Western Australia has already been involved in the space industry for nearly sixty years and has been involved in major projects such as the European Space Agency's ground station at New Norcia, a range of commercial space communications stations, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.
There are already 74 international and Australian companies with a presence in WA operating in space and space related services.
This report was commissioned by a Steering Group, chaired by WA Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken AC, of stakeholders from the space sector, including the State's four universities.
Western Australia’s southern hemisphere location and longitude are ideal for space situational awareness and facilities that contribute to global coverage of space assets, including tracking of launches. They also provide maximum access to Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) constellations.
These geographic advantages have been reinforced by investments in communications and computational infrastructure and access to technical expertise. They create significant opportunities for space situational awareness, optical communications, astronomy, space operations and defence space applications.
There are substantial capabilities in remote operations of space systems and ground stations in Western Australia and established training programs that could be adapted to support growth in these areas.
Western Australian also hosts capabilities in development and use of space-derived applications. Opportunities for competitive advantage lie in agriculture, mining, offshore oil and gas, remote operations and robotics. The greatest potential for economic growth and jobs is likely to be found in these areas. They deserve some priority in this respect.
Issues to be addressed include:
raising the profile of the strengths of the Western Australian space industry sector nationally and internationally
strengthening existing space operations capacity
developing the priority areas
increased collaboration on research development and innovation ― reviewing the adequacy of professional and technical education to support Western Australian priorities.