[ASC-media] Media Release: Rebuilding Mt Stromlo After the Fires

Leharne.Fountain at ga.gov.au Leharne.Fountain at ga.gov.au
Wed Jul 9 15:11:20 EST 2003

Warren Entsch, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for Industry, Tourism, and Resources


Federal Industry Parliamentary Secretary, Warren Entsch, said Australia's crucial role in international satellite tracking has been reinforced by the signing this week of the contract to rebuild the Mt Stromlo satellite laser ranging facility.

"The original $6 million Geoscience Australia satellite laser ranging (SLR) facility housed at Mt Stromlo was completely destroyed earlier this year in Canberra's devastating firestorm," Mr Entsch said.

"The Mt Stromlo SLR facility was one of only a small number of SLR stations in the Southern Hemisphere, determining the precise position and orbit of satellites crucial for global navigation, surveying, and communication links.

"Its destruction back in January was therefore a major blow.

"I'm delighted at the signing this week of the contract to rebuild the SLR facility with reconstruction work expected to be completed by the end of the year."

Geoscience Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Neil Williams, described the signing of the contract as an important event. 

"The Mt Stromlo station was one of the most technologically advanced satellite laser ranging systems in the world. This new contract means that we can affirm Australia's position at the forefront of this important field," he said.

The Queanbeyan firm, EOS Space Systems Pty Ltd that designed and built the original facility, has been engaged to rebuild the structure lost in the flames.

"EOS is pleased to be associated with Geoscience Australia in the recovery of SLR operations from Mount Stromlo. This effort will benefit from synergies with the rebuilding program already under way for related space research facilities on this site," Chief Executive Officer of EOS Space Systems, Dr Craig Smith said.

"We expect the restored facility to rapidly attain the high global ranking achieved by its predecessor."

Dr Williams said the new facility will be rebuilt as one of the world's best tracking stations, by an Australian company that is a world leader in this field.

Geoscience Contact:  Leharne Fountain - (02) 6249 9800

Media Inquiries: Greg Doolan - (02) 6277 4656 or 0418 213 243

Leharne Fountain
Communications Officer
Geoscience Australia
GPO Box 378
Phone: +61 2 6249 9800
Fax: +61 2 6249 9990
Email: Leharne.Fountain at ga.gov.au
ABN 80 091 799 039

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