SouthPAN (Southern Positioning Augmentation Network) will improve the accuracy and reliability of satellite-based positioning systems in Australasia.

SouthPAN is a partnership between LINZ and Geoscience Australia under the Australia New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement (ANZSRICA).    

SouthPAN will augment satellite positioning services to improve the accuracy and reliability of existing global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). It will improve accuracy for devices capable of receiving a satellite-based positioning signal, unlocking significant benefits for Australasia.

The Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) is a joint initiative of the New Zealand and Australian Governments to provide improved positioning and navigation services in Australia, New Zealand, and their maritime region.

This is the first Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in the Southern Hemisphere.

SouthPAN is the result of a partnership between Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand and Geoscience Australia. 

The SouthPAN network is composed of global navigation reference stations, computing centres, signal generators, and satellites. 

This network provides augmented and corrected satellite navigation data, allowing for location accuracy as little as 10 centimetres to be available to all New Zealand, including remote areas and maritime zones. 

This technology has wide-ranging potential uses, from rail, road and maritime transport, crop management, 
industry safety and emergency resilience.

The benefits of more accurate and reliable positioning from SouthPAN have an expected value of $864 million over 19 years for New Zealand.

Environmental monitoring
SouthPAN's greater accuracy and reliability will support our conservation efforts and environmental goals. 
Using real-time, accurate data, the Department of Conservation will be able to track and monitor the locations of rare species and the environment around them.   

Safety on construction sites
SouthPAN’s accuracy and reliable data will help protect people, equipment and vehicles on hazardous sites. 
The benefits of SouthPAN for construction site safety are estimated to be worth $82 million to the industry.

Aviation safety 
The Safety of Life Certification, which will be achieved by 2028, will allow planes, helicopters, and uncrewed aerial vehicles to use SouthPAN for navigation and landing.

This technology enables aircraft to fly safely in adverse weather conditions they cannot operate in now. This includes emergency flights and rescue services. 

These benefits are extensive to the maritime, rail and road transport sectors.

Farming - virtual fencing of livestock
SouthPAN technology can help improve farm productivity, manage animal wellbeing and protect our waterways. 

Combined with other technologies, SouthPAN will be a platform for innovation and represents a significant milestone in international cooperation between Australia and New Zealand.

A platform for innovation 

Originally developed to support aviation safety, this technology has wide-ranging potential uses, from crop management to tracking maritime shipments and enabling navigation for drones and other unmanned vehicles.  

Read the joint Australia and New Zealand SouthPAN ministerial media release 

The quantified benefits of SouthPAN are estimated at $864m over 20 years. This value will increase as new applications are developed. 

Read the EY economic benefits report from the SBAS test-bed trial

image of a satellite above the earth

The Inmarsat 4F1 satellite will be used to provide SouthPANservices until its replacement with two new satellites (Credit: Inmarsat)

How SouthPAN works 

The technology behind SouthPAN boosts the accuracy of existing satellite positioning systems. It uses a network of ground stations to calculate and correct errors.

SouthPAN includes:

  • a network of Global Navigation Satellite System reference stations; 
  • two SBAS-capable payloads on industry-owned satellites; and 
  • two ground-based satellite uplink stations. 

SouthPAN compares satellite data against precisely measured positions to identify and correct discrepancies. These corrections are sent to geostationary satellites and then broadcast throughout Australasia. This significantly improves the accuracy and reliability of positioning information, meaning we can pinpoint a location to as little as ten centimetres. 

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SouthPAN is a Satellite-Based Augmentation System made up of reference stations, telecommunications infrastructure, computing centres, signal generators, and satellites to improve positioning and navigation services in Australia and New Zealand.



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

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

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.

Test-bed trial 

New Zealand and Australia have jointly explored the feasibility of SouthPAN. Between 2017 and 2019, a trial established that SouthPAN improved GPS accuracy, improved signal integrity, and reduced commercial costs. 

Read more about the test-bed trial

Better, reliable positioning data 

Once fully operational, SouthPAN will support aviation safety (known as Safety of Life certification). Domestic air travel will be safer and fewer flights will be disrupted by low visibility or bad weather conditions. Emergency flights and rescue helicopters will be able to operate in extreme weather conditions. 

Combined with other technologies, SouthPAN will support innovation: from automation on the factory floor or the farm to reduced emissions through improved and efficient navigation and enabling navigation for unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Read examples of uses for SouthPAN

Accessing SouthPAN

SouthPAN Early Open Services are available now and use existing satellite and ground infrastructure.  These services are available for applications that do not require Safety of Life Certification or a similar degree of high reliability.   

After that, we will add capability as new ground stations and satellites come online. 

These include:  

  • L1 SBAS delivered on the L1 frequency 

  • DFMC SBAS delivered on the L5 frequency 

  • PPP delivered on the L5 frequency  

These signals are similar to those used for the SBAS test-bed trial from 2018 to 2020. Service performance will improve progressively as infrastructure upgrades are deployed, offering greater resilience, reliability and redundancy.   

SouthPAN will be fully operational in 2028.  

SouthPAN service definition

View the SouthPAN services disclaimer

A map of SouthPANs initial service coverage area

A map of SouthPANs initial service coverage area

Most global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers on the market will receive some SouthPAN transmissions, with a smaller range of receivers able to track all transmissions.

For details on accessing Early Open Services, see the factsheet below.

If you are interested in how SouthPAN can benefit your business or organisation, please contact us at

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