Topic: Australia/Northern Territory
Pine Gap is the commonly used name for a US satellite surveillance base and Australian Earth station approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-west of the town of Alice Springs, Northern Territory in the centre of Australia which is jointly operated by Australia and the United States. Since 1988, it has been officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG); previously, it was misleadingly known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility.
The station is partly run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), US National Security Agency (NSA), and US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and is a key contributor to the NSA's global interception effort, which included the ECHELON program. The classified NRO name of the Pine Gap base is Australian Mission Ground Station (AMGS), while the unclassified cover term for the NSA function of the facility is RAINFALL.