Meet One Engineer Sharpening the Focus of Our Satellite Positioning Systems


Satellite positioning data keeps autonomous cars on the road, guides emergency services and tells Uber drivers where their fare is waiting. That’s why space engineer Julia Mitchell is working on a system that can pinpoint your location with extreme accuracy.

In the 2018 budget, the Federal Government allocated a sizeable chunk of funding to improving the precision of Australia’s GPS data. This included $160.9 million for an operational satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) to reduce the range of uncertainty from 5-10 m to under a metre.

According to Mitchell, the SBAS Test-Bed Program Manager at FrontierSI, this announcement was a big deal for the entire R&D team.

“[The team] was involved in pushing for SBAS as early as 2011, so that was a win,” she told create.

Mitchell, who is also a corresponding member of Engineers Australia’s National Committee for Space Engineering, explained that SBAS will give Australians access to sub-metre positioning.

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