Trial of Accurate Positioning Technology wins Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award!

9 April 2021

Geoscience Australia was proud to accept the People and Community category of the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards for the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Test-bed project, which was delivered in partnership with Land Information New Zealand and managed by FrontierSI.

The awards recognise the top spatial information projects in the Surveying and Spatial Industry over the past year.

This project tested major improvements to location-based capabilities for Australia and New Zealand, demonstrating that SBAS creates tangible benefits for people and the wider community.

This precise positioning technology provides instant, accurate and reliable positioning without the need for mobile phone or internet coverage, improving the accuracy of GPS positioning from 5-10 metres down to 10 centimetres across Australia and its maritime zones.

From 2017-18, the trial included 27 projects across ten industry sectors to trial accurate positioning technologies to assess the economic, social and environmental benefits of SBAS. Featuring projects from across Australia and New Zealand, this international collaboration was the first trial of shared satellite infrastructure by both governments.

Judges described the project as a "world class initiative with far reaching benefits for the industry" and praised its contribution to "major improvements in location-based capabilities for Australia and New Zealand".

Chief of Place Space and Communities Division Alison Rose, who virtually accepted the award, said it was humbling to be recognised together with esteemed industry colleagues.

“We are proud of the achievements of this project, which showed how Australia and New Zealand can lead the world in the development of space and spatial applications,” said Ms Rose.

The trial proved precise technology could deliver more than $6 billion of benefit to the Australian economy and $1.4 billion to the New Zealand economy over 30 years. It was the precursor to the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network, known as SouthPAN, component of the Positioning Australia Program that will provide a fully-operational SBAS across the two countries by 2025.

Expected value of $6.2 billion for Australia, $1.4 billion for New Zealand and a total of $7.6 billion for both countries over 30 years. SBAS has economic benefits across a range of sectors (Australia and New Zealand): Agriculture - $2.2 billion; Aviation - $404 million; Construction - $1.2 billion; Consumer – $34 million; Maritime - $588 million; Resources - $1.58 billion; Rail - $193 million; Road - $1.1 billion; Water utilities - $277 million

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