Mike Lawson and Ralph Braibanti shake hands while signing the Joint Delegation Statement Government officials from the United States of America and Australia met in Canberra in April 2007 to discuss the bilateral cooperative relationship in the civil use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and regional augmentations to the GPS. The respective officials view civil space-based PNT systems as an area ready for expanded bilateral cooperation, consistent with national policies and regulatory frameworks.

The GPS is a constellation of orbiting satellites operated by the United States. It provides precise PNT services for civil and military purposes globally.

Officials noted that the United States and Australia have a shared interest in the availability of continuous space-based PNT services, and in using such services for civil, commercial, and scientific uses. Interoperability among existing and planned civil space-based navigation services will foster the creation of a truly international Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

To advance this shared interest, representatives from the United States and Australia will work closely together to facilitate broad and effective use of GNSS augmentation systems that may be considered for use as civil regional augmentations to the GPS.

A particular focus of discussions in Canberra was opportunities for cooperation in transport systems, especially in the civil aviation field.

The United States has implemented a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to GPS, known in the US as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), for civil aviation and other applications.

Airservices Australia, Australia's civil air navigation service provider, is developing an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant Ground-based Regional Augmentation System, or GRAS, to improve air traffic management and regional aircraft operations, as well as other civil and commercial applications.

The United States, through its Federal Aviation Administration, and Australia, through Airservices Australia, are also cooperating on the development and approval of a Category-I Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) based on applicable ICAO Annex 10 Standards and Recommended Practices, or SARPs.

Australian and US agencies will consult annually to enhance cooperation in the use of GNSS in the transport field, and possible other areas as needed.

A range of further opportunities for possible cooperation were discussed, including:

  1. Developing enhanced mechanisms for notification of GPS satellite operational changes;
  2. Promoting broader utilization of augmentations to GNSS for mutual benefit (for instance -- reference frame modification, precise timing applications, space weather observations, and climate monitoring);
  3. Encouraging continued support to the International GNSS Service (IGS), a global system of reference stations and analysis centers that can facilitate implementation of interoperable regional civil augmentations to the GPS;
  4. Coordinating radio frequency spectrum used by GNSS through appropriate international and domestic spectrum management and regulatory processes;
  5. Encouraging liberal access to information necessary to develop and build future generations of GNSS, including multi-system GNSS receivers;
  6. Promoting studies on compatibility and interoperability of GPS augmentation systems in the United States and Australia;
  7. Encouraging development of innovative goods and services based on applications of compatible regional GPS augmentation systems;
  8. Encouraging international mechanisms to promote the use of GNSS, such as the International Committee on GNSS (ICG).

Australian Head of Delegation
Mike Lawson
General Manager
Aerospace & Defence Industries
Department of Industry, Tourism & Resources

U.S. Head of Delegation
Ralph Braibanti
Space & Advanced Technology
Department of State

19 April 2007