Government invests $2million in 'game-changing' GPS system

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 24 June 2019, 9:57AM
The new system would make it easier for rescue helicopters to fly in dangerous conditions. (Photo / File)

New technology which can pinpoint GPS locations to less than a metre is being described as a 'game-changer' for rescue services.

The Government's investing $2 million into work with Australia to look into how we can deliver a satellite-based augmentation system [SBAS].

When it's eventually available, it will allow emergency helicopter crews to make more accurate approaches, and reach patients in challenging locations.

Rescue chopper pilot Rob Arrowsmith has been involved in a trial of the technology and believes it will save hundreds of lives a year.

"It's a game-changer for us. It's probably the biggest thing to happen to our navigation since GPS itself, in this level of accuracy."

Game changing technology will help rescue services save more lives.

The Government's investing two million dollars to establish a satellite-based augmentation system in partnership with Australia.

It will significantly improve the accuracy of existing GPS, helping rescue helicopter pilots, marine navigation, drones, and even driverless cars.

With this technology, emergency helicopter crews will be able to reach patients in challenging locations, with more accurate approaches.

He told Mike Hosking it can pinpoint locations to less than a metre.

"Where the accuracy has gone from the order of 15 metres on a bad day down to 10 centimetres on a good day with SBAS."

Arrowsmith says helicopters will now be able to fly lower, in difficult conditions.

"With a very exact position, you can bring the aircraft lower and closer to terrain even though it can't see in the cloud."

Investigations and procurement will be carried out this year and next, with hopes to have the system in place in 2023.





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