Launchpad: Arctic UAV, position sensor, global mapper

January 10, 2019  - By

A roundup of recent products in the GNSS and inertial positioning industry from the January 2019 issue of GPS World magazine.


RF front-end

Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) FOR GNSS

Photo: NTLab

Photo: NTLab

NT1066 is a four-channel RF front-end ASIC (three wideband IQ and one narrowband IQ) that covers all GNSS (GLONASS, GPS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, NavIC) signals at all frequency bands, so users benefit from all the advantages of acquiring multiple system simultaneously. Channels A, B and C are designed with single-conversion low-IF architecture, individually programmable and intended to receive L1, E1, B1, E6, B3, L2, L3, B2, L5 and E5 in various combinations. IQ and image suppression modes are available. Channel D is dedicated to the S band of NavIC or L2, L3, L5 bands of GNSS and has zero-IF architecture. Combining channel D with channels A, B and C makes it possible to effectively eliminate ionospheric distortion using the large signal base of NavIC between the L5 and S bands. Alternatively, channel D can be software-reconfigured “on a fly” to receive real-time correction data transmitted over FM, VHF and UHF bands.


Position sensor

For smartwatches, fitness trackers and smartphones

Image: Bosch

Image: Bosch

The BHI160BP is a position tracking smart sensor for consumer wearables that uses integrated inertial sensors to improve GPS location tracking. When used with a GPS or GNSS module, it enables users to take advantage of pedestrian position tracking with up to 80% saving in system power consumption compared with a typical GNSS-only solution, without compromising on accuracy. The BHI160BP tracks a person’s position by intelligently applying an inertial-sensor-based algorithm for pedestrian dead reckoning. To maintain accuracy, it calculates the user’s relative location based on data collected from the inertial sensors and then recalibrates itself every few minutes to obtain the absolute position provided by the GNSS/GPS module. This means that the GNSS/GPS module can be kept in sleep mode for most of the time, which drastically reduces a device’s power consumption and extends its operating time.

Bosch Sensortec,

NavIC-enabled module

Designed to meet Indian mandate

The Jupiter SL871-S. (Photo: Telit Wireless Solutions)

Photo: Telit Wireless Solutions

The SL869T3-I GNSS module combines GPS with India’s NavIC (IRNSS) navigation system and the country’s satellite-based augmentation system SBAS known as GAGAN. The SL869T3-I module enables the creation of high-performance position reporting and navigation solutions. It complies with Automotive Industry Standard 140 (AIS-140) — an Indian government mandate that requires the use of NavIC for vehicle location tracking devices in all public transportation vehicles, effective in April.


Reference and training

Rohde & Schwarz's Navigation and Guidance Solutions Learning Center offers brochures, articles, technical documents, videos and posters. (Image: Rohde & Schwarz)

Photo: Rohde & Schwarz

Technical information for defense and aeronautics applications

The Rohde & Schwarz Navigation and Guidance Solutions Learning Center now includes the latest Rohde & Schwarz solutions for GNSS testing. Updated material includes application brochures, white papers, articles, technical documents, training videos and products. Rohde & Schwarz provides accurate, flexible, high-performance test solutions, from design, development, calibration and production to operational maintenance for ground-based systems and advanced hybrid constellation simulations for GNSS systems. The navigation learning center also describes company products, including GNSS signal simulators.

Rohde & Schwarz,


Survey Antenna

Designed for RTK applications

Image: Harxon

Photo: Harxon

The X-Survey antenna is a 4-in-1 OEM antenna for both navigation and communication in surveying applications. It provides standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G, plus multiple constellation signal reception for GNSS positioning. The high-gain and wide-beamwidth GNSS antenna features a multi-point feeding technology, ensuring a high phase-center stability and positioning accuracy. Moreover, the array-arranged 4G antenna enables more stable signals and longer communication distance at 360-degree direction, increasing the overall machine efficiency over conventional antennas. The X-Survey antenna provides high isolation among each antenna to prevent self-interference, improving real-time kinematic (RTK) system compatibility. RF coaxial connectors are designed for plug-and-use, keeping high efficiency and lowering the impact of electromagnetic interference.


Developer’s toolkit

Mirrors capabilities of desktop version of global mapper

Image: Blue Marble

Image: Blue Marble

Version 20 of the Global Mapper Software Development Kit (SDK) is now available, along with the accompanying Lidar Module SDK. The developer’s toolkit provides software engineers with the means to embed the latest geospatial technology into custom applications.Highlights include dramatically improved vector data performance in both the 2D and 3D environments, updated 3D mesh rendering with colors now displayed in the 2D view, and faster display and export of online tiled datasets. The Global Mapper GIS application can display, convert and analyze virtually any type of geospatial data. The Global Mapper SDK and Lidar Module SDK provide software developers with a toolkit for accessing much of this functionality from within an existing or custom-built application.

Blue Marble Geographics,

Arctic UAV

Adapted for work in extreme cold

Photo: Zala Aero

Photo: Zala Aero

The ZALA 421-08M and ZALA 421-16E Artic UAVs are suited for operation at freezing temperatures, making it possible to carry out surveillance operations and regularly monitor the ice. Its GIRSAM alternative navigation system was developed for navigation of UAVs in the suppression or the absence of GPS or GLONASS signals. The ZALA Arctic’s capabilities facilitate oil and gas extraction planning in areas where accurate weather and ice situation forecasts are required.



Hydrogen-powered for endurance

Photo: Skycorp

Photo: Skycorp

E-Drone Zero is a long endurance quadcopter managed by an advanced artificial-intelligence-powered operating system. The use of hydrogen fuel cells as the drone power source provides improved flight-time, less downtime due to quick refuelling, and increased payload capabilities. Advanced security is provided via NATO-validated military-level encryption. Additional safety features include computer vision assisted obstacle avoidance and various failure management features. Besides surveillance and security, e-Drone Zero is suitable for demanding survey, mapping and inspection tasks.


Mapping system

3D capture and processing

Photo: Kaarta

Photo: Kaarta

The Stencil 2 improves mapping accuracy and workflow with a new user interface compared to the original Stencil, as well as GNSS localization, upgraded hardware, confidence metrics and enhanced software intelligence. Stencil 2 ships with an iPad to access operations and view real-time scanning on the fly. It records GNSS data for use in loop closure to georegister and geolocate datasets, correcting for drift and improving the fidelity of large area scans. Kaarta offers an optional GNSS kit with Emlid Reach RS+ RTK GNSS receiver and custom mounting bracket. Alternatively, Stencil 2 integrates with other NMEA 0183-compliant GNSS systems.



Vessel Monitoring

Real-time location reporting

Photo: Addvalue

Photo: Addvalue

Now type-approved by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), the Addvalue iFleetONE-VMS provides commercial fishing vessels with a technologically advanced vessel monitoring system that satisfies regulatory requirements to routinely and securely report GPS positioning. The Addvalue iFleetONE-VMS, with its broadband capability, will enable fisheries management officials, biologists, researchers, analysts and NMFS Law Enforcement to have a cost-effective and suitable platform for applications that previously had been severely limited by available technologies.

Network Innovations,
Addvalue Communications,

Vehicle-to-everything module

V2X unit ready for smart city deployments

Photo: Cohda Wireless

Photo: Cohda Wireless

The MK5 On-Board Unit (OBU) is a fifth-generation low-cost, rugged module that can be retrofitted to vehicles for aftermarket deployment or field trials, and can also serve as a design reference for automotive production. The MK5 exchanges data at high speeds over extended distances, providing quick reaction times to potential hazards and safety-critical scenarios. Features include a dual IEEE 802.11p radio; a powerful processor running Cohda software applications; a GNSS receiver with lane-level accuracy; integrated security; hardware acceleration; and NXP chips with Cohda firmware. It supports DSRC (IEEE 802.11p), Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) wireless standards.

Cohda Wireless,

Fleet data platform

provides a single on-board data collection hub

The SmartDrive SR4 video hardware platform. (Photo: SmartDrive Systems)

Photo: SmartDrive Systems

The SmartDrive SR3 and SR4 platforms provide a unified video and telematics data stream of time, location and driver and vehicle performance for third-party applications. Its single-box architecture and unified data stream eliminates redundancy across hardware, cellular connectivity, GPS modules, connections to the ECU and cabling. It also provides data alignment across the applications, unlocking new fleet performance insights and eliminating problematic data discrepancies.The platform provides analytics powered by SmartDrive SmartIQ; Geotab tracking, which delivers real-time and historical visibility to location, speed and geofencing information; Geotab regulatory compliance, including hours of service, driver vehicle inspection reports, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) recording and tax reports; and access and integration to Geotab Marketplace partners.

SmartDrive Systems,; Geotab,

Autonomous Vehicles

Hardcover Book

Book cover: Public Affairs

Book cover: Public Affairs

In his new book No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future, Transportation expert Samuel I. Schwartz (who coined the term “gridlock”) describes how the driverless vehicle revolution will transform highways, cities, workplaces and laws across the globe. Every major car maker in the U.S., and abroad is working on bringing autonomous vehicles to consumers. The fleets are getting ready to roll and nothing will ever be the same; this book discusses what the future has in store. 272 pages, ISBN: 1610398653.


This is posted in From the Magazine, Product Showcase

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.