Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


University of Wollongong - Department of Science and Technology Studies


This thesis examines the planning process for the first and second generations of Australia's domestic satellite system (Aussat). It focuses on the development of a large sociotechnical system over more than a ten year period and the constellation of interest that became embroiled in one of Australia's most controversial projects. The present work seeks to call forth and highlight those factors most relevant to the shaping of particular aspects of technological development to produce an understanding of how participants in the negotiation of the sociotechnical design sought to assert their interests. In addition, the thesis examines Aussat's effect on its 'impact constituency' and how Australia's experience with the first generation of satellites, in turn shaped an on-going sociotechnical system. It closely details how organizations evolved and developed strategies to maintain the project's momentum.

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