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Thread: Australian SBAS test and Garmin handhelds

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    Default Australian SBAS test and Garmin handhelds

    The Australian SBAS tests have been extended until July 31, 2020

    The SBAS test transmission services
    The test transmission services has been extended and will be available until 31 July 2020. This will provide continuity of SBAS signals to support R&D, industry testing and encourage early adoption.
    file:///C:/Test/GPS/SBAS/Trial%20of%20accurate%20positioning%20_%20Geoscien ce%20Australia.html

    and it seems that some existing units can be used to receive this test signal:

    Can my existing WAAS/EGNOS enabled receiver be used with the new SBAS services?
    For the L1 legacy service existing SBAS-capable equipment can be used, however a firmware upgrade might be required.
    file:///C:/Test/GPS/SBAS/FAQ%20%C2%BB%20CRCSI.html

    Question: Does anyone know if either or both of the Garmin Oregon 600 and eTrex 10 are capable of receiving and utilising this signal?

    Both units are WAAS/EGNOS capable, and I have the latest firmware in each.

    If they are capable in this area, I assume that WAAS/EGNOS would need to be "On" in the unit, or would a separate SBAS menu option need to be available? (which it isn't after the latest firmware update)
    Last edited by Thala Dan; 18-08-19 at 12:51 PM.



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    Because an Australian/New Zealand SBAS will be built to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard it will be fully interoperable with WAAS in the United States, EGNOS in Europe, MSAS in Japan, SDCM in Russia and other systems. Thus aircraft flying from the United States to Australia will be fully compatible with SBAS Australia. Similarly, the numerous commercial devices designed for use with WAAS and EGNOS will be fully operable.


    We don't have WAAS here I don't think, my GPS 60, Montana 610 & GPSMap 276CX are all WAAS capable but I keep it disabled on them.
    Not sure about those units you have, not sure about my own either, they might require a special firmware update as well as enabling WAAS, or they could just require enabling WAAS...though who knows...Garmin can be quite arrogant at times, if they don't believe it's in their best interest to release a firmware upgrade for older devices to make them compatible they won't release one.
    If that's the case then possibly they might include whatever's required/necessary in new devices.

    Those links are pointed to your hard drive btw, not the websites

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    D'ohhh

    Thanks, jma....proper links below:





    Yeah, we don't have WAAS - it's an American system, and EGNOSS is a European system.....I'm not sure whether we get a usable signal from either here.

    But apparently the Oz SBAS trial is on the same L1 carrier as those two systems......and the CRC.SI article suggests that units capable of receiving those two correction systems may be capable of receiving the Oz test.

    I'll give Garmin Tech support a call tomorrow - made a couple of calls to them in the past and have generally been pretty helpful - keep you posted.

    Tried the GPS+GLONASS on both the Oregon and eTrex - noticeable improvement in performance, but haven't looked at battery consumption yet.

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    Hmm, got me interested.
    I might just switch on my WAAS in the eTRex, see if it gives better than 3-6m accuracy as it usually does.

    We’re working to ensure that accurate positioning information is widely available to the community through the . This is being delivered through two complementary projects: a national network of ground station infrastructure known as the National Positioning Infrastructure Capability (NPIC) and a system to deliver corrected positioning signals directly to you via satellite technology through an Australian Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). Together, these will provide more reliable positioning information, allowing for innovation and efficiency across a range of scenarios such as agriculture, transport, emergency management, mining, engineering and logistics.

    Current technology typically allows for positioning within 5-10 metre accuracy, but through this program, accuracy will be improved to within three centimetres in areas with mobile phone coverage and ten centimetres everywhere else. This will deliver accurate, reliable and instantaneous positioning across Australia and its maritime zones.
    Last edited by Tiny; 20-08-19 at 10:46 AM.
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    Rang Garmin Tech Support this morning.

    Can't say that they were extremely helpful - bloke I spoke to didn't have a clue what I was talking about and had to go and "talk to the techs".

    He didn't seem to understand the question......started rambling on about Garmin having my back if there were issues with my Garmin gear....tried to explain there were no "issues"...just wanted to know if their existing gear was capable of processing this new Australian test signal.

    Feedback from the techs was basically..."if there are any new services available post-test, Garmin would undoubtedly come out with updates to its products"....a response which ended with "that's why we have Garmin engineers"

    Garmin can be quite arrogant at times
    Well, jma, that's pretty much how I felt after this phone call....pretty much a case of "go away and we'll talk to you about it when we're ready"....trouble is, they didn't seem to know what "it" was

    So it's back to the drawing board...like Tiny, I'll switch on WAAS in the eTrex and see if anything noticeable changes.
    Last edited by Thala Dan; 20-08-19 at 12:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thala Dan View Post
    Well, jma, that's pretty much how I felt after this phone call....pretty much a case of "go away and we'll talk to you about it when we're ready"....trouble is, they didn't seem to know what "it" was
    Yyupp!
    Déjà vu.
    Last time I had an issue I tried their live chat that I got to I think via the Garmin U.S. website, much better service & seemed a lot more knowledgable, had to wait a while though I seem to remember but the info I got at the time was worth it.
    Found the Garmin forum useless, moderated by a knobhead that doesn't like the word 'crap', stated in his sig he was in no way associated with Garmin and for some reason got a little narky when asked if that was fact or not



    Quote Originally Posted by Thala Dan View Post
    So it's back to the drawing board...like Tiny, I'll switch on WAAS in the eTrex and see if anything noticeable changes.
    Ditto...at the next opportunity...

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    Appears it makes no difference if WAAS/EGNOS is enabled or disabled on the 3 Garmin units I have.
    Each device settled and stayed displaying around 3 metres for accuracy.
    Did half an hour with each, 15 mins with WAAS/EGNOS off, then 15 mins with WAAS/EGNOS on.

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    Same here.......did several hours with the eTrex 10 yesterday.......but that WAAS/EGNOSS definitely makes a difference........3m GPS Accuracy with it OFF, 2m with it ON....cannot get 2m with it OFF.

    Looks like we'll have to wait for the SBAS system to be formally inaugurated....then maybe we'll get a Garmin firmware update.......or a polite message that it's time we shelled out for some new gear

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    Firmware update sounds good, I believe Garmin has enough of my money
    I seem to remember years ago when I got the first GPS60 that accuracy rarely got lower than about 7 or 8 metres, but the last year or two it seems to consistently stay at around 3 or 4, haven't seen it lower than 3 that I can recall.

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    WAAS, EGNOSS, MSAS and GAGAM are regional acronyms for dedicated localised Satellite Based Augmentation Systems. China, Russia and South Korea are also developing systems with their own funny little names. I wonder what AU/NZ will call theirs? Regardless of the name, they all operate in a similar way using geostationary satellites to augment GNSS (GPS and GLONASS) fix results (for 'augment' substitute 'correction of errors'). Full explanation of WAAS SBAS by our friends at Garmin, here: . Interchangeability is the cornerstone of this technology being as it was originally meant for the Aviation industry to allow IFR approaches in non-VFR conditions. So an international flight from North America (WAAS) can land IFR in India or Europe or Japan using the same equipment to enable the approach as if the flight was landing in North America.

    Although it's going to greatly improve landing accuracy for RPT/commercial and IFR-rated private pilots here (and you can't put a price on that) it seems from the Government's figures that the financial benefits to the Agricultural industry are expected to be 5 times that of the Aviation industry in AU/NZ.

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    Umm ... so i maybe should have added a further explanation at the end of the first paragraph above, after my waffle about aviation, this:
    It'll be the same with older land-based GPS devices, those which have WAAS capability will be able to use the signals from the geostationary satellites used for the intended AU/NZ SBAS, because compability is universal for the GPS system's various SBASs. However i don't know about the separate Russian GLONASS GNSS also benefiting from the augmentation meant for GPS GNSS but many modern Garmin devices can use both GPS and GLOSNASS. Some devices also use Europe's Galileo global positioning system. Using two systems effectively doubles access to satellites effectively improving accuracy without augmentation.

    Another interesting aside particularly for those in aviation, Positioning Australia's "National Positioning Infrastructure Capability" (NPIC) is a ground based augmentation system which works separately but in conjunction with SBAS. The Yanks have had that for years too and call it LAAS, Local Area Augmentation System and that naming describes how our NPIC works. An even more interesting but less discussed use for these augmentation systems is something more universal. Most of us don't fly planes or do geocaching on weekends but nearly all of us drive vehicles. This technology may soon make conventional driving a thing of the past. The US military can now receive corrected GPS fixes accurate to 1cm. It's not available to civilians or industry even in NA yet but 3cm accuracy isn't unheard of with current available systems anyway. What this means to my layman's mind is that autonomous vehicles can be so accurately positioned horizontally that together with their other guidance systems and the ability to communicate with other nearby vehicles that traffic accidents will be virtually impossible unless some dumb human overrides the systems .. or they fail. How's this as a plot for a future doomsday movie: The Ruskies blow a big hole where Colorado Springs used to be and the entire GPS system fails, world chaos results (I'm sure they've got a backup or more, but still .... make a great movie i reckon). I'm sure this doesn't tell the full story:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surething View Post
    However i don't know about the separate Russian GLONASS GNSS also benefiting from the augmentation meant for GPS GNSS but many modern Garmin devices can use both GPS and GLOSNASS. Some devices also use Europe's Galileo global positioning system. Using two systems effectively doubles access to satellites effectively improving accuracy without augmentation.
    It would seem that there is little overlap between existing SBAS systems and the Russian SDCM.
    From what I can determine, the SDCM system provides correction/integrity monitoring to GLONASS, but provides only integrity monitoring to the GPS system:

    System for Differential Corrections and Monitoring (SDCM)

    The Russian Federation is developing SDCM to provide Russia with accuracy improvements and integrity monitoring for both the GLONASS and GPS navigation systems. By 2016, the Russian Federation plans to provide L1 SBAS coverage for all Russian territory and by 2018 L1/L5 coverage. SDCM will also provide Precise Point Positioning (PPP) services for L1/L3 GLONASS by 2018.


    The above statement is a little ambiguous though......is it "accuracy improvements to Russia"...and separately..."integrity monitoring for both the GLONASS and GPS"...or...a combination of both accuracy improvements and integrity monitoring for both GLONASS and GPS"??

    This link tends to suggest that the two augmentation systems operate quite independently of one another in the area of correction:

    The System for Differential Corrections and Monitoring (SDCM) is the SBAS currently being developed in the Russian Federation[1][2] as a component of GLONASS.[3]

    The main differentiator of SDCM with respect to other SBAS systems is that it is conceived as an SBAS augmentation that would perform integrity monitoring of both GPS and GLONASS satellites, whereas the rest of current SBAS initiatives provide corrections and integrity just to GPS satellites.


    So, once again, the suggestion seems to be that SDCM provides only integrity monitoring to the GPS system, where the other SBAS systems provide corrections AND integrity monitoring to the GPS system, and nothing to GLONASS.

    If, taken literally, the proposed OZ SBAS system is to be compatible with existing SBAS systems in every sense of the word, then it follows that it also will not provide any correction information for the GLONASS system.

    Which would be a damn shame, if that were to be the case, because receiving two corrected systems has gotta be better than receiving one corrected system and one uncorrected system.

    I guess time will tell, but I suspect that there may be pressure applied to ensure that an Australian system does not provide any assistance to those nasty Russians
    Last edited by Thala Dan; 26-08-19 at 03:59 PM.

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    @Thala Dan
    Thanks for that extra info.

    The key to understanding this is in accepting that those 2 GNSS systems are totally independent in that each has its own constellation of orbiting satellites to provide global coverage. EU's Galileo is also a global service with it's own sats in orbit. However they all do use similar technology to achieve positioning for the entire globe. On the other hand, any given SBAS is purely regional regardless that a WAAS enabled GPS receiver will operate perfectly to use, say, EGNOS in Europe. That's because the SBAS systems with their geostationary sats have interoperability. So WAAS covers NA, EGNOS covers Europe, etc. but only correcting GPS.

    My reading of the second link you provided leads me to conclude that Russia's SDCM (System for Differential Corrections and Monitoring) indeed provides Integrity Monitoring of BOTH the GPS and GLONASS satellite systems however it only provides Differential Corrections to the signals from GLONASS satellites. The other crucial point is that, just like the other regional SBASs are limited in their service cover, it also serves only a designated area in that the SDCM service is only intended for use within Russia itself. Although there's a slight overlap with EU's EGNOS to the West and it seems to extend southerly into Mongolia and China so maybe there'll also be an overlap with China when it's version of SBAS, SNAS (Satellite Navigation Augmentation System), is fully up and running. This image shows the fully operational SBASs at present:


    As for AU/NZ's upcoming SBAS, i fully agree with you. I'll go further and say i'll be a Monkey's Uncle if when operational for the public it augments GLONASS signals as well as GPS signals.

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