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Lockheed Martin Australia awarded Southern Positioning Augmentation Network contract

Lockheed Martin Australia has been awarded a $1.18 billion, 19-year contract by GeoScience Australia to bring the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) to life.

The SouthPAN initiative will deliver a signal augmenting GPS and Galileo over the Australasia region, improving accuracy from 5-10 metres, to within as little as 10 centimetres. The greater positioning accuracy and integrity of the SouthPAN signal has applications across a range of users, including civil aviation, vehicle guidance, precision agriculture for efficiencies in crop management, tracking maritime shipments, and enabling navigation for drones and other unmanned vehicles.

The contract signed will have the SouthPAN system delivering instant, accurate and reliable positioning to industry and community users in the coming weeks. Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald AO, CSC, welcomed the SouthPAN contract award.

“SouthPAN reflects the Australian and New Zealand governments’ shared commitment to improved space services and the industry. As we look to the future and the arrival of new and emerging space technologies, our company is committed to growing a long-term and sustainable space presence in Australia.”

“Space is among our fastest growing areas, and our local technical team will play an important role in delivering the benefits of SouthPAN capability to service many sectors including aviation, agriculture, transport, mining and other industries,” said David Ball, Regional Director of Space for Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.

“Lockheed Martin is a global leader in satellite navigation technology, providing recent upgrades to the US Government’s GPS constellation.  We look forward to working with the Australian and New Zealand Governments to deploy this world-class technology.”

Lockheed Martin Australia will work with the SouthPAN project team to establish a network of Global Navigation Satellite System reference stations and satellite uplink facilities that will enable communications and transmissions with the SouthPAN space infrastructure.

SouthPAN is a partnership between Geoscience Australia and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) under the Australia New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement.

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