The successful completion of a trial of new GPS technology is a major step towards accurate positioning and automation across the New Zealand economy, according to the NZ Shipping Federation.
While focused on the maritime sector, the real winners from the Satellite Based Augmented Positioning (SBAS) trial will be aviation, land transport and agriculture, said Annabel Young, executive director of the NZ Shipping Federation.
"New Zealand vessels carried the SBAS equipment into the Southern Ocean to identify the limits of the satellite reach, into Fiordland to test the effect of steep hills and around New Zealand to evaluate the resilience of the kit,” Young said.
Twenty trials across Australasia were jointly funded by the Australian and New Zealand Governments after New Zealand contributed A$2 million to the project last year.
Land Information NZ was the lead agency locally, reflecting the importance of highly accurate positioning information here, especially after events such as earthquakes.
“Aviation will be a major beneficiary of SBAS," Young added. "For example, with SBAS, aircraft will be able to land at regional airports more often in adverse weather, reducing the number of diversions and cancellations."
In the 2018 Australian Federal Budget, funding for the roll-out of an operational SBAS over Australia was announced. The New Zealand Government is developing a business case for a service here.
"The biggest cost of a SBAS is the need for two satellites to ensure service reliability," Young said." From the user perspective, the service is expected to be able to be received on existing GPS equipment."