Industry trial of Australian Satellite-Based Augmentation System officially launched

09 November 2017

The Australian Government today launched a trial of Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for the Australasian region at an event at CQUniversity Australia's Rockhampton campus.

The launch was attended by the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, who said CQUniversity is leading one of over 30 projects that will test how industries in Australia and New Zealand can benefit from improved satellite positioning technology.

"We know that working closely with industries like agriculture is the key to understanding what Australia can gain from investing in technologies that may improve positioning accuracy from the current five to 10 metres down to less than 10 centimetres," Minister Canavan said.

The two-year trial is being funded with $12 million from the Australian Government and a further $2 million from the New Zealand Government. It is being managed by Geoscience Australia and Land Information New Zealand, in partnership with the global technology companies GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin. The Australia and New Zealand CRC for Spatial Information (CRC SI) is managing the industry projects which will demonstrate the benefits and applications of improved positioning capability.

A stylised image of a satellite above the Earth showing lights at nightThe SBAS test-bed project will improve access to accurate positioning information anytime and anywhere across Australia and NZ. Image credit: Inmarsat-4 Image courtesy of Inmarsat plc

Chief Executive Officer Dr James Johnson said Geoscience Australia was excited to be leading a trial that is working with 10 industry sectors to test three new satellite positioning technologies, including the world-first second generation SBAS and Precise Point Positioning.

"This trial exemplifies the benefits of government working closing with industry to translate the latest in satellite positioning technology into real-world applications.

"It's all about government innovation supporting and driving entrepreneurship within industry," Dr Johnson said.

CRC SI's SBAS Program Manager, Julia Mitchell said to date 11 contracts have been signed with participants from a range of industry sectors across Australia and New Zealand, including agriculture, resources, transport, construction, utility and spatial.

"It is great to see interest from a range of sectors, with the projects chosen demonstrating a wide range of uses from the livestock tracking demonstrated by CQUniversity today, to community safety applications, and testing driverless and connected cars.

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