Satellites set to spy on borders
AUSTRALIA’S border security will get a tech upgrade next year when the country launches a satellite with the capacity to spy on asylum seeker boats or detect threats approaching by sea.
Three new satellites that will assist the Australian Defence Force are being developed by the University of New South Wales’ Canberra space team on a $10 million Federal Government contract, the ABC reports.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told the national broadcaster that data collected from the satellites could assist military spy planes with their work and help detect asylum seeker boats.
UNSW Canberra space director Russell Boyce said that the satellites would have optical telescopes and cameras, as well as the software to find radio signals.
“It’s got an onboard 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,” Professor Boyce said.
The report comes just days after it was announced Australia would finally establish a space agency.
The first of the three satellites, known as Cubesat, will be launched next year.