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Hexagon Positioning demonstrates lane-level accuracy with Ligado Networks

June 15, 2018  - By

Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division has successfully deployed TerraStar X GNSS correction technology, which enables instant lane-level accuracy for autonomous automotive planning programs, the company said.

“In partnership with Ligado Networks, we have demonstrated delivery of TerraStar X technology over both satellite and cellular networks to position vehicles with 5-centimeter (2-inch) accuracy in under a minute,” Hexagon stated in a press release. “Combining TerraStar X technology with multiple delivery channels is a significant step towards the future of Autonomous X, where cars, UAVs, industrial vehicles, trains and more will operate safely, securely, reliably and efficiently.

TerraStar X technology is built on the latest precise point positioning algorithms. According to the company, it leverages existing Hexagon capabilities in ground network infrastructure, correction data generation and data packaging for delivery.

By eliminating convergence time while providing high-accuracy global positioning, TerraStar X will form the future of Hexagon’s correction services for safety-of-life applications and Autonomous X.

When combined with automotive-grade GNSS receivers available through Hexagon Positioning Intelligence, the technology allows automotive customers to evaluate positioning performance in real time using data delivered over the cellular network or the L-band frequency using Ligado’s SkyTerra satellite in North America.

Trial networks for customer evaluation are available in California, Arizona and Michigan over satellite or cellular network, and in Germany using cellular delivery. The infrastructure is scalable, enabling timely geographic expansion to accommodate automotive development programs globally.

Commercial solutions designed for the automotive market will be available in 2019.

“Ligado’s expertise in satellite delivery and proactive involvement in this project enabled rapid deployment of our TerraStar X correction technology over the test area,” said Sara Masterson, positioning services segment manager with Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division. “Their unique spot-beam technology enables efficient delivery of the higher bandwidth correction data required for this application and adds a delivery method providing continental scale coverage.”

The geostationary Skyterra satellite operated by Ligado uses a 22-meter reflector-based antenna to deliver an L-band signal over North America. Several of the L-band DGPS/PPP service providers, including Terrastar, have used the Skyterra-1 satellite since its 2010 launch to support North American coverage.

Hexagon has been providing highly reliable, precise GNSS corrections under VERIPOS, TerraStar, Oceanix, and SmartNet brands for more than 20 years, the company said. It operates the world’s largest reference station network, consisting of more than 4,500 stations.

“Hexagon is uniquely positioned to offer end to end solutions from correction data generation through to GNSS positioning solutions in the vehicle,” said Brian Deobald, vice president, strategic product and ecosystem development, Ligado Networks. “We are excited to partner with Hexagon on this opportunity to demonstrate the delivery of TerraStar X technology, using high throughput, cost-efficient satellite connectivity to enable superior performance and reliability for autonomous driving applications.”

Ligado. This development has no relationship to the current Ligado Networks petition before the Federal Communications Commission to repurpose some of its mobile satellite systems spectrum to broadcast from ground-based transmitters. That matter is still pending, and there is currently no such signal being broadcast.

Featured Image: Hexagon

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