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Satellite Positioning Systems (GEOM90033)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeGEOM90033
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


In this subject students will learn the theory and applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as the Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The subject focuses on high precision GNSS, their design and fundamental operational characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, error sources and mitigation, measurement and data processing techniques. It is a pre requisite for the subject GEOM90039 Advanced Surveying and Mapping. The subject is of broad relevance to students with an interest in technology or to those specifically wishing to establish a career in engineering, mining or cadastral surveying, but is also relevant to a range of mapping, spatial, land surveying and civil engineering disciplines where the capture and processing of spatial or survey measurements to meet a specific performance specification should be considered.


High precision GPS surveying, Global Navigation Satellite Systems, GPS measurements, Differential GPS, GPS reference station networks, GPS errors, ellipsoidal heights, geodetic datum, geoid, GPS data processing.

NOTE: An intensive learning period of approximately 3-4 days will be conducted as part of this subject. The exact dates and venue will be confirmed at the start of the subject.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Describe the operation of available satellite positioning systems such as GPS
  2. Discuss the error sources for GPS and how they impact on the achievable positioning accuracies
  3. Plan and design a real-world high precision GPS positioning task
  4. Use high precision GPS receiver hardware to collect measurement data for real-time and post processed GPS positioning
  5. Use commercial GPS processing software to generate GPS solutions and undertake a robust analysis of the solution quality.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students will have the:

  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Ability to manage information and documentation
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Understanding of social, cultural, global, and environmental responsibilities and the need to employ principles of sustainable development
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities, and commitment to them
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • 3-hour written examination (50%) held in the end of semester examination period. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1 to 5 are addressed in the examination
  • Three written assignment reports (50%) totalling approximately 2500 words, requiring approximately 65 hours of work, due evenly across the semester. ILOs 1 to 5 are addressed in the reports

Hurdle requirement: Students must achieve a grade of at least 50% in the examination in order to pass the subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    CoordinatorAmir Khodabandeh
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours48 hours (Lectures: 2 hour per week; Practicals: 2 hours per week)
    Total time commitment200 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    Dr Amir Khodabandeh


Time commitment details

200 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Subject notes


    This subject is delivered through a combination of presentations and practical exercises which have been integrated to complement each other. Presentations are used to communicate the necessary theoretical concepts which are then reinforced through the field practical exercise. A significant field exercise submitted at the end of the subject is designed to synthesise the knowledge accumulated across the semester.


    User and technical manuals for GPS receivers used in practical exercises.


    Presenters from relevant technology manufacturers will provide students with access the state-of-the-art technology in satellite positioning systems. These industry participants will demonstrate best practice in the use of currently available GNSS technology and software as well as discuss industry case study applications that showcase the application and use of high precision GNSS hardware, associated infrastructure and internationally available resources.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 3 April 2019