Mount Kent Observatory at the University of Southern Queensland is host to Australia's newest astronomical research facilities. MINERVA-Australis is the only Southern hemisphere precise radial velocity facility wholly dedicated to follow-up of thousands of planets to be identified by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey satellite (TESS). Mass measurements of these planets are critically necessary to maximise the scientific impact of the TESS mission, to understand the composition of exoplanets and the transition between rocky and gaseous worlds. MINERVA-Australis is now operational. I present first-light results and give an update on the status of the project, which will ultimately host six 0.7m telescopes feeding a stabilised spectrograph.
The Stellar Observations Network Group (SONG) is establishing a node at Mount Kent. SONG-Australia will complete the global longitude coverage, delivering breakthroughs in fundamental understanding of the interiors of stars for decades to come. SONG-Australia is designed on a "MINERVA" model, whereby fibres from multiple small telescopes feed a single high-resolution spectrograph. This approach provides expandability and reduces cost by using factory-built components that have been well-tested by the MINERVA teams. As a result of these innovations, SONG-Australia is expected to be fully operational by late 2019.