportunities for local businesses during the facility construction phase, and ongoing employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people once operational—as the CfAT facilities management team will be providing on-going site maintenance."
"IBA's investment in Viasat's RTE facility alongside our Indigenous partner, CfAT, is a light-house project that shows the world that Aborignal people can be at the forefront of new technology industries in Australia," said Rajiv Viswanathan, CEO of IBA. "CfAT is a successful Aboriginal corporation that has for many years been at the vanguard of technology innovation and application in remote Australia. We expect the RTE facility at CfAT's headquarters will create a platform from which CfAT can grow its business in Australia and, potentially, globally—as it looks to generate commercial returns for CfAT as well as flow-on benefits for the local economy via employment and supply chain opportunities. We are proud to support local businesses in realizing their ambitions for growth in the space sector."
John Williams, vice president of Real-Time Earth at Viasat added, "Partnering with CfAT and IBA in Australia will enable us to build a state-of-the-art RTE ground station that will offer multiple benefits both locally and globally, from bringing new jobs and opportunities to the region to advancing how remote sensing data is delivered around the world. We are revolutionizing data delivery for LEO satellites, bringing affordability and lower latency communications to earth observation and remote sensing applications. The Alice Springs community will be a big part in our development and execution of these advancements."
Alice Springs, Australia Location
Viasat's RTE satellite ground station facility will be located at CfAT's Heath Road site in Alice Springs, Australia. It will consist of two Viasat full-motion antenna systems and associated infrastructure. The new ground station will form part of the Viasat RTE network and will complement other Viasat RTE sites in North America, South America and Europe.
CfAT is an Aboriginal company, with 50% Aboriginal workforce, established in the 1980's, that operates across regional and remote Australia delivering infrastructure and technology solutions mostly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, providing service and infrastructure platforms that allow people to maintain their relationship with country. The company's approach is driven by the view that the successful delivery of services and the technologies and infrastructure used to achieve them will be different to the way things are done in urban Australia. This has shaped our success and led to the development of highly innovative new technologies.
IBA is a commercially focused Australian Government organisation. Economic independence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is at the heart of what we do. Our programs assist Indigenous Australians to buy their own homes, be successful in business, and invest in commercial ventures that provide strong financial returns.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.