The Hunter is set to play host to a joint Australia-US project to manufacture and install ground-based radars to track space junk and keep satellites safe.

The Australian arm of US-based LeoLabs and local engineering group Ampcontrol are teaming up to lead the Australian Space Radar Project.

It’s hoped the project could position Australia as a leader in space surveillance. 

LeoLabs Australia Managing Director Terry van Haren says space offers a bright future for industry. 

“We’re delivering really important systems for space situation awareness, for the civil side of space, space industry, but we’re also delivering systems that are important for defense, in terms of what we call space domain awareness, the mapping of the threats in orbits around the earth,” Mr van Haren said.

“These radars map space, they provide a source of that data to tell us what’s going on in low earth orbit and then in deep space.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Ampcontrol earlier this week, stirring hopes the project will win another $80 million dollars in Federal funding, on top of $160 million already promised in private investment.

At least 200 jobs are also expected to be created across New South Wales and Victoria.

“Ampcontrol will do the final assembly of the radar modules for us, and also do the tests and electrical work that goes on, to then take them to the site, set them up, and make them functional,” Mr van Haren said.

“A new economy is being formed in what is being called space 2.0, or the second space race in low earth orbit, we’re getting lots of services there every day, timing for all our systems, navigation systems that people drive around on.”

LeoLabs 1D phased array space radar.