Our border se­cu­rity is no longer all at sea

The Advertiser - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA’S sea bor­ders are get­ting a hi-tech se­cu­rity boost with the ad­di­tion of three new spy satel­lites.

The first of the $10 mil­lion Aus­tralian De­fence Force Cube­sat satel­lites, be­ing de­vel­oped by the Univer­sity of New South Wales’ Can­berra space team, will be launched next year.

They will be used to track asy­lum-seeker boats and will as­sist mil­i­tary spy planes on any po­ten­tial threats.

“It’s got an on-board ca­pa­bil­ity to lis­ten to ob­jects on the sur­face of the earth, in par­tic­u­lar we are in­ter­ested in ships, so it’s as­sist­ing the de­fence force in mar­itime sur­veil­lance,” UNSW Can­berra space di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sor Russell Boyce said.

De­fence In­dus­try Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne told the ABC the satel­lites would be a se­cu­rity boost for the na­tion.

“To en­sure that what­ever is com­ing to­wards Aus­tralia, is some­thing that we see be­fore they are in a po­si­tion to do us any dan­ger, or in­deed sup­port the cur­rent sur­veil­lance op­er­a­tions that in­ter­dict peo­plesmug­gling or il­le­gal fish­ing,” Mr Pyne said.

It comes days after it was an­nounced Aus­tralia would fi­nally es­tab­lish a space agency.

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