Next generation datum (1.02)

The objective of a new National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI) is to provide real-time, centimetre-level positioning services regardless of location. In support of this objective, this project is developing the geodetic techniques, tools and standards required to implement the next generation geodetic datum which will underpin the NPI.

This project will help government participants to develop and implement a smooth and robust transition to a next generation datum in Australia and New Zealand. Its outputs will have significant scientific and practical impact and importantly will provide a sound scientific foundation on which to build a future datum.

The project focuses on terrestrial reference frames (ie geometric datum), 4-D (dynamic) coordinate estimation and modelling strategies, and the regulatory and administrative impediments to implementation of dynamic datum.


A 500,000 station network, consisting of 3.1 million GNSS observations, was successfully adjusted using the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) supercomputer raijin. The adjustment took almost five days and used 75GB of RAM.

Zuheir Altamimi, a world-renowned reference frames scientist, spent two days at UNSW with the project research team, and a further three days at Geoscience Australia. Zuheir provided a valuable insight into plans for the next global reference frames, highlighting the advances made and challenges remaining.

Implementation of two forward patches into the NZGD2000 deformation model, accounting for the 2013 Cook Strait and Lake Grassmere earthquakes. The updated model has been published.

An algorithm has been developed and tested to calculate the relative uncertainty of a deformation model and for identifying disturbed marks after a deformation event, usually an earthquake.

International research into dynamic datums is in its infancy: this research is an opportunity to influence the international geodetic community

Project Participants

University of NSW  -  GA   -   LINZ   -   DSE Vic   -   LPI NSW   -   QDERM