Lockheed Martin Australia selects Australian ground segment specialist Av-Comm Space & Defence for SouthPAN partnership

22 December 2022
Av-Comm Space and Defence has secured a major expansion opportunity, partnering with Lockheed Martin Australia to build and service four Radio Frequency Uplink subsystems for the rollout of the new Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) by Geoscience Australia and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

Under the $25 million contract, Av-Comm will work with Lockheed Martin Australia and the SouthPAN project team to establish the network of four major satellite ground station uplink facilities incorporating 11m diameter satellite dishes. Av-Comm will also support the installation and maintenance of 28 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference stations across Australia and New Zealand.

Av-Comm Managing Director Michael Cratt said he expected over 100 local businesses to be engaged under the project, with Av-Comm alone creating 50 new jobs in construction and maintenance of the new infrastructure.

“We are excited to be partnering with Lockheed Martin Australia on this ground-breaking project that will unlock so many benefits for Australia’s emergency services, transport and aviation industries, as well as allow the development of autonomous vehicles,” Mr Cratt said. “It’s a real vote of confidence in Av-Comm’s ground segment engineering and project management capability, and importantly it will mean we can further develop space-related manufacturing and maintenance here in Australia,” he said.

Lockheed Martin Australia’s Regional Director for Space, David Ball said, “with the increasing demand for space systems and services, our company is committed to growing a long-term and sustainable space presence in Australia. We are proud to be partnering with Av-Comm, an Australian second-generation, family-operated business with local manufacturing experience.”

SouthPAN is a joint initiative of the Australian and New Zealand governments to provide Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) services spanning the region. Once fully operational the SBAS system will improve locational accuracy for users from around 10 metres to as little as 10 centimetres.

The Australian arm of global satellite technology leader Lockheed Martin was selected in September 2022 by Geoscience Australia to deliver the next-generation service under a $1.18 billion, 19-year contract.


About Av-Comm Space and Defence
Headquartered in Sydney, and with operations across the Pacific, Av-Comm is Australia’s longest-standing privately-owned satellite communications company. Incorporated in 1981, Av-Comm is a second-generation Australian family business, which specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of optical and RF ground segment in support of civil, defence, space and astronomy applications.

With a 41+ year history of manufacturing and maintaining satellite transmission and broadcasting hardware, Av-Comm is a recognised leader and innovator in satellite ground systems. Av-Comm specialises in large aperture antennas, and has recently developed Australia’s first sovereign manufactured multi-band satellite tracking ground system – the Cassowary. Av-Comm’s ground systems support vital connectivity for a range of industries which operate in remote parts of Australia and the Pacific including defence, mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.

For further information please contact:
Michael Cratt | +614 32 747 715 | michael@avcomm.com.au

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