Space Commerce

GMV, A Key Provider For Advanced Positioning Services In Australia And New Zealand

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 1, 2022
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GMV, A Key Provider For Advanced Positioning Services In Australia And New Zealand

Multinational technology firm GMV has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin Corporation to develop the processing and control centers for the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network system, known as SouthPAN.

This project is a joint initiative of the Australian and New Zealand governments with the purpose of providing a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) for navigation and precise point positioning (PPP) services. GMV will also be responsible for monitoring both of these services in the region and for ensuring compliance with the committed performance levels.

SBAS and PPP systems have applications in industries as diverse as agriculture and road, air, maritime, and rail transportation, as well as in the field of geomatics, and SouthPAN will therefore accelerate the development of applications in all of these areas.

SouthPAN is also the first system with these characteristics available in the Southern Hemisphere. With this new program, Australia and New Zealand will be contributing to improved global coverage and interoperability for services of this type, by joining the list of countries and regions that already have their own SBAS system, such as the USA (WAAS), Europe (EGNOS), India (GAGAN), and Japan (MSAS).

In Australia, the development, entry into service, and operation of the SouthPAN system are being supervised by the Australian government’s geoscience agency, Geoscience Australia, in collaboration with New Zealand’s equivalent agency, known as Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. In 2020, the two agencies signed the Australia New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement (ANZSRICA). Over the next 20 years, the Australian government will be contributing 1.4 billion Australian dollars to the SouthPAN project.

On September 26th, just two weeks after the agreement was signed, the first services were provided by activating transmission of the system’s first signals. This was a very significant milestone, because SouthPAN is the first project where an industry consortium provides an SBAS system as a service, rather than as a turnkey system.

GMV will be responsible for developing two key subsystems for SouthPAN: the Corrections Processing Facility (CPF) and the Ground Control Centre (GCC). The company will also be responsible for monitoring the system in the region and for ensuring that it complies with the committed performance levels. In addition, GMV will be providing support for the system’s operation and maintenance. The CPF is in charge of generating correction messages for the signals being transmitted by the GPS and Galileo satellites. This is a process that improves precision for the system’s users by producing accuracy to as little as 10 centimeters. The CPF is also responsible for detecting malfunctions in the satellites and generating warnings for the users. This will allow use of SouthPAN by civilian aircraft as a navigation system during various flight operations, including precision approaches to runways for landing. Safety-of-life services such as these will be available in 2028. The control center, in turn, remains in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it will perform all the functions needed to monitor and control the system. It will also provide information to the community of users about the system’s operation and availability of its services.

Australia’s Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, the Hon. Madeleine King MP stated in a media release on 16 September 2022 that SouthPAN represents a major commitment between the Australian and New Zealand governments to provide essential satellite positioning services across the Australasia region. “SouthPAN will provide instant, accurate and reliable positioning to users across all of Australia and New Zealand’s land and maritime zones without the need for a mobile phone signal or internet,” Minister King said. “We’ve already demonstrated that industry and the community can use this for ground-breaking applications that increase safety, improve productivity and drive innovation across a broad range of industries. New Zealand’s Minister for Land Information, has described the joint Australia-New Zealand initiative as a game-changer for the economies of both nations, indicating that SouthPAN provides crucial digital infrastructure for the future, with actual benefits expected to increase over the project’s lifespan. The Minister noted that beyond the horizon, new products on the market will use this infrastructure to create value in new ways for businesses and consumers.

According to Miguel Romay, GMV’s Satellite Navigation Systems General Manager, “this contract is the result of years of effort and dedication. We feel very honored and fortunate, because some engineers may work for their entire career without the opportunity to work on a project with the importance and societal impact that SouthPAN will have. In addition to strengthening GMV’s position as a global leader in the field of satellite navigation, this contract will generate dozens of long-term jobs for highly qualified individuals, while also allowing young engineers and a whole range of other professionals to join one of the best navigation teams currently existing in the world”.

GMV’s experience

GMV has been working on SBAS systems for more than 25 years. It is the company responsible for design, development, and maintenance of the Correction Processing Facility Processing Set (CPFPS) for Europe’s current SBAS, known as EGNOS V2. It has carried out various projects for implementing SBAS technology in regions around the world, including among others those in the Caribbean and South America (2010), South Africa (2016), and Australia and New Zealand (20172020), in this last case combined with a PPP service. GMV offers precise point positioning (PPP) services for multiple applications and markets, including magicGNSS (, and since 2007 it has also been one of the entities collaborating on the real-time international GNSS service (IGS).

GMV is a privately owned technology business group founded in 1984 and trading on a worldwide scale in the following sectors: Space, Aeronautics, Defense and Security, Cybersecurity, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Automotive, Healthcare, Telecommunications and IT for government authorities and major corporations. In 2021, it had revenues of nearly 260 million euros. Working with a staff of over 2,500, the company now runs subsidiaries in Spain, USA, Germany, France, Poland, Portugal, Romania, UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, and Colombia. Seventy five percent of its turnover comes from international projects on all five continents. The company’s growth strategy is based on continuous innovation, and it plows back 10% of its turnover into inhouse R&D. GMV has reached CMMI level 5, the world’s most prestigious model in terms of enhancing an organization’s process capability, and it has numerous international patents. Currently, GMV is the world’s number-one independent supplier of ground control systems for commercial telecommunications satellite operators and the European leader in the ground segment of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (EGNOS and Galileo). It is also the primary provider of C41 command and control systems for the Spanish Army and the leading national provider of telematic systems for public transport. For over 15 years now it has also been a tried-and-trusted provider of telematics software, services, and systems in the automotive sector. In the ICT sector it has become a national benchmark as a provider of advanced cybersecurity solutions and services for IP networks, ICT applications and mobility applications for governments and the development of e-Administration.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.