Lockheed Martin Australia has won a 19-year, $1.18 billion contract to run the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN), which will improve satellite positioning for Australia and New Zealand.
The service will improve accuracy from the current five-to-10 metres “to as little as 10cm,” the government said.
Past governments have trialled technology over the years in the hope of improving accuracy to within as little as five centimetres.
The accuracy could benefit a range of use cases, from emergency services to agriculture and also mining, which increasingly uses automation and advanced collision avoidance systems at its sites to improve safety.
Geoscience Australia signed the contract with Lockheed Martin Australia last week.
The system “will deliver the first services in the coming weeks,” the government said.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin Australia will “establish a network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference stations, a corrections processing facility and satellite uplink facilities that will enable accurate and reliable positioning signals to be transmitted from satellites to users.”
SouthPAN services will be fully operational across the two countries “from 2028”.
SouthPAN is a partnership between Geoscience Australia and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).