Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex
The Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC) is located in Australia at Tidbinbilla in a valley of the Murrumbidgee River, about half an hours drive out of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, accessible from either the northern or southern suburbs from the Paddy's River Road. (see map: the Tidbinbilla Nature Park is marked by the star, with the station in the valley mid-way towards the Weston Creek (district) suburban area.
It is part of the worldwide Deep Space Network run by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The complex is commonly referred to as the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station and was officially opened on the 19th of March 1965 by the then Prime Minister of Australia Sir Robert Menzies.
As at March 2005 there are four antennas in use, one 26-metre, two 34-metre and one 70-metre, which is the largest steerable parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere. The CDSCC also uses the Parkes radio telescope in central New South Wales at busy times to receive data from spacecraft.
The station is separated from Canberra by the Murrumbidgee River, but most notably by the Coolamon Ridge and Urambi Hills that help shield the city's radio frequency (RF) noise from the dishes. Located nearby is the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
The station's collimation tower is some 3km to the north-west, on Black Hill.
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