Ground stations

Location: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Project: Space industry - ground station infrastructure

Investment type: Equity, consortium, joint venture, partnership, other

Proponent: Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT)

Project status: Investor ready


Making waves in the Australian space industry

View the transcript for the making waves in the Australian space industry video.

The opportunity

CfAT’s 38 hectare Heath Road rural site is the ideal location to host commercial ground station infrastructure, with space available for two to three additional developments.

The site’s competitive advantages include:

  • more than 250 days a year of clear skies
  • clear line of sight 5º above the horizon
  • very low background light pollution (sky quality meter readings above 20)
  • established spectrum licences for existing operations
  • 1GBPS optical fibre cable on-site
  • mains power 300Kv transformer, mains water and sewage
  • 100m2 of office space available for on-site commercial rental
  • only 10 minutes from Alice Springs airport and CBD.

Located in Australia’s Northern Territory at the country’s geographical centre, CfAT’s site is just eight kilometres from both the town of Alice Springs and Alice Springs Airport.

The site can be reached by air within three hours from all Australian mainland capital cities.

A proven location

CfAT currently hosts and provides facilities maintenance services to Geoscience Australia’s earth observation ground station that consists of two 9m antennas.

CfAT’s wholly owned commercial subsidiary, CfAT Satellite Enterprises, recently partnered with US multinational Viasat on the construction of a new commercial ground station. The facility, comprising two 7.3m antennas and associated infrastructure, will form part of Viasat's global Real-Time Earth network and highlights the location's strengths.

Google map of Heath Road boundary
Heath Road boundary


CfAT Satellite Enterprises Pty has access to equity finance to fund the development of commercial satellite ground station infrastructure on its Alice Springs property. The $6 million Viasat Real Time Earth ground station project has been fully financed through an equity loan to CfAT Satellite Enterprises from their funding partner, and serves as an example of the flexible financing arrangements available.

For further information on the space industry in the Northern Territory, go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation website.

Contact details

Aaron Kabasobokwe
General Manager - Satellite Enterprises
Centre for Appropriate Technology

Phone: +61 479 124 614

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.

Images © Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2019