13/12/2021

Silentium Defence has opened its hi-tech Oculus Observatory, adding critical capability to the South Australian and national space ecosystem.

The Oculus Observatory is a new kind of observatory that will deliver the widest field of view and most cost-effective monitoring of objects in orbit anywhere in the world.

Located in South Australia’s Mid-Murray region, the Oculus Observatory is the first in the company’s planned network of wide-field-of-view observatories set to be deployed around the world.

Based on Silentium’s unique radar technology, the observatory’s sensors use megawatts of transmitted power from pre-existing transmitters, meaning these surveillance radars can be built and commissioned rapidly worldwide in a more cost-effective manner than ever before.

CEO of Silentium Defence, Dr James Palmer, said this generation of space observatory will offer high-quality data for more informed decision making, traffic management and collision avoidance in space.

“Unlike traditional space surveillance technologies that provide a narrow view of debris and objects in orbit, the sensors at our observatory provide coverage of an area the size of South Australia,” Dr Palmer said.

“For customers, this means we will detect and track objects they expect to see, like satellites and catalogued debris, as well as new and unknown objects that may pose a threat to critical services or assets in space.

“Oculus is set to be the workhorse of space surveillance, supporting both commercial and government applications.”

South Australia is well-recognised as a major hub of NewSpace activity, attracting a growing list of space companies and talent to the state’s thriving space ecosystem. This initiative and a pipeline of other projects will see Silentium Defence triple their workforce in the next year. New high-tech jobs will be created across the business that will boost national ambitions to grow Australia’s share of the global space economy and create 20,000 new space related jobs by 2030.

Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency, said this is a great example of the world-leading technology Australia’s space industry offers.

“This new observatory shows the world that not only does Australia offer unique geography for space observation and tracking, but we have the skills, vision and leadership to design the systems that will keep people, assets and critical services safe,” Mr Palermo said.

“The safe, stable and sustainable use of outer space is central to the continued growth of the space sector – both globally and here in Australia.”

Image credit: Silentium Defence

Sourced from South Australian Space Industry Centre’s website: Silentium reaches for the stars with new Oculus Observatory