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Geoscience Australia, Lockheed Martin Begin Collaborative Research Project

By | February 14, 2017
      Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS).

      Second-Generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). Photo: Lockheed Martin.

      Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Lockheed Martin have entered into a collaborative research project to show how augmenting signals from multiple Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations can enhance positioning, navigation, and timing for a range of applications.

      This research project aims to demonstrate how a second-generation Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) testbed can use signals from both the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Europe’s Galileo constellation, and dual frequencies, to achieve even greater GNSS integrity and accuracy. Over two years, the testbed will validate applications in nine industry sectors: agriculture, aviation, construction, maritime, mining, rail, road, spatial, and utilities.

      Ultimately, the second-generation SBAS testbed will broaden understanding of how this technology can benefit safety, productivity, efficiency and innovation in Australia’s industrial and research sectors, according to Lockheed Martin.

      Basic GNSS signals are accurate enough for many civil positioning, navigation and timing users. However, these signals require augmentation to meet higher safety-of-life navigation requirements. The second-generation SBAS will mitigate that issue.

      Once the SBAS testbed is operational, basic GNSS signals will be monitored by widely distributed reference stations operated by Geoscience Australia. An SBAS testbed master station, installed by teammate GMV, of Spain, will collect that reference station data, compute corrections and integrity bounds for each GNSS satellite signal, and generate augmentation messages.

      “A Lockheed Martin uplink antenna at Uralla, New South Wales, will send these augmentation messages to an SBAS payload hosted aboard a geostationary Earth orbit satellite, owned by Inmarsat,” explained Rod Drury, director of international strategy and business development for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “This satellite rebroadcasts the augmentation messages containing corrections and integrity data to the end users. The whole process takes less than six seconds.”

      By augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations — both Galileo and GPS — second-generation SBAS is not dependent on just one GNSS. It will also use signals on two frequencies — the L1 and L5 GPS signals, and their companion E1 and E5a Galileo signals — to provide integrity data and enhanced accuracy for industries that need it the most.

      Lockheed Martin will provide systems integration expertise in addition to the Uralla radio frequency uplink. GMV-Spain will provide their magicGNSS processors. Inmarsat will provide the navigation payload hosted on the 4F1 geostationary satellite. The Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information will coordinate the demonstrator projects that test the SBAS infrastructure.