ANARESAT dome at Mawson station
ANARESAT dome at Mawson station, 1999 (Photo: Wayne Papps)

Technical information about ANARE telecommunications

The telecommunications system that supports the Australian Antarctic programme is extremely diverse. The Australian Antarctic Division operates a network linking the three permanent stations on the Antarctic continent (Casey, Davis and Mawson), Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic, summer stations, field bases, chartered ships and aircraft, and the head office complex at Kingston, Tasmania. 

The telecommunications system has evolved from the early days of Morse Code and large valve transmitters to today's satellite and computer technology, as it constantly adapts to meet the changing needs of Australia's Antarctic programme.

Today, the Antarctic telecommunications network consists of satellite systems, HF and VHF radio systems, computer networks and telephone systems. Telecommunications personnel run experiments, maintain telecommunications equipment and conduct radio operations.

The telecommunications network supplies major support to Australia's Antarctic science programme by providing the means for experiments to be remotely monitored, data transferred in an expedient manner and for scientists to consult with their colleagues back in Australia and around the world.

Morale is enhanced by the ability to send email, browse the World Wide Web, and talk on the telephone to friends and family. 

Major activities currently underway include:

  • The planning and provision of telecommunications support for intercontinental and intracontinental air transport
  • The provision of telecommunications support to remote deep-field parties

These are certainly exciting times in the life of Australia's Antarctic telecommunications network. Are you interested to work in Antarctic telecommunications?