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A Satellite-Based Augmentation System for the Australian region

The Australian Government has allocated some $225 million to develop a world-leading satellite-based positioning capability.  The funds are to be allocated as follows:

  • $160 million to deliver a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), which will provide improved positioning capability across Australia, with applications in aviation, maritime, agriculture, mining and other industries; and
  • $64 million to establish a National Positioning Infrastructure Capability (NPIC), which will drive productivity and innovation in a number of industries, including transport (maritime), agriculture, mining and construction, by providing more accurate positioning data.

SBAS will provide a quantum improvement in the delivery of accuracy and integrity information to the entire region.

Geoscience Australia is the Australian Government’s public sector agency that will coordinate the four-year delivery program, which will commence on 1 July 2018.  Funding of some $50 million per annum beyond the four-year forward estimates, has also been committed.  The aim is to have International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) certification by year four.  The program will seek to develop both GPS-L1 SBAS and Dual Frequency Multi-Constellation SBAS capability, as well as support for Precise Point Positioning (PPP) services.

Identification and procurement of appropriate satellite payloads, pseudorandom noise code (PRN) and SBAS service identifier allocation, are early focuses for the program.

The initial program seeks to provide better positioning capability in Australia’s maritime zones. The Australian Government will be exploring partnerships in the region, as opportunities emerge.  Interested agencies and governments can contact Geoscience Australia (npi@ga.gov.au) for more information.