SBAS to give $6b economy boost

By on 21 August, 2019

Royal Carribean’s Ovation of the Seas, which participated in the SBAS trial, in Sydney Harbour, March 2018.

New analysis shows that a national satellite-based augmentation system could give a $6 billion lift to Australia’s economy over the next three decades.

Senator Matt Canavan, Minister of Resources and Northern Australia, announced the results of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Trial Economic Benefits Analysis Report during a lecture at CQ University in Rockhampton last week.

“SBAS provides instant, accurate and reliable positioning without the need for mobile phone or internet coverage, improving the accuracy of GPS positioning from 5–10 m down to 10 cm across Australia and its maritime zones,” he said.

Canavan said that the report found that the improved positioning is a crucial factor for operators who might be located in secluded areas, like miners and farmers, with trials showing significant efficiencies across the board.

“The latest figures show a possible $820 million saving in feed and fertiliser over 30 years through improved pasture utilisation, while mining could see a saving of $577 million through improved efficiency of mining haul trucks,” he said.

FrontierSI, formerly the CRC for Spatial Information, coordinated the report’s production in collaboration with Geoscience Australia and Land Information New Zealand.

Dr. Jaime Manning, agriculture lecturer at CQ University has been trialling a project to establish the advantages of SBAS for livestock tracking and has discovered benefits of SBAS-enabled GPS for animal tracking.

“The enhanced accuracy provided by SBAS will support the adoption of technologies like virtual fencing in more intensively grazed pastures, which has been estimated in this report as potentially saving dairy farmers $100 per cow each year,” said Manning.

In June 2018, the federal government made a $260 million funding commitment to a national precise positioning system, based on the results of the SBAS testbed industry trials.

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