Silver City’s the ‘perfect place’
Thursday, 8th August, 2019
By Myles Burt
Broken Hill is getting a slice of the space industry with the construction of a new nine-metre high satellite antennae.
Kacific, a satellite broadband company, has commissioned Boeing to build their first satellite ‘Kacific1’.
This will stream high-speed broadband to rural and suburban areas in the Pacific and South East Asia.
The satellite is due to be launched in November from Cape Canaveral, USA by SpaceX.
Broken Hill is contributing to the project by hosting the new KA band gateway antennae that will be used to transmit internet into space.
The antennae will be built at 38-40 Pinnacles Place and cost $853,263.
Kacific CEO and founder Christian Patouraux said the decision to place it here was due to the city’s extraordinarily dry weather.
“The great thing with Broken Hill is it’s a place that seems to be completely untouched by the elements and that’s perfect for the space industry,” Mr Patouraux said.
“It’s very unique and that’s why it attracts so much attention from the space industry.”
But Broken Hill’s unique weather isn’t the only attraction to space communication companies.
Mr Patouraux said it also sat on two very good fibre lines; one coming across the town from the Barrier Highway and the other coming in from Mildura.
He said this gave Broken Hill a large capacity for telecommunications.
“We are the first company that have built an antennae in Broken Hill, and I think the momentum for building more is coming,” he said.
“It’s such a unique place for the industry and the great thing is that it has all this fibre because of the mining industry there.
“It’s a perfect place with great connectivity and great weather.”
The high frequencies used are very sensitive to weather and Mr Patouraux said more space communications companies were choosing to incorporate a new high frequency spectrum in satellite development.
“They’re ultra-high frequencies,” he said. “Those frequencies are very susceptible to rain and that’s why Broken Hill will attract more and more of the space industry.”
Mr Patouraux also said Optus will eventually look at building a similar satellite.
Kacific began preparing for construction last week and satellite antennae equipment is due to arrive in Adelaide in two or three weeks, he said.