Australia has launched their first trial for a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). This has been in the works for years, but on the 9th of November 2017, the Australian Government officially launch a trial for the SBAS at an event at CQ University Austalia's Rockhampton campus. The project will run for two years and is being funded $12 million from the Australian Government and a further $2 million from the New Zealand Government. The project is aimed at applications that would benefit from improved positioning capability.
The CRCSI’s SBAS Program Manager, Julia Mitchell said to date 11 contracts have been signed with participants from a range of industry sectors across Australia and New Zealand, including agriculture, resources, transport, construction, utility and spatial.
“It is great to see interest from a range of sectors, with the projects chosen demonstrating a wide range of uses from the livestock tracking demonstrated by CQUniversity today, to community safety applications, and testing driverless and connected cars."
What is SBAS
In extremely brief terms, this augmentation system will help to cover caps in our mobile and radio communications and when combined with on-ground operational infrastructure and services, will ensure that accurate positioning information can be received anytime anywhere within Australia and New Zealand. In technical terms, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network currently operated by Geoscience Australia which also includes the AuScope GNSS array will send data to a computation facility. This facility adopts GMV software, also located in Geoscience Australia. Corrections will then be sent to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems company station at Uralla, NSW, for upload to the Inmarsat 4F1 satellite, The 4F1 satellite which is orbiting at 143.5 degrees longitude will then broadcast the corrections over the Australian region.
The trial has promised an accuracy of several decimeters and five centimetres respectively.
The Australian Government have written up a handy guide on the SBAS project that includes all this information and some frequently asked questions.