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A new satellite service for the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) has been confirmed, with services to be broadcast from a new Inmarsat I-8 satellite from 2027.

Satellite in space

Inmarsat I-8 satellite which will broadcast SouthPAN services from 2027

SouthPAN is a partnership between Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Geoscience Australia, which will enhance satellite positioning services and improve the accuracy and reliability of existing global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), like GPS.

Inmarsat Australia has been contracted by Geoscience Australia as part of the SouthPAN partnership to broadcast SouthPAN services from one of three new Inmarsat I-8 satellites.

The new SouthPAN satellite service (SouthPAN GEO Payload 01, known as SGP-01) on the Inmarsat I-8 satellite will replace the Inmarsat I 4F1 satellite, which was acquired as part of the SouthPAN test-bed trial.

Australasian Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) test-bed trial

SouthPAN signals are expected to broadcast services over the new Inmarsat I-8 satellite navigation system for 15 years, commencing from 2027.

Read more about SouthPAN

A second new SouthPAN satellite service is also being procured to provide redundancy and resilience in SouthPAN that will ensure continuous broadcast of SouthPAN services, enabling the development and use of critical applications relying on SouthPAN.

The ground segment of SouthPAN including the network of ground reference stations and satellite uplink facilities is being built by Lockheed Martin Australia as part of a separate contract with Geoscience Australia and LINZ.

SouthPAN will be fully operational by 2028, and combined with other technologies the network will support innovation benefiting many sectors and industries including transport, agriculture, construction, forestry, and horticulture.

More information about the new satellite agreement can be found at Geoscience Australia’s website here: 

Australia and New Zealand sign major contract with Inmarsat for new SouthPAN satellite service

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