The Antarctic Broadband program, led by Aerospace Concepts Pty Ltd, is developing a broadband satellite communications service aimed at meeting the data transfer needs of the entire Antarctic community. The project is supported by the federal government's Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) and will use small-satellite technology provide a new communications infrastructure.
The project's initial stages have included the placement of a ground station and operations facility for small satellites, together with a rapid prototyping, assembly integration, and test facility for small-satellite payloads at Mount Stromlo.
The Mount Stromlo ground station will be used to support the Antarctic Broadband Demonstrator and Operational Missions and is also available for other small satellite operators to use. It was commissioned in December 2010 and has the capacity to provide tracked telemetry and command communications using government S-Band (at 2200-2290MHz) for the downlink and UHF (at 435-450MHz) for the uplink.
The project infrastructure will include one 20kg nano-satellite in a 1000km sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite is based on a design by the University of Toronto's Space Flight Laboratory and carries a Ka-band communications prototype payload with the capability of a 10 Mbps data transfer rate to test sites.