Global Navigation Satellite System Networks

Last updated:14 December 2017

Geoscience Australia cooperatively operates and maintains GNSS networks of approximately 100 Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) across the Australian region and the South Pacific, including:

  • Australian Regional GNSS Network (ARGN);
  • South Pacific Regional GNSS Network (SPRGN); and
  • AuScope Network.

Australian Regional GNSS Network (ARGN)

The Australian Regional GNSS network's primary role is to provide the geodetic framework for the spatial data infrastructure in Australia and its territories. The ARGN consists of a network of permanent geodetic quality GNSS receivers and antennae, on geologically stable marks in Australia and its Territories. These sites provide input for the measurement of Earth processes, such as crustal dynamics and sea level rise. Data from the ARGN network also contributes to the International GNSS Service (IGS). Data obtained from the ARGN is available for public use under a creative commons license.

South Pacific Regional GNSS Network (SPRGN)

The South Pacific Regional GNSS Network (SPRGN) was initiated during Phase III of the AusAID funded South Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project (SPSLMP). The SPSLMP was developed in 1991 as an Australian Government response to concerns raised by member countries of the South Pacific Forum about the potential impacts of human induced global warming on climate and sea levels in the Pacific region. Its aim is to monitor vertical movement of the Earth's crust in conjunction with tidal measurements as part of the SEAFRAME network located in the South Pacific Ocean.

The SPRGN consist of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) located in close proximity to sea level monitoring stations, and measures vertical and horizontal movements of the land in an accurate, global, geocentric terrestrial reference frame. Combining this data with precise levelling surveys between the tide gauge sensor and the CORS station, determines the vertical stability of the gauge and the absolute sea level change.

AuScope GNSS Network

AuScope funding was awarded to develop the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network and other geodetic infrastructure in Australia. This will create a better understanding of the deformation of continental Australia.

AuScope is an initiative established under the National Collaboration Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to characterise the structure and evolution of the Australian continent. AuScope includes a Geospatial component that will enhance the accuracy and resolution of the National Geospatial Reference System including its chronological inconsistencies. This will impact directly on a number of sciences and industries that require accurate positioning to improve effectiveness. In due course it will significantly improve the way geospatial data sets can be integrated.

AuScope Geospatial will make up for the other geoscience elements of AuScope by providing up to date estimates of continental deformations. Including estimates resulting from plate tectonics stresses and anthropogenic (or human induced) causes. Knowledge of the deformation of the continent will directly improve assessments of the state of stress of the continental crust and earthquake risks. This supports the development of improved risk mitigation procedures and updating of building codes. The improved understanding of the deformation of the continent will also assist studies of landscape evolution, research into soil types (agriculture) and salinity (land degradation).

Geoscience Australia is working collaboratively with the Australian National University, University of Tasmania, Curtin University, and all of the state and territory governments to implement the AuScope program.

Related information