Construction has been completed on a new search and rescue satellite receiving station between Taupo and Rotorua, built as part of a joint project by Maritime NZ and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The site, together with a similar receiving station in Western Australia, has been constructed ahead of the introduction of a new generation of medium-Earth orbit search and rescue (MEOSAR) satellites.
MEOSAR satellites (orbiting at around 20,000 km above the Earth) are replacing the current low-Earth orbit (LEOSAR) satellites (orbiting at between 800-1000 km), which are being phased out over the next four years.
US company McMurdo is carrying out the work in New Zealand and Australia. The New Zealand contract, managed by Maritime NZ, is made up of $7.2m for construction of the receiving station and $5.5m in operating costs over the next 11 years.
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