SBAS Test-bed Demonstrator Trial Economic Benefits Report

12 August 2019

A new report confirms improving satellite-based positioning technology will deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits to many industries across New Zealand and Australia.

The Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Test-bed trial was a partnership between Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Geoscience Australia (GA) which lead the research. 

The 18-month trial involved 27 demonstration projects across ten sectors in both countries.  

The report on the trial, which was released today by both agencies, identifies economic benefits to the value of AU$7.4 billion (NZ$7.7b) to the Australasian region over 30 years, with AU$1.4 billion (NZ$$1.5b) accruing to New Zealand.

SBAS test-bed projects in the agriculture sector demonstrated the largest potential economic benefit to New Zealand of any sector, with a forecast AU$800m (NZ$837m) over 30 years. Other sectors forecast to benefit based on applications tested in the trial include road AU$185M (NZ$194m), aviation AU$122m (NZ$128m), and construction AU$166m (NZ$174m).

The economic benefits identified are regarded as conservative as they only look at ‘microeconomic’ benefits – that is those arising from the trials of specific SBAS applications within an industry sector.   

Similarly, the way economic benefits were measured does not take account of the flow-on benefits. For example, reduced carbon emissions that arise from money-saving fuel efficiencies.  

The trial tested three SBAS signals and found they all provide benefits to both countries. This confirms that a joint SBAS will function well across both New Zealand Australian geographic areas.

The trial also showed general benefits including improved GPS accuracy (from 5-10 metres to one metre or less), improved signal integrity, and reduced commercial costs and infrastructure investment.

The New Zealand Government provided AU$2 million funding for the trial on top of AU$12 million from the Australian Government.  Budget 2019 set aside almost $2 million for LINZ to continue work with Geoscience Australia and investigate ways to fully deliver SBAS to the region. 

The full SBAS Test-bed Demonstrator Trial Economic Benefits Report and further information is available on the FrontierSI website.

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