In a cattle field just outside Collie, a massive structure of steel and electronics is about to make the mining town a vital location for securing global communications.
LeoLabs operates six space radar sites around the globe, and its latest addition in Collie is just weeks away from firing up.
The space radar will track objects up to 2500km out into space, an area considered Low Earth Orbit. These can be anything from the massive International Space Station, to a 10cm piece of debris, all moving at around 27,000km/h.
At those speeds, a golf ball-sized piece of space junk could hit with many times more force than a bullet from the Australian Army's standard assault rifle.
The project is run by LeoLabs Australian managing director Terry van Haren. He's a retired Air Commodore in the RAAF, with four operational tours, and 6000 flight hours under his belt.
"I've always been interested in space, since I was a kid. I did a bit of space work in the Air Force, but now the world's changing," Mr van Haren said.
"I figured if I go out and lead this company, and build this capacity, it's going to be welcome and needed."
The Mail met Mr van Haren for a tour of the radar site, to get an understanding of how the system works.
The principles which make the Collie radar work are not so different to a satellite dish you might have on your roof to pick up television signal. Of course, this one is the result of tens of millions of dollars of the latest technology, and it's precise beyond belief.
It uses a phased array, which consists of a 35m long line of transmitters, sending beams of radio waves up to 100 times per second into a dish. In this case, a millimetre perfect quarter-pipe of steel which stands about three storeys tall.
The dish concentrates the energy from the transmitters, and beams it to space, scanning across an area thousands of kilometres wide. Anything in its way bounces a signal back, which is picked up and recorded by an on-site computer - which takes up a 20ft shipping container.
The location, speed, angle, and any other metric you could think of is sent to a cloud server, which does all the complicated maths to determine the flight path of every minute speck of metal in earth's low orbit.
The "Big Mecano set", as Mr Van Haren described it, was a multi million dollar windfall for local businesses, which carried out earthworks, concreting, electrics, as well as putting the structure up. All to very tight tolerances.
"For them it was something totally different. They had to do a lot of tolerances, because this reflector has got to be millimetre perfect."
Currently, LeoLabs tracks 20,000 individual objects in space, most of which are 10cm or more in diameter.
"The radars are also searching for smaller debris. Sub 10cm. As we get more radar power, we'll start to see these objects, but seeing an object and tracking one is a different thing," Mr van Haren said.
As they're picked up by each of the six radar sites around the world, each object is passed on to the next, creating a calculation of its orbit which becomes more accurate with each pass.
"It's only once we have certainty of tracking, we call it a tracked object. It's a dot to dot exercise around the earth."
That data services 4000 out of the approximately 5000 commercial satellites in LEO, as well as some government owned satellites from the Australian Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and NASA.
Elon Musk's SpaceX is LeoLabs' biggest customer. It uses the data to adjust the orbit of the Starlink internet satellites, based on probabilities of impact, to dodge potential disaster.
"With Starlink, that data goes directly to the satellite. It flies itself and makes its own decisions based on our data," Mr van Haren said.
"I say Houston is dead. The band that looks at a little screen and goes 'What do you think? What do I think?' It doesn't happen anymore. It's an algorithm."
LeoLabs is currently in the final stages of testing and calibrating the radar, which Mr van Haren hopes will be done by the end of the year. Once it's fully operational, it will combine with a similar radar on the South Island of New Zealand to provide a massive range of coverage, rivalling the scope of US Government's own systems in the Northern Hemisphere.
It provides not only a benefit to the wider space industry, but also to the school kids of Collie, who will get the chance to tour the radar site, and pick the brains of the people at the forefront of astrophysics in Australia.
"I was at the Collie High School, talking to the year 9's. They're now the smartest people in Collie about space," Mr van Haren said.
"We're going to do a lot of work with the Collie High School in the long term now. We want to encourage them to think about space."