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SouthPAN Commissioning

Av-Comm, together with industry partner Lockheed Martin Australia, has successfully completed the installation of the inaugural satellite dish for the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN) in Uralla, regional New South Wales. This marks a significant milestone in the SouthPAN project, a collaborative initiative between Geoscience Australia and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand designed to support Satellite-Based Augmentation System services.

In September 2022, Lockheed Martin Australia was awarded a $1.18 billion contract to enhance locational precision within SouthPAN’s service areas. In December 2022, Lockheed Martin Australia selected ground segment specialists Av-Comm to establish a network of ground station uplink facilities for the project.

Av-Comm’s completion of the first 11-metre satellite dish, with a control centre and dual radio frequency uplinks, now promises to refine positioning accuracy up to an unprecedented ten centimetres. In doing so revolutionising positioning across Australia with benefits across agriculture, aviation, construction, consumer, resource, road, rail, maritime, mining, utilities, and more.

The SouthPAN project stands as a testament to Av-Comm’s dedication to the space and defence industry, providing critical ground segment infrastructure across Australia and the greater Pacific region.

Av-Comm’s values and mission are aligned and focussed on achieving excellence for our clients. A client tour was held upon completion of the project with Warren McDonald, Chief Executive Officer for Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand stating he was “extremely impressed with the quality and professionalism of Av-Comm’s work.” Warren also said, “Av-Comm have continually proven to be a highly capable supplier. Lockheed Martin values our business partnership with Av-Comm on both SouthPAN and Defence’s Satellite Communications program JP9102.”

“The project will not only support Australian industry, but will also prove Australian technology”, Michael Cratt, Av-Comm’s CEO, explained. “As a family-run Australian company, we’re not only contributing to the nation’s space sector but hopefully sparking innovation across industries dependent on precise positioning. It’s a step forward for Australian technology on the global stage.”

The official ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by representatives from Lockheed Martin, Geosciences Australia, and Av-Comm, together with the Mayor of Uralla.