High altitude pseudo satellites



Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia




Investment type

Investment type:


Project status

Project status:

Proposed projects

The opportunity

Alice Springs, located in the centre of Australia, is emerging as a global player for high-altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) launch, recovery, research and development.

Market insights predict strong demand in Australia and globally for the following commercial HAPS applications:

  • communications
  • earth observation
  • space technology testing and qualification
  • weather prediction and modelling.

A high-altitude history

Alice Springs has a long history in high altitude ballooning. Established by NASA in the early 1970s, the Alice Springs Ballooning Facility has been used by leading space agencies (including the Japanese and French) to launch almost 120 high altitude balloons carrying scientific instruments to the outer edge of earth’s atmosphere to conduct scientific experiments.

Image credits: CNES
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Why the Territory

Alice Springs embodies the characteristics conducive for safe and efficient launch and recovery of HAPS vehicles. The strengths include:

  • low population and remote location (supporting safe and efficient launch and payload recovery)
  • clear skies (250 days a year)
  • ideal wind conditions allowing operators to efficiently service worldwide markets (including Africa and Asia)
  • proximity to experienced local suppliers
  • Northern Territory Government’s support and commitment to grow innovative technology industries.

"We applaud the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s efforts to facilitate HAPS technology development and access to the stratosphere. We note NT’s conducive weather conditions, close proximity to Asian markets and convenient access to Latin America and Africa. We also recognise that the Northern Territory has a long and distinguished history of innovation and research and development, promoting the HAPS growing industry and their application” Ken Riordan, President, HAPS Alliance.

Image credits: CNES
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Contact details

Claire George
Director - Space Industry
Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet

Phone: +61 8 8999 5369 or +61 401 115 600

Disclaimer: This web page includes information provided by third parties. The information is general in nature and is for information purposes only. The Northern Territory Government makes no representation about the veracity or accuracy of information provided by third parties. You must rely on your own due diligence before proceeding. You should consider seeking independent professional advice.