How SouthPAN works

The technology behind SouthPAN uses a network of ground stations to calculate and correct errors in GNSS signals to improve the accuracy of satellite positioning and navigation systems.

More accurate and reliable positioning information 

SouthPAN includes: 

  • a network of ground reference stations 
  • 2 industry-owned satellites with SBAS payloads 
  • 2 computation centres with dual satellite uplinks. 

It 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, with users benefitting from sub-metre accuracy to as little as 10 centimetres in some cases. 

Image description

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.



Global Navigation Satellite Systems  

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are constellations of satellites transmitting radio signals. 

Land, sea and airborne users rely on these signals for position, navigation and timing in all weather conditions, anywhere and anytime. 

There are 4 GNSS with global coverage: 

There are 2 satellite systems with regional coverage: 

Using one or more of these GNSS constellations is often referred to as ‘standalone GNSS’. Australia is one of a few countries in the world with high visibility to all 6 constellations. 

Satellite Based Augmentation Systems 

Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) are an established technology that augment the performance of standalone GNSS such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDOU. 

These systems have better accuracy, integrity and availability with augmentation. 

SBAS works by collecting data from GNSS reference stations across the service region and using this data to compute corrections. These are then transmitted from an uplink station to a satellite in geostationary Earth orbit and broadcast to users. 

In aviation, SBAS signals also provide position integrity information to Safety of Life users, meaning it can be used to guide aircraft runway approaches. We expect to achieve Safety of Life certification for SouthPAN in 2028. 

For further information about SBAS, please see: 

Find out more about SouthPAN and SBAS technology: 

Last updated