Applications for SouthPAN

Wherever industry relies on accurate positioning information, SouthPAN will make a difference. It will support innovation in sectors as diverse as primary production, transport, construction, forestry and aviation.

Safer aviation and rescue services  

SouthPAN will achieve Safety of Life certification in 2028. 

This certification will allow planes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to use SouthPAN for navigation and landing. The certification process ensures SouthPAN provides integrity of signal, so users receive timely warnings about potential data issues. 

This will mean aircraft can fly safely in adverse weather conditions they cannot operate in now. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of travel disruptions (such as due to low cloud), but it will also enable rescue services to be faster and safer. 

Rescue helicopters  

SouthPAN data is beneficial for helicopters. The integrity of signals and the precision of vertical and horizontal positioning will allow them to operate in poor weather and remote locations. 

This will mean emergency helicopter crews can make more accurate approaches, reach patients in challenging locations and weather conditions, and get people the medical treatment they need quickly. 

Virtual fencing of dairy cows 

Currently, virtual fencing is only accurate to around 3 metres. Using SouthPAN, this can be improved to within half a metre. 

The benefits of SouthPAN for virtual fencing are estimated to be worth $376m to the industry.

Improved accuracy and reliability from SouthPAN will allow farmers to manage grazing behaviour and better manage animal wellbeing. This will both improve farm productivity and increase farm revenue. 

Virtual fencing using SouthPAN will complement regular fencing, which is expensive, and can’t be easily moved. Standard fences are easily damaged, particularly by flooding. In contrast, a virtual fence is flexible and can be easily updated. 

This can help keep stock away from waterways, improving freshwater quality, which is particularly important during a flood. The improved accuracy will make it possible to reduce the buffer zones needed to protect rivers and streams – so more land is productive. 

Safety on construction sites 

Construction sites are busy, changeable environments with a wide range of hazards – fixed and moving. With SouthPAN’s accuracy and reliable data, the construction sector will be able to create similar digital buffers to protect people, equipment and vehicles. 

The benefits of SouthPAN for construction site safety are estimated to be worth $82m to the industry. 

For example, vehicles will also be able to operate closer to each other without collisions. Virtual fencing can be used so that if a vehicle nears an area, a signal will prevent it from coming too close to the real-world hazard. 

The precise vertical and horizontal positioning has similar potential to reduce workplace incidents in the forestry sector. 

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 better equipped to protect and preserve New Zealand’s natural environment and unique wildlife for present and future generations. 
For example, SouthPAN-capable tools will allow for improved accuracy in mapping public conservation areas, marine reserves and marine mammal sanctuaries. This will enable DOC to make more informed decisions to safeguard New Zealand’s biodiversity and ecosystem.

Similarly, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research can use this technology to support national soil carbon monitoring. Landcare Research monitors 500 sites every 4 years, and it is vital to use the exact location to ensure they resample the same soils. Physical markers are unreliable as they can be moved, hidden or damaged. With SouthPAN, it will be possible to mark these sites virtually. 

More information 

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

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