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Wednesday, 12 February 1986
Page: 228

(Question No. 26)


Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 22 February 1985:

(1) What are the locations and periods of operation of all satellite ground stations and observation posts in Australia which have been involved in operations with United States geodetic satellites.

(2) What are the formal designations and orbital parameters of all United States geodetic satellites with which Australian satellite ground stations and observation posts have been involved.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Portable geodetic satellite receivers have been operated by the Army Survey Corps at over 650 locations since July 1974. They are also operated by other Australian government agencies and private organisations. In all, the locations of some 1500 sites have been determined by satellite receivers. The coordinates of these locations are available from the National Mapping Council's Geodetic Horizontal Control Data Base. Comprehensive information about the periods of operation of those ground stations and observation posts is not held by the Department of Defence, nor is it readily available from other Departments.

(2) Satellite programs which have been used for geodetic work, in addition to the TRANSIT satellites and their successors (the Navy Navigation Satellites and NOVA satellites), have included the ANNA, DODGE, SECOR, PAGEOS, SEASAT, MAGSAT, GEOS, GEOSAT and Beacon Explorer programs.

To provide all the other information sought by the honourable senator would require the diversion of significant departmental resources as well as the resources of other departments and organisations which have been involved in satellite geodesy. I am not prepared to authorise the diversion of Defence resources to this task and in the circumstances do not consider it appropriate to request the other departments and organisations concerned to gather information on my behalf which may be held in their records.