Monday, September 16, 2019

Defence-Optus C1 satellite vulnerable to interference by Singtel, and China's Huawei -published first in 2009, but problem persists

by Ganesh Sahathevan

In 2009 this writer commented explained why the Department of
Defence-Optus C1 satellite is vulnerable to interference by Singtel, and China's Huawei

In July 2017 then Minister for Defence Marise Payne announced, despite the growing concerns about Huawei thatf Defence’s C1 satellite partnership with Optus would be extended well into the next decade:

Minister Payne said Optus had provided satellite communication services to Defence through the Optus C1 satellite and on-board Defence Payload System since 2003.

“Optus will reconfigure the C1 satellite to operate in an inclined orbit to reduce on‑board fuel usage and extend the life of the satellite as far as 2027. The existing agreement with Optus was due to expire in 2020 coinciding with the satellite’s anticipated end-of-life,” Minister Payne said.

“The Optus C1 satellite partnership will provide Australian Defence Force users additional satellite communications capacity throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

“The extended use of Optus C1 will preserve Australia’s orbital filing precedence and options to place future satellite communications capabilities within the region,” she said.

Minister Payne said the extended arrangements with Optus provides Defence with prolonged capacity to continue to support Defence, other Australian Government agencies, and international partners.

“The agreement assists Defence and the Government to preserve Australia’s right to continue to operate in the radio-frequency spectrum from space until such a time as Government elects an alternative course of action,” she said.

The total cost of the contract is approximately $40 million over the next ten years, which includes the necessary preparation of ground infrastructure within Optus facilities at Belrose, NSW and Lockridge, WA as well as operating and sustainment costs associated with continued use of Optus C1.


See Also 


Defence-Optus C1 satellite vulnerable to interefence by Singtel, and China's Huawei 

Readers can decide for themselves if the claim made in the title is exaggerated. For reference readers should first read my earlier article on the issue at

Some additional material on the day to day management of the satellite and related systems in Defence's own words:

Joint Project 2008 Phase 3D was established in 1997 following an invitation from Optus for Defence to share Australia’s next generation commercial communications satellite. The project provides for supply and support of a Defence owned payload operating on the shared C1 communications satellite, together with Defence owned fixed terrestrial infrastructure for control and management of the Defence payload and the new communications network.

The network, otherwise known as the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Capability, will provide Defence with satellite communications across Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region in the X, Ka and UHF radio frequency bands. Contracts with Optus were signed in October 1999.

“Information Systems Division will be responsible for control and management of the new communications network. Optus has been contracted by Defence to supply payload operators, to maintain and support the fixed terrestrial infrastructure and to undertake telemetry, tracking and command of the satellite. A satellite management agreement has also been established to guide Defence and Optus in the management and operation of the shared satellite asset."

Some additional material on the same from another website:

The Optus and Defence C1 relay platform will operate in four different frequency bands: commercial services in Ku-band for Singtel Optus; and military communications at UHF, X and Ka-bands for the Australian Department of Defence.
Singtel Optus has the prime contractor role to the Australian Department of Defence for the military communications payload. The military Ka-band payload has four 33-MHz active transponders and one spare. It will provide medium to high data rate defense theatre coverage and duplex video, along with voice and data communications. This Ka-band communications service is a new capability for the Australian Department of Defence.

X-band telecommunications links provided via the satellite will be used by the military for medium to high data rate one- and two-way video, as well as voice and data communications. Service will be provided by four 60-MHz active transponders, with an additional transponder serving as a spare. The X-band communications links also are new for the country's defense network.

UHF links via the relay satellite will enhance UHF capabilities already employed by the Australian Department of Defence, and will be used for low data rate two-way voice and data communications. There are five 5-kHz channels and one 25-kHz channel provided via the satellite.


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