Japan and Australia strengthened their strategic partnership in December 2015 and Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Malcolm Turnbull have welcomed initiatives to collaborate in spatial sciences and positioning technology.
Through measures such as boosted research links between the countries’ nominated universities and permission for Australia to utilise Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), the agreement could have a significant impact on Australia’s ability to provide RTK positioning technology to Australia’s agriculture, construction, surveying and mining industries.
“Position Partners is actively involved in the Japanese-Australian collaboration and Australian Spatial Policy in a number of ways,” explained GNSS Infrastructure Manager, James Millner. “As a member organisation of CRCSI’s 43pl, a consortium of small to medium enterprises, we assist with a number of CRCSI’s research developments.
“Martin Nix, our CEO, has also participated in working groups to develop Australia’s space policy and National Positioning Infrastructure Plan. He is also the co-chair of the Attorney General’s Space Community of Interest, which supports risk management of critical infrastructure,” Mr Milner added.
Australia’s ability to utilise QZSS is significant because in addition to GNSS, it transmits an augmentation signal called LEX (L-band Experimental Signal). This signal is potentially suitable for Australia’s National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI) communication standards and can be used to develop high accuracy real-time positioning (RTK-PPP) on a national level.
Position Partners AllDayRTK network includes government-run and privately-owned GNSS infrastructure to deliver consistent, reliable positioning throughout Australia.
“Although our network is not the largest in Australia, we pride ourselves on being the most reliable, with more than 99% network availability,” Mr Millner said. “In order to ensure our network is performing to the upper limits of the technology available, we collaborate with research and development initiatives wherever possible.”
AllDayRTK currently has over 320 sites online, with 98% coverage of Australia’s East Coast and significant plans for expansion in 2016 in central Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia with dedicated NPI test platform with over additional 100 sites for analysing new multi-GNSS signals.
“We currently cover around 95% of Australia’s aggregated population and, as a privately operated network, we have the flexibility to add infrastructure wherever our customers need it,” Mr Millner said.