Commonwealth spends $12 million on positioning technology

The Australian government has earmarked $12 million to test positioning technology that will deliver more precise and detailed tracking data for core sectors.

The Australian Government will invest $12 million in a two-year program to test the potential of positioning technology for transport, agriculture, construction, and resources.

Research indicates this technology could generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030 where used to its maximum potential.

Among the functionality, positioning technology supports Google Maps on smartphones, as well as emergency management and farming.

Darren Chester, federal minister for infrastructure and transport, said the program could test the potential of satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) technology across four transport sectors. These incorporate aviation, maritime, rail and road.

“The future use of SBAS technology was strongly supported by the aviation industry to assist in high accuracy GPS-dependent aircraft navigation,” Chester said.

He noted that positioning data could also be used for other transport applications. These include maritime navigation, automated train management systems and in the future, driverless and connected cars.

This project will see Australia join the ranks of the USA, Europe, Russia, India and Japan that are using the more advanced technology. These countries have invested in infrastructure that delivers satellite-based corrections via an SBAS.

The two-year project will test SBAS technology that has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in Australia to less than five centimetres. The current positioning is usually accurate to five to 10 metres.

The federal funding will be used to test instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology. Industries that stand to benefit further include the transport, agriculture, construction, and resources sectors.

Positioning data is critical to a range of applications. Apart from enabling GPS on smartphones, this tracking provides safety-of-life navigation on aircraft, and increased water efficiency on farms.

The technology is also used to locate vessels in distress at sea. Support is provided for intelligent navigation tools, as well as advanced transport management systems that connect cities and regions.

Geoscience Australia is working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information on the test-bed project. The project is funded through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

For more information about the SBAS test-bed and National Positioning Infrastructure Capability visit the Geoscience Australia website.



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