Warkworth SES

23 Jul 2024

SpaceOps NZ CEO, Robin McNeill (left) accepts the key to the station from Professor Sergei Gulyaev of AUT.

Robin McNeill, CEO of Invercargill based SpaceOps NZ, today announced that SpaceOps NZ had concluded negotiations to take over AUT’s radio astronomy operations at Spark’s Warkworth Satellite Earth Station, effective from 3rd July 2023.

By tuning into radio waves emitted by some of the most distant objects in the universe, the 12 metre AUT antenna at the station, purchased by SpaceOps NZ under the deal, is used to pinpoint New Zealand to within a couple of millimetres, Mr McNeill said. Its companion 30 metre diameter antenna, owned by Spark and to be operated by SpaceOps NZ, will continue to map the South Spiral Arm of the Milky Way.

As well as radio astronomy, the 30 metre antenna would be used to communicate with spacecraft in deep space and Moon missions.