Positioning Australia – Accelerating Industry Adoption

Accelerating industry adoption of the Positioning Australia program by developing new ways of disseminating positioning data to mass markets, and ensuring that Geoscience Australia’s data, products and services are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR).

The Challenge

Until recently, high precision positioning technologies have only been available for professional applications using specialised equipment (e.g. surveying, machine guidance and control track farming). Through Positioning Australia, GNSS – paired with corrections delivered via the Internet or satellite communications – will permit national coverage of positioning services with an accuracy of several centimetres or better for all users. This will open a wide range of positioning applications for new industries (e.g. intelligent transport systems, location-based services, precision agriculture) and enable existing industries to improve productivity, efficiency, safety and knowledge. However, to support these new and existing users and maximise the data potential, it is essential that the positioning data, products and services are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). This project addresses key underlying research and innovation questions related to the FAIR-ness of the Positioning Australia program, with the aim of accelerating industry adoption.

Partners

Geoscience Australia is the primary partner for this project, with input from Curtin University and Positioning Insights. Components of Positioning Australia are being conducted in collaboration with Australian State jurisdictions and New Zealand.

The Solution

The key components of Geoscience Australia’s Positioning Australia program include:

  1. An operational Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)
  2. Upgrade and expansion of the national GNSS reference station network
  3. Establishment of a GNSS data analytics capability (the Analysis Centre Software or ACS) to verify and optimise positioning signals for users
  4. Modernisation of the Australian Geospatial Reference System (AGRS)

This project addresses key underlying research and innovation questions related to components 2-4. This includes investigating alternative standards and formats for delivering positioning (including geodetic) data. Current approaches will not adequately serve the needs of the new (non-specialist) users, who will emerge because of both the rapid growth in the use of existing precise positioning applications as well as the development of new applications. It will also prototype the integration of new technologies to determine optimal combinations and examine the feasibility of several innovative technical approaches through demonstrator projects. This is being achieved through four research components:

  1. Improving the value of Positioning Australia products by
    • Developing and confirming GNSS value chains
    • Identifying gaps in current standards
    • Developing and distributing customised GNSS metadata profiles for industry
  2. Improving the reliability of streaming real-time GNSS data by
    • Delivering GNSS data to the mass market using modern IoT protocols
    • Investigating the delivery of GNSS data via Terrestrial Wireless Technologies
  3. Industry Engagement via demonstrator projects
  4. Extension of GeodesyML (a Geography Markup Language application schema defining an XML encoding for geodetic data) via
    • The OGC Innovation Program
    • Adopting GeodesyML as a community standard
Impact

The current approach to streaming real-time GNSS data has limited scalability, hence limitations to mass-market applications and uptake. If modern standards which already exist outside of the traditional GNSS communities can be leveraged to broadcast GNSS data and corrections using terrestrial wireless networks, they will support massive numbers (hundreds of thousands) of users reliably and efficiently.

Once the appropriate standards and the message formats and associated protocols are established through this project, industry will be able to properly develop effective user applications based on the Positioning Australia infrastructure and services. By also raising industry awareness through the showcasing of relevant demonstrators, this project will help realise the value of Positioning Australia. This program of work aims to build the underlying exchange formats necessary for wider adoption by industry across the relevant sectors of the economy, and its resultant promotion will demonstrate the Australian Government and GA’s longer-term commitment to improved positioning services.

Contact

To learn more, contact FrontierSI at contact@frontiersi.com.au, or connect direct with Positioning and Geodesy Technical Lead, Eldar Rubinov at erubinov@frontiersi.com.au.