Exploration of the Solar System
with VLBI radio telescopes

UTAS radio telescopes have been used for a number of space projects to track, monitor and study the signals propagated by spacecraft. From the landing of Huygens on the moon Titan, to scintillation studies of the solar wind with Venus and Mars Express, tracking support of Lunar missions, orbit determination of Radio Astron space antenna, to launch and re-entry maneuvers of rockets in Earth orbit.

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UTAS VLBI network

University of Tasmania
radio telescopes

UTas operates five radio telescopes distributed around the Australian continent. The antennae are used daily for a number of astronomical, geodetic and spacecraft tracking purposes. All radio telescopes are operated remotely from the control room in Hobart.

space missions

Spacecraft observations for
deep space exploration

Spacecraft as a target for radio observations are used to study a broad range of scientific phenomena in our solar system and to enhace space missions with additional ground-support.

bisee tier

Bisdee Tier ground
tracking station

The University of Tasmania is expanding its tracking capabilities and satellite communications with the construction of two new antennas to provide ground-support (TTC and downlink capabilities) to Earth-orbiting satellites. The installation of the 7.3 metre (in S-,X- and Ku-band) is well on-time on 2021.

Areas of interest

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  • Deep space weather: Coronal Mass Ejections with spacecraft

    Detection and study of CME events by analysing the propagation of a spacecraft signal along the plasma cloud: CME-hunting. Molera, 2017

  • Mapping the interplanetary plasma scintillation

    Analysis of the phase fluctuations of spacecraft signals to characterise the solar wind at different solar elongations for future space missions. IPS

  • Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE)

    University of Tasmania has commited to provide ground-support to the European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission to be launched in 2022. JUICE

  • Commercial tracking

    A range of satellite missions including having tracked during launch and landing phase including Globalstar and Space X.

  • Improving the determination of spacecraft dynamics

    Accurate determination of the state vectors of planetary spacecraft by means of VLBI measurables as done for Radio Astron satellite.

  • Tracking of GNSS satellites

    Improving the geodetic reference frames by linking the space ties between the VLBI and GNSS satellites measurements.

Contact information:

For interest in our activities contact by email to guifre.moleracalves at utas.edu.au