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Equatorial Launch Australia space infrastructure

Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) is a space industry start-up, responsible for Australia’s leading commercial Space Centre in Arnhem Land.

Equatorial Launch Australia rocket launch

Arnhem Space Centre. Image © Equatorial Launch Australia

DomeShelter Australia were privileged to play a small role in the construction of the Arnhem Space Centre, providing key infrastructure to the site in the form of two large DomeShelter™ Structures.

ELA approached DomeShelter Australia for Fit-For-Purpose, durable and compliant Shelter Solutions to be used for storage and warehousing, and as development and testing facilities for space vehicles.

Arnhem Space Centre

Customer Journey

DomeShelter Australia’s journey to ELA’s recent historic NASA launch began in June 2020. Needing a Shelter supplier with remote capabilities and the capacity to carry the project from consultation through to delivery and installation, ELA approached the DomeShelter™ Team to investigate the potential for DomeShelter™ Structures to fulfil their stringent requirements.

What followed was a six-stage process:

Consultation

DomeShelter™ Consultants work closely with every client to ensure they receive a Shelter Solution that is truly Fit-For-Purpose.

Due to travel restrictions at the time, the DomeShelter™ Design team engaged with the ELA team virtually on multiple long conference calls. Other calls also involved NASA scientists, who assisted in stipulating the environmental requirements that would make the Shelter suitable for laboratory works to be carried out.

Members of the ELA team visited DomeShelter Australia’s manufacturing facility in Northam, Western Australia, to discuss key components of the project.

There were stringent details to be considered, with space travel being a volatile and strictly standardised process. DomeShelter Australia worked closely with all involved parties to ensure the Structures provided checked all the necessary boxes.

DomeShelter Australia prioritises providing end-to-end service of the highest quality standard – this means taking care of the entire project from design through to completion, providing every necessary element of the Structure in one complete kit, including any materials that needed to be outsourced.

Design

Once all the necessary information was compiled, the DomeShelter™ Team proceeded with designing two Shelters providing concept sketches to ELA and making any changes as required.

An early concept drawing for one of the two Structures provided – the Rocket Motor Storage & Vehicle Assemble
Building

Working with various stakeholders across the ELA team, NASA and other 3rd parties resulted in two comprehensively designed Structures, both of which incorporated every necessary customisation, from internal walls to divide separate workspaces, insulated ceiling panels to ensure temperature control was optimised, lockable roller doors, and the list continues.

Gathering this input during the Consultation stage, prior to Engineering, is a key part of DomeShelter Australia’s process; first ensuring Function needs are met so we can then proceed to addressing Form.

Engineering

ELA’s Arnhem Space Centre is located in East Arnhem Land, which is within Wind Region C, a cyclonic region with an ultimate Wind Speed of 248km/h. Our design team worked with accredited 3rd party engineers to calculate the wind load according to AS/NZS 1170 to ensure that the Shelter would be structurally sound and compliant.

Combined with our DomeShelter Logic® – six elements that govern the design of the Structures – the Engineers’ revisions and specifications were then transferred into final drawings for fabrication.  

Manufacturing

It took the DomeShelter™ manufacturing team just weeks to complete the two full Shelter Kits, ready for transportation and installation on-site in the Northern Territory. 

The two DomeShelter™ Structures provided were:

DomeShelter Australia also took care of outsourcing all the necessary components that were required by ELA for the Shelters. These included: 

  • 8 sea containers for the Structure to be mounted on, painted with Super Therm® Insulated Coating. 
  • Insulated ceiling panels for the two Structures to further maximise temperature control. 
  • Flooring for both Structures

Sea Containers painted with SuperTherm® Insulated Coating at DomeShelter Australia’s Northam manufacturing yard

All the main components of the Structure – the steel frames, tough fabric membrane, joiners, footings, End Walls, etc. – were manufactured by the in-house DomeShelter™ Fabrication Team in Northam, Western Australia.

DomeShelter™ is a proudly Australian owned and run business. This allows complete quality control over the product, with manufacturing and management systems that are internationally audited and certified to ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and AS1170/1554 .  

Delivery

All elements of the Shelter Kit were packed into sea containers and transported by road, over 4500 kilometres, from Northam to the remote Space Centre in East Arnhem Land.

ELA’s Shelter Kits on route to Arnhem Land. Their unique modular design has allowed DomeShelter™ Structures to be delivered to some of the remotest locations on Earth.

Installation

Installation was undertaken by local contractors, extending economic benefit to local Indigenous communities

Every DomeShelter™ Kit includes comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions, that allow Structures to be installed efficiently even by first-time installers or the client’s own team. 

The DomeShelter™ Team aided the local installers contracted by ELA over the phone to complete the install.  

Australian Space Travel Capabilities

The Arnhem Space Centre is the only commercially owned and run multi-user equatorial launch site in the world. The proximity of the Arnhem Space Centre to the equator offers unique efficiencies and provides access to the full range of orbits and inclinations. 

Equatorial Launch Australia completed Australia’s first commercial space launch in June, in partnership with NASA. The historic launch was also NASA’s first launch from a fully commercial spaceport and is exciting for the future of the Arnhem Space Centre and the Australian space industry. 

Arnhem Space Centre NASA rocket launch

Image ©NT Times

Read more about how a fully engineered, proven DomeShelter™ Structure can solve your shelter needs, or submit an enquiry to get in contact with our friendly sales team. You can also create your own DomeShelter™ Structure using our free 3D Designer.

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