SouthPAN to position Australia and New Zealand into the future

11 December 2020

Australia and New Zealand’s operational Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) has officially been named the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network, or SouthPAN.

SouthPAN will be the first SBAS in the Southern Hemisphere, led by Geoscience Australia and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) under the Australia New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement.

SouthPAN will augment standard positioning capability provided by GPS and Galileo across all of Australia and New Zealand, improving the accuracy of positioning from 5-10 metres to 10 centimetres without the need for mobile or internet coverage.

This technology will bring widespread benefits across many sectors including agriculture, construction, resources, utilities and other industries. It will also support aviation and road transport sectors, which have requirements for high-integrity positioning data with sub-metre level accuracy.

A previous 18-month trial of SBAS showed that decimetre level accuracy will significantly improve productivity and safety in the modern world, with economic benefits recognised in an independent report in 2019.

The procurement phase for SouthPAN is currently underway with initial signals to be provided progressively and a fully-operational and certified system in place by 2025.

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