Satellite Based Augmentation System Test-bed

Instant, reliable and accurate access to positioning and timing information anytime and anywhere across Australia and New Zealand

Positioning data is now fundamental to a range of applications and businesses worldwide. It increases our productivity, secures our safety and propels innovation. It enables GPS on smartphones, provides safety-of-life navigation on aircraft, increases water efficiency on farms, helps to locate vessels in distress at sea, and supports intelligent navigation tools and advanced transportation management systems that connect cities and regions.

A utilises space and ground-based infrastructure to improve the accuracy, integrity and availability of basic Global Navigation Satellite System signals, such as provided by GPS.

The Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) will augment Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals to deliver a satellite positioning capability across all of Australia and its maritime zones with decimetre accuracy. It will also support the aviation, maritime and road transport sectors which have a requirement for high-integrity positioning-guaranteed performance with metre level accuracy.

An SBAS will overcome the current gaps in 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 across Australia, New Zealand and their maritime zones.

On behalf of the Australian and New Zealand Governments, and our partners, Geoscience Australia and Land Information New Zealand, FrontierSI has been managing user testing with over 100 organisations, in almost 30 projects, across 10 industry sectors.

The trial is testing three new technologies and is being funded with $12 million from the Australian Government and a further $2 million from the New Zealand Government.

While highly accurate positioning technologies are already available in Australia, they are expensive and only available in specific areas and to niche markets. There are almost 30 projects across aviation, agriculture, consumer, construction, maritime, rail, resources, road, spatial and utilities sectors in Australia and New Zealand which are currently underway. In simple terms, the SBAS satellite provides a cost-effective way to improve positioning signals from around 5 metres in accuracy to less than 1 metre.

The SBAS test-bed will lay the foundation to deliver a fully operational SBAS in four years that will provide instant, reliable and accurate access to positioning and timing information anytime and anywhere across Australia and New Zealand.

The positioning signals being tested are the single frequency service, dual-frequency multiple constellation SBAS to be tested for the first time in both Australia and New Zealand, and high-precision Precise Point Positioning navigation corrections where decimetre level accuracies at the user level are expected. The research will also provide a benefit analysis of SBAS technology to Australia and New Zealand.

The project will see Australia and New Zealand join countries such as the United States, Europe, Russia, India and Japan, which have all invested in capability that delivers satellite-based corrections via an SBAS.

Widespread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate $73 billion in value to Australia alone by 2030. The project will determine if Australia and New Zealand should pursue the development of an operational SBAS.