21 May 2013

GA calibrates more positioning antennae

It looks like a large drill, but this piece of equipment in South Canberra is no construction tool.

In years to come it may make your smartphone even smarter and help your car drive itself, with scientists believing basic global positioning technology can be accurate to the centimetre by the end of the decade.

The robotic arm will work to calibrate antennae used to track satellites in the Global Navigation Satellite System - including the American GPS, European Galileo, Chinese Compass and Russian GLONASS systems - so they can give more accurate co-ordinate readings when placed in sites around the country.

Launched on Monday by the Minister for Science and Research Senator Don Farrell, the $1 million facility is part of the Australian Geophysical Observing System, which is run by AuScope, a collaboration between the CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, state government agencies and 11 universities.

Australia is an early adopter of the technology, with this robotic antenna calibration device at Geoscience Australia headquarters in Symonston being only one of three in the world. The others are in the US and Germany.

Read more fromĀ The Age.

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