NZ allocates $1.9m for SBAS trial

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

NZ allocates $1.9m for SBAS trial

The New Zealand government has allocated NZ$1.99 million ($1.9 million) for its joint project with Australia to explore the development of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS).

The funding allocation will allow Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to work with its Australian counterpart Geoscience Australia to investigate ways to significantly improve GPS accuracy through the new system.

The SBAS promises to improve GPS accuracy from the current 5–10 metres to less than a metre, and in some cases to just 10 centimetres.

LINZ plans to use the funding for its work with Geoscience Australia to develop specifications and undertake initial procurement processes for selecting a preferred supplier for the system.

“I’m pleased to announce that the government, alongside Australia, is investing in world-leading technology to vastly improve the accuracy of GPS in New Zealand enabling faster and safer helicopter rescues and innovation in a range of emerging technologies,” said New Zealand Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage.

“New Zealand and Australia are working together on the initiative so both countries can share costs and reduce duplication of effort in the region.”

Other potential applications for the system include developing virtual fencing for livestock to reduce the need for physical fences, improving workplace health and safety, and navigating ships in confined waters.

In Australia, a trial SBAS system is being tested in the aviation and maritime sectors, and is already seeing some encouraging results. Australia is contributing $12 million towards the trial.

GPS satellite image courtesy Lockheed Martin.

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