Satellite positioning tech gains $12m boost

Potential seen for SBAS to aid freight transport in all its modes

Satellite positioning tech gains $12m boost
Darren Chester sees advantages in SBAS


The federal government has launched a $12 million, two-year program looking into the future of positioning technology in Australia.

The focus will be on Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) technology.

The funding will be used to test instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology that could provide future safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits across many industries in Australia, including transport, agriculture, construction, and resources, it says.

"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," the government adds.

According to transport minister Darren Chester, the program could test the potential of SBAS technology in the four transport sectors— road, rail maritime and aviation.

"SBAS utilises space-based and ground-based infrastructure to improve and augment the accuracy, integrity and availability of basic Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, such as those currently provided by the USA Global Positioning System (GPS)," Chester says.

"The future use of SBAS technology was strongly supported by the aviation industry to assist in high accuracy GPS-dependent aircraft navigation.

"Positioning data can also be used in a range of other transport applications including maritime navigation, automated train management systems and in the future, driverless and connected cars."

The two-year project will test SBAS technology that has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in Australia to less than five centimetres.

Currently, positioning in Australia is usually accurate to five to 10 metres.

"The SBAS test-bed is Australia's first step towards joining countries such as the US, Russia, India, Japan and many across Europe in investing in SBAS technology and capitalising on the link between precise positioning, productivity and innovation," the government says.

Early this year, Geoscience Australia with the Collaborative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI,) will call for organisations from a number of industries including road, rail, spatial,  agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

For more information about the SBAS test-bed and National Positioning Infrastructure Capability visit the Geoscience Australia website.

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