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Global tech companies join Australia for national positioning project

Inmarsat are creating Global Xpress, the first high-speed broadband network to span the world. Now they will also help Australia improve positioning in a two year, $12 illion project. Credit: Inmarsat

In January it was announced that the Australian Government will invest $12 million in a two-year program looking into the future of positioning technology in Australia. Now Geoscience Australia have announced today that three positioning technology companies, GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin, have joined in for the project.

Geoscience Australia’s Gary Johnston said that the project is aimed at trialling a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to improve the accuracy of Australia’s positioning.

“The SBAS test-bed is Australia’s first exploratory step to joining countries such as the United States, Europe, China, Russia, India and Japan, which are already using the technology on a daily basis,” Johnston said.

“This technology hasn’t been widely tested in Australia before, however GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin have experience implementing it around the world.

“The testing of SBAS technology in Australia offers a number of potential safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits to many local industries, including transport, agriculture, construction, and resources.”

 

An SBAS will overcome the current gaps in our mobile and radio communications and, when combined with on-ground operational infrastructure and services, will ensure that accurate positioning information can be received anytime and anywhere within Australia. Image: Geoscience Australia

Research has shown that the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030

Mr Johnston said Geoscience Australia along with the Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) are responsible for the implementation and oversight of the project on behalf of the Australian Government, but will be collaborating closely with GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin on the technical components of the test-bed.

“We’ll be testing two new satellite positioning technologies – next generation SBAS and Precise Point Positioning – which provide positioning accuracies of several decimetres and five centimetres respectively,” he said.

Australia currently relies on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) of other countries including the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS). These international systems typically give Australians positioning accuracy of five to 10 metres.

In March, Geoscience Australia and the CRCSI will call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

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