Prime Mover Magazine

Government invests $12 million in positioning technology

The Federal Government will invest $12 million in a two-year program looking into the future of positioning technology in Australia.

The funding will be used to test "instant, accurate and reliable positioning" by Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS).

The technology could provide future safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits across many industries in Australia, including transport, agriculture, construction and resources.

According to a media statement released by Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, the widespread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.

“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 US Global Positioning System (GPS),” Chester said.

“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 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 10m.

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.

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