Venture Southland is leading a SBAS technology research in partnership with Southwood Ltd, and with support from Otago Univeristy and True South Ltd.

The project will evaluate SBAS technology performance under different forest canopies and conditions in three forests in Southland, and determine its economic utility to production foresters.

Collecting data for the SBAS Technology project

SBAS technology has the ability to provide high accuracy, real-time measurements in the field with decametre precision. This then has the potential to introduce significant efficiencies in production forestry, planting and harvesting contract management, and road design.

Venture Southland began work on the project, which falls under the wider satellite-based Earth observation work carried out within the Venture Southland NZ Functional Space’s research and development programme, in February 2018. 

SBAS is a well-known technology that can augment standalone Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou in a number of areas including accuracy, integrity and availability.

It works by collecting raw positioning data from Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) in the region, computing error corrections (processing and correction) and disseminating these corrections to users by sending them to a geostationary communications satellite via an uplink ground station.

SBAS is currently used in the United States (WAAS), Europe (EGNOS), Japan (MSAS), India (GAGAN) and Russia (SDCM) to aid positioning and navigation across many sectors.

Projects are currently running in Australia and NZ trialling the SBAS technology to address applications in one or more of the following key sectors: aviation, road, rail, maritime, agriculture, resources, spatial, construction, utilities, and consumer.

SBAS Test-bed

The SBAS Test-bed is a satellite based positioning infrastructure that is currently available until January 2019. In simple terms, SBAS provides a cost effective way to improve GPS signals from around 5 metres in accuracy to less than 1 metre. This trial is supported by a $12 million investment from the Australian Government with a further $2 million from the New Zealand Government. CRCSI (an international research and development centre) is coordinating user testing of SBAS in Australia and New Zealand in conjunction with an economic benefit analysis of SBAS technology to Australia and New Zealand.