Positioning technology program receives government funding

Wednesday, 18 January, 2017

Positioning technology program receives government funding

A program designed to test instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology will receive funding from the federal government.

Research has shown that the widespread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate more than $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.

The program could test the potential of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) technology in the four transport sectors — aviation, maritime, rail and road.

“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 USA Global Positioning System (GPS),” said Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester.

“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.

Access to more accurate data about the Australian landscape could also help unlock the potential of the north.

“This technology has potential uses in a range of sectors, including agriculture and mining, which have always played an important role in our economy, and will also be at the heart of future growth in Northern Australia,” said Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan.

“Access to this type of technology can help industry and government make informed decisions about future investments.”

The two-year 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 10 metres.

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.

In 2017, Geoscience Australia and the Collaborative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) will call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, rail, road, spatial and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

The government will invest $12 million in the program.

Image credit: ©FreeImages.com/Rotorhead

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