Pine Gap is the commonly used name for a satellite tracking station at
23°47′56″S 133°44′13″E / 23.799°S 133.737°E / -23.799; 133.737, some 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-west of the town of Alice Springs in the centre of Australia which is operated by both Australia and the United States. The facility has become a key part of the local economy.
It consists of a large computer complex with eight radomes protecting antennas and has over 800 employees. It is officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap since 1988; previously, it was known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility.It is believed to be one of the largest ECHELON ground stations and appears to be physically and operationally similar to the American signals intelligence facilities at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado and Menwit Hill, United Kingdom. United States government personnel at Pine Gap are believed to be mostly from the National Security Agency and subordinate service-associated agencies as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.As published in ERSA by CASA, the airspace around Pine Gap is the only area in Australia designated as “prohibited”, which prohibits entering and overflying the airspace up to a height of Flight Level 180 (approximately 18,000 ft or 5,500 m).