Next-gen satellite positioning research agreement for Thales and RMIT

Stephen Kuper

A joint research agreement to define a Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service channel and standardisation of message format for use in the spatial information and positioning business sector was signed in Melbourne today by Thales and RMIT University.

Next-gen satellite positioning research agreement for Thales and RMIT
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The research collaboration will bring together world leading technology and research from both Australia and Europe to develop space-based solutions for Australia and global markets.

Michael Clark, director of technical strategy at Thales Australia, explained, "The work brings together, in Australia, the existing technology base of the Navigation Business Line of Thales Alenia Space with the expertise and experience of RMIT researchers led by associate professor Suelynn Choy, in the definition and evaluation of high accuracy positioning services."

The research work will focus on the definition of a new generation of high accuracy PPP services that will be an important part of a future roadmap for the evolution of positioning services in Australia.

It will also provide a technology platform from which to develop regionally scalable solutions for export into a global market via the Thales global supply chain.

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"It reflects the commitment of Thales to contribute to the development of Australia’s space sector and bring our global expertise to opportunities such as the Australian strategic commitment to a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS)," Clark added. 

Dr Choy said the joint research project with Thales was an important element of RMIT’s growing involvement in the space sector, ensuring interoperability of high accuracy satellite-based positioning services. 

"A strong focus of RMIT is to work closely with industry and other partners to create value and impact. We are delighted to build on our existing relationship with Thales to build capacity and make a positive contribution to Australia’s growing space industry," she said. 

This was reinforced by Benoit Broudy, vice president of navigation domain at Thales Alenia Space, who said, "Thales Alenia Space is pleased to combine its complementary skills with RMIT to develop, deliver and sustain leading edge precise positioning solutions."

Matt Dawson, director of space business at Thales Australia, added, "We are very excited about this strategic initiative that underscores our commitment to grow the Australian Space sector in line with our joint statement of strategic intent with the Australian Space Agency."

RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise and where teaching, research and engagement are central to achieving positive impact and creating life-changing student experiences. 

Founded in 1887, RMIT is a multi-sector university with more than 91,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. The university enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and vocational education, applied and innovative research, and engagement with industry and the community.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.

Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our solar system and beyond.

Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth.

A joint venture between Thales (67 per cent) and Leonardo (33 per cent), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services.

Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about €2.5 billion in 2018 and has around 8,000 employees in nine countries.

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