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Space surveillance radar system fully operational

By Richard Tomkins
Space surveillance radar system fully operational
The C-Band Space Surveillance Radar System, used to track the thousands of satellites and debris in space around the Earth, has reached full operational capability, the Australian Ministry for Defense said on Tuesday. The system is a joint operation between the United States and Australia, and was moved from Antigua to Australia starting in 2014. Photo by NASA

March 7 (UPI) -- A C-band space surveillance radar system jointly operated by the United States and Australia has reached Full Operational Capability, the Australian Department of Defense reports.

The system, which tracks satellites and space debris, was gradually relocated to Western Australia by the U.S. Air Force from Antigua in the Caribbean beginning in 2014.

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"The C-Band radar operated from Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station near Exmouth, Western Australia, is the first low-earth orbit space surveillance network sensor in the Southern Hemisphere," Australian Minister for Defense Marise Payne said in a press release.

"In its new location, the radar provides both southern and eastern hemisphere coverage that will lead to improved positional accuracies and predictions."

While in Antigua, the system was used to track the telemetry of space launches from Cape Canaveral.

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