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Capricorn Space ground station facility now live, second site expected next year


 Ground station infrastructure startup Capricorn Space is now operational and is currently on-boarding customers at its first facility near Geraldton in Western Australia.

The milestone occurred just 12 months after it commenced planning for the site. Space & Satellite AU can also reveal that the company expects to start construction on a second site on the east coast of Australia in the first half of 2020, while also expanding the initial site in the west.

Capricorn Space CEO Mark Thompson said it is now offering services in three modes: retail, landlord and hybrid. Under the retail model it tracks and collects data from a customer satellite using its own equipment, while under the landlord/hosting model it provides power, communications, security and support for a customer’s own antenna and indoor equipment.

Under the hybrid model it will interconnect customer equipment into Capricorn's own antennas. Capricorn Space is a Melbournebased ground segment startup backed by property developer the Knowles Group. Under Stage 1 of its AGN-W development, the company has two S/X-Band antennas, with plans to grow organically as the market dictates.

Thompson said the company is already actively planning for installation of third party antennas and anticipates expanding beyond Stage 1 in late 2020. Meanwhile the eastern Australia site is likely to be set up in northern Victoria. “Not only have we developed a world class facility at the AGN-W but it has been achieved in less than 12 months.

 Our site provides an ideal location for satellite services and we look forward to welcoming additional customers be they retail, landlord orces and we look forward to welcoming additional customers be they retail, landlord or hybrid,”

Capricorn Space contracted UK company CGC Systems to supply and install the two 5-metre S/X-band antenna systems at its irst site. The initial development of the AGN-W site allows for six antenna systems, with the irst two being owned and operated by Capricorn Space to provide on-demand access to multiple customers.

Last year the company secured licences from the Australian Communications and Media Authority for the UHF, S and X frequency bands, which it expects to prove attractive to smallsat and cubesat operators. It also sees global LEO operators as a target market to utilise its proposed ground infrastructure. The company is planning an oficial launch function for the AGN-W facility next month. Geoff Long Commsday


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