On Sept. 11 2021, the University of Western Australia finished installing the first space laser optical ground station in the Southern Hemisphere and named it the Western Australian Optical Ground Station (WAOGS). It is only the first in a planned network of optical ground stations across Australia and New Zealand.
The Australian Optical Ground Station Network (AOGSN) will eventually be made up of four ground stations in Western Australia, South Australia, ACT, and New Zealand. These stations will work together and communicate with satellites passing over Australia as they come into view. The AOGSN is currently under construction, but is still years away from reaching its full capacity as it continues to develop and test necessary technologies. Australia’s share of the global space economy market grew by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, and establishing capability in laser communications will hopefully see that trend continue.