More precise positioning with first new satellite dish completed


Consumers and business will be able to more precisely position their activities with the installation of the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network’s (SouthPAN’s) first satellite dish by Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) and ground station terminal manufacturer Av-Comm.

The dish in Uralla, regional New South Wales, marks a milestone for the collaborative SouthPAN initiative between Geoscience Australia and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand designed to deliver Satellite-Based Augmentation System services to Australia, New Zealand and maritime regions.

In September 2022, LMA was awarded a $1.18 billion contract to enhance precise positioning within the SouthPAN service areas, with New South Wales company Av-Comm chosen to establish a network of ground station uplink facilities for SouthPAN.

According to a statement: “The completion of the first 11-metre satellite dish, with a control centre and dual radio frequency uplinks, now promises to refine positioning accuracy to as little as ten centimetres.

“In doing so, revolutionising positioning across Australia with benefits across agriculture, aviation, construction, consumer, resource, road, rail, maritime, mining, utilities, and more.”

Chief Executive of LMA Warren McDonald said better positioning would revolutionise how industries operate and how emergency services respond across the region”.

Family-owned Av-Comm designs, manufactures, and installs optical and RF ground station terminals in support of Space and Defence customers around the world.

Av-Comm Managing Director Michael Cratt said: “Partnering with Lockheed Martin Australia to establish SouthPAN’s first dedicated infrastructure has been a privilege.

“As a family-run Australian company, we’re not only contributing to the nation’s space sector but hopefully sparking innovation across industries dependent on precise positioning.

“It’s a step forward for Australian technology on the global stage”.

Picture: Av-Comm

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