The University of Western Australia is set to install an optical communications station capable of receiving high-speed data transmissions from space.
The communications station will be able to receive data from spacecraft from anywhere between low-Earth orbit, i.e. between 160km and 1000km above planet green to as far away as the surface of the moon - some 384,000 km.
Dr Sascha Schediwy, Astrophotonics Group leader at UWA and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy, said optical communications are an emerging alternative to radio waves and are expected to drastically improve data transfer capabilities from space.
Data from the station will then be fed to Goonhillys supercomputer data centre in England by high-speed fibre.
The ground station is expected to be operational from as early as next year (2021).