The government has announced it will spend $12 million on a program intended to deliver positioning technology that offers better accuracy than standard GPS.
The two year Geoscience Australia program will look at Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) that can enhance the accuracy of positioning using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, such as the US-run GPS, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s GLONASS. SBAS relies on both space-based and ground infrastructure to boost the accuracy of GNSS positioning.
The government will fund an SBAS technology testbed that will be used to assess its potential across nine key sectors: Agriculture, aviation, construction, maritime, mining, rail, road, spatial, and utilities.
According to Geoscience Australia, SBAS is currently employed in the China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia and the US.
“The future use of SBAS technology was strongly supported by the aviation industry to assist in high accuracy GPS-dependent aircraft navigation,” said federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester.
“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 government said SBAS has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in Australia from 5-10 metres to less than 5cm.