Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Development


The National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan contains an objective for the NSS programme to ‘complete further analysis of the need for Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS)'.  

In 2015, NSS (Ministry of Transport/LINZ/CAA) completed a Cost Benefit Analysis of the aviation aspects of SBAS.

The initiative below takes the analysis to another level.

Australasian SBAS Test-Bed

The Australasian Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) test-bed, announced by the Minister of Transport today, is a collaboration between the New Zealand and Australian governments to evaluate SBAS technology over the region in 2017 and 2018.

As part of developing the New Zealand Government's National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI) capability, LINZ (a New Southern Sky collaborator) on behalf of the New Zealand government, is co-operating with Geoscience Australia to deliver an Australasian SBAS test project. The New Zealand part of the project is funded through LINZ, New Zealand Transport Agency, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Ministry of Transport.

The two-year project will test two new satellite positioning technologies including next generation SBAS and Precise Point Positioning, which will provide positioning accuracies of several decimetres and five centimetres respectively.

In March 2017, CRC-SI on behalf of LINZ and Geoscience Australia will call for organisations from across the aviation, road, rail, maritime, spatial, construction, mining, utilities and agriculture sectors to participate in the test-bed.

What is the purpose of the test?

The SBAS testing is designed to achieve three main objectives:

  1. Test the performance of the technology directly in a number of industries.
  2. Test the current industry-specific requirements and how they interact with the technology.
  3. Test future industry-specific innovations that might be borne out by the technology.

Ultimately, the test-bed will help determine if New Zealand should pursue the development of an operational SBAS.

Will the SBAS be certified for aviation?

The SBAS test-bed will not be certified for safety-of-life use.  Importantly, the test signals will not put existing services at risk, especially safety-of-life services such as aircraft navigation. Built into the SBAS test-bed message set is a specific provision for broadcasting signals that are not authorised for safety-of-life applications.  

What are the benefits offered by SBAS?

Accurate and reliable satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing technology will be essential for the implementation of many intelligent transport systems.

The addition of SBAS can help enable aircraft to land in poor weather at regional airports and heliports without the need for expensive ground-based landing aids.

However, the SBAS test-bed signal will not be available for instrument flying because the signal cannot be used for safety-of-life applications.

More information about the impact of the test-bed on aviation in New Zealand is available from the Civil Aviation Authority.

More information about the SBAS test-bed