Page 19 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
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Minister for Jobs and Education Sen- ator Michaelia Cash brought a differ- ent dimension to the ASPI space con- ference with her emphasis on the civil space market and the gains Australia has made there.
“The Australian Space Agen- cy funding is just one part of the Turnbull Government’s $300 mil- lion space investment package in this year’s Budget,” Senator Cash said. “Complementing the Agency is the Government’s investment of over $260 million to provide Aus- tralians with world-class satellite technology.
Currently, through GPS Austra- lians can only rely on accuracies of five to ten metres.
“Our new funding will hone this to 10 centimetres across Australia, and
to just three centimetres in areas with mobile phone coverage.”
This involves the development of a Satellite-Based Augmentation Sys- tem (SBAS) tested across 10 industry sectors, and the upgrade of the Na- tional Positioning Infrastructure Ca- pability (NPIC), which is Australia’s GPS ground tracking network and an- alytics capability.
“What does this mean on the ground? It means that farmers will be able to cut costs and reduce waste by remotely tracking livestock – and precisely target crops with fertiliser, water and pesticides,” Senator Cash explained. “It means that the Royal Flying Doctor Service will able to land more safely, and in more remote lo- cations. It means the world’s largest ships will have a quicker, easier and
safer way to dock in busy ports like Sydney Harbour.
“We’ve also made a further in- vestment in Digital Earth Australia, a platform that uses satellite-record- ed spatial data and images to detect physical changes across the Austra- lian continent.”
These observations will be avail- able to governments and industry. This digital platform helps users to understand environmental changes, such as water availability, crop growth and urban expansion, enabling better decision making and planning, while increasing productivity in the agricul- tural and mining industries.
“It’s supporting a rapidly growing market – here and globally – for spa- tial information and services,” Sena- tor Cash concluded.
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