A trial of satellite technology designed to improve the accuracy of satellite navigation systems such as GPS, jointly funded by the Australian and New Zealand Governments, has kicked of with an event at CQUniversity Australia's campus in Rockhampton in Queensland.
The two-year trial is being funded with AUD$12 million from the Australian Government and a further $2 million from the New Zealand Government. It is being managed by Geoscience Australia and Land Information New Zealand, in partnership with the global technology companies GMV, Inmarsat and Lockheed Martin.
The Australia and New Zealand CRC for Spatial Information (CRC SI) is managing the industry projects that will demonstrate the benefits and applications of improved positioning capability.
Then minister for economic development and minister of transport, Simon Bridges, announced New Zealand’s participation in April 2017 saying that the technology was expected to improve air navigation, smartphone-based services, asset management and precision agriculture, and would be needed for the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles.
The Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) uses a continent-wide network of fixed GPS or other satnav system receivers that are able to measure the error in the GPS position. This error information is relayed to a central processing centre that computes correctional information that is then relayed via geostationary satellite to individual GPS users to increase the accuracy of their GPS-derived position.
CRC SI's SBAS program manager, Julia Mitchell, said to date 11 contracts had been signed with participants from a range of industry sectors across Australia and New Zealand, including agriculture, resources, transport, construction, utility and spatial.
"It is great to see interest from a range of sectors, with the projects chosen demonstrating a wide range of uses from the livestock tracking demonstrated by CQUniversity today, to community safety applications, and testing driverless and connected cars,” she said.