Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


Satellite positioning: Theory of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning. Understanding of fundamental GNSS observables (pseudorange and carrier phases), baseline processing, network adjustment, and coordinate transformation (site calibration). Practice of post-processing system and real-time kinematic positioning.

Astronomical positioning: Introduction to astronomical coordinate system and time system (sidereal, solar, and atomic times). A concept of astronomical coordinate (azimuth, latitude and longitude) determination from star observations.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Derive spatial information from satellite based surveying observations using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

2. Compute spatial information using celestial and satellite co-ordinate systems.

3. Transform data between, and present data in, co-ordinates based on ellipsoidal and level surfaces.


Astronomical positioning:

  • Introduction to relative movements of earth, sun and stars
  • Astronomical co-ordinate systems; time; star almanac; refraction
  • Azimuth determination from sun observations and star observations in detail
  • Latitude and longitude determination in principle, with emphasis on error minimisation

Satellite positioning:

  • Theory of precise positioning using GPS series satellites
  • Practice of precise positioning using GPS series satellites

Assumed knowledge

Content covered in courses:

SURV2220 Surveying Methods and Equipment and SURV2230 Surveying Techniques and Computations (previously SURV2180 and SURV2340); and

SURV3510 Geodesy 1

Assessment items

Report: GNSS Assignment - Fast Static Survey

Quiz: In-class Quiz

Written Assignment: GNSS Assignment - RTK Survey

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 30 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks

NOTE: The above distribution of contact hours may alter on a weekly basis and will be confirmed in the course outline handed to students in Week 1.


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 3 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.