Shoal Bay Receiving Station

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Shoal Bay Receiving Station
17 km (11 mi) from Darwin
Site information
Controlled byAustralian Signals Directorate
Open to
the public
No

Shoal Bay Receiving Station is a signals intelligence-gathering facility, located on the shores of Shoal Bay, 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. The site is managed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

History[edit]

One of the major purposes of the station has been to intercept and monitor Indonesian satellite communications and gather intelligence on the activities of the Indonesian military. The station was a major source of intelligence on the role played by the Indonesian military and associated militia groups in the violence in East Timor following the 1999 Referendum of Independence.[1] The site may also have intercepted conversations regarding the planned murder of Australian journalists in East Timor by the Indonesian military, in 1975, prior to the killings taking place.[2]

The site is suspected to be a part of the global SIGINT network ECHELON, operated under the UKUSA Agreement. It is also a major contributor to the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance program codenamed XKeyscore.[3]

Facilities[edit]

As of 2005, the Shoal Bay Receiving Station operated 17 antennas.[4]

While the ASD manages the site, it is staffed by a combination of Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and civilian personnel. As of 2007 it had a staff of 73 personnel, which was lower than the staffing of 85 personnel in 2005 and 120 to 150 personnel during the East Timor crisis in 1999.[4]

Bureau of Meteorology[edit]

The Bureau of Meteorology installed 3 weather satellite receiving antenna systems at Shoal Bay in October 2016 through a subcontractor, Av-Comm. According to Av-Comm, these accessed China's Feng Yun-2 series of geostationary satellites, Feng Yun 2E and Feng Yun 2G as well as Japan Meteorological Agency's HimawariCast service broadcast from a Himawari 8 Satellite.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cuban American National Foundation - CANF". www.canf.org. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Balibo Killings 1975 and Intelligence Handling – A Report of an Inquiry by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security". Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Annual Report 2001–2002. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008.
  3. ^ Philip Dorling. "Snowden reveals Australia's links to US spy web". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Shoal Bay Receiving Station". Nautilus Institute Australia. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Bureau of Meteorology's Darwin Weather Data Earth Station | Av-Comm". Av-Comm. Retrieved 26 April 2017.

Coordinates: 12°21′32″S 130°58′56″E / 12.3588°S 130.9822°E / -12.3588; 130.9822