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Launchpad: Fixed-wing UAV, RTK receivers

March 3, 2021  - By

A roundup of recent products in the GNSS and inertial positioning industry from the March 2021 issue of GPS World magazine.


OEM

GNSS Receiver

1-cm accurate multi-band receiver

Photo: SkyTraq

Photo: SkyTraq

The PX1122R is a 12 x 16 millimeter multi-band real-time kinematic (RTK) receiver for centimeter-level-accuracy positioning applications. It uses GPS L1/L2C, Galileo E1/E5b, GLONASS L1/L2 and BeiDou B1I/B2I signals concurrently to maximize positioning availability even in difficult urban environments. A single-chip system-on-chip, the PX1122R is designed to deliver reliable positioning for autonomous unmanned ground or aerial vehicles, the internet of things, and traditional land surveying and precision farming applications. It has an RTK initialization time under 10 seconds and a maximum update rate of 10 Hz. Its update rate provides in-time positioning with a fast response time and improved guidance for fast-moving applications. Moving-base RTK for GNSS precise heading is also supported.

SkyTraq, www.skytraq.com.tw/homesite/

Iridium antennas

Available housed or embedded

Photo: Tallysman

Photo: Tallysman

The housed HC610 and embedded HC610E active Iridium antennas operate in receive-only mode and enable Iridium terminals to be installed tens of meters away from the antenna. The lightweight and compact helical antennas are designed to receive the Iridium Satellite Time and Location (STL) signals. Both antennas are light and compact and feature a precision-tuned helical element that provides an excellent axial ratio and operates without a ground plane. They feature a low-current, low-noise amplifier (LNA) and pre-filter to prevent harmonic interference from high-amplitude signals, such as 700-MHz band LTE and other nearby in-band cellular signals. The housed HC610 weighs 23 grams, is 33 x 54.2 mm, and features an IP67 robust, military-grade plastic enclosure, with a base-mounted male SMA connector and two screw holes for surface attachment. At 10 grams, the embedded HC610E is 27.5 x 38.7 mm and can be installed in a custom enclosure. It provides a base-mounted female MCX connector. An optional embedded helical mounting ring is available to attach the antenna to a flat surface.

Tallysman Wireless, tallysman.com

Receiver front end

Designed for portable receivers

Photo: STMicroelectronics

Photo: STMicroelectronics

The BPF8089-01SC6 GNSS receiver front end integrates the impedance-matching and electrostatic discharge protection circuitry typically implemented using discrete components. It provides a 50-ohm matched interface between the receiver’s antenna and LNA, and is ready for plug-and-play with the company’s STA8089 and STA8090 LNAs. It is suitable for use in portable receivers for the GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou and QZSS constellations, which can be used in applications such as consumer satellite navigation, radio base stations, drones and tracking of assets or livestock.

STMicroelectronics, st.com

GNSS/INS board

Enhanced with an inertial measurement unit

Photo: Bynav

Photo: Bynav

The Bynav A1 is a compact GNSS OEM board with a highly integrated tactical-grade inertial measurement unit (IMU) on board. With Bynav’s new-generation RTK algorithm engine and deeply coupled GNSS/INS algorithm engine, the A1 can provide continuous, reliable high-precision positioning, 3D attitude and velocity to applications such as autonomous driving, robotics, UAVs and mobile mapping. Weighing 25 g and measuring 46 x 71 millimeters, the credit-card-sized A1 is easy to integrate into any system while providing enhanced connection options including serial, Ethernet and CAN.

Bynav Technology, bynav.com


SURVEYING & MAPPING

GNSS/IMU receiver

With tilt compensation

Photo: ComNav

Photo: ComNav

The N5 IMU RTK receiver is user-friendly, with up to 60° tilt compensation ensuring quick measurement and precise position acquisition. A combination of high-end inertial measurement unit (IMU) and advanced GNSS real-time kinematic (RTK) technology, along with ComNav’s core algorithm, ensures high accuracy of less than 2.5 cm, making surveying and mapping in difficult environments easier. The N5 receives all current and future GNSS signals: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo and SBAS. The high-quality OLED display with sunlight readability provides clear viewing and allows users to handle all surveying operations on the screen. A 6800mAh Li-battery allows more than 15 hours of continuous work.

ComNav Technology, www.comnavtech.com

Point creation software

Imports/exports layout files

Photo: Topcon

Photo: Topcon

Topcon Point Manager software is available as a plug-in for Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit users in the United States and Canada. It automates point creation and imports and exports layout files to and from a robotic total station. Users will be able to access the solution as a plug-in component to their design package, creating multiple points on building information modeling (BIM) objects and 2D/3D drawings from within the Autodesk environments. Quality assurance and control efforts are improved with point and deviation reports, a likely reduction in on-site personnel, and avoidance of costly errors. Topcon MAGNET users can wirelessly send points to the field for layout, and completed layout files can be sent back to the office to update the model to match as-built conditions.

Topcon, topcon.com

Paving control platform

Directly references design

Screenshot: Trimble

Screenshot: Trimble

The Trimble Roadworks 3D Paving Control Platform is an accurate, automatic 3D screen control system. It can improve paving productivity and rideability by directly referencing the design rather than a surface or stringline to minimize asphalt usage, reduce waste and overruns, enabling users to finish projects on time and under budget. The Android-based application runs on the 10-inch touchscreen Trimble TD520 display. Operators can personalize the interface to match their workflows, and configurable views make it easier to see the right perspective. The software uses components from Trimble Earthworks, and users can download third-party applications.

Trimble, trimble.com

RTK Receiver

Out-of-the-box features

Photo: Emlid

Photo: Emlid

The Reach RS2 is a full-featured multi-band RTK receiver. All of its features are available out of the box, along with a survey app for iOS and Android. The Reach RS2 tracks L1/L2 bands on GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou, and L1/L5 on Galileo, and acquires a fixed solution in seconds. It achieves centimeter-level precision for surveying, mapping and navigation, and maintains robust performance even in challenging conditions. Centimeter accuracy can be achieved on distances up to 60 km in RTK and 100 km in PPK mode. It provides up to 22 hours of autonomous work when logging data and up to 16 hours as a 3G rover, even in cold weather.

Emlid, emlid.com

Total stations

Integrate with GNSS

Photo: Sokkia

Photo: Sokkia

The iX-1200 and iX-600 robotic total stations are designed to be a part of a workflow solution for survey and layout in construction and infrastructure. They’re engineered for integration with field controllers, software and GNSS receivers. Users can switch to total station measurement integrated with GNSS through an optional upgrade. The stations also can be seamlessly integrated into BIM workflows.

Sokkia, sokkia.com


UAV

Thermal Payload

High-resolution gimbaled dual-thermal zoom

Photo: FLIR

Photo: FLIR

The FLIR Vue TZ20 plug-and-play payload is fully integrated with the DJI V2 Matrice 200 and 300 series airframes. With 20X zoom capabilities, the FLIR Vue TZ20 provides drone pilots from the public safety and industrial inspection sectors with improved image detail and magnification to assess situations and make critical decisions. The 2x to 20x zoom provides a wide 95-degree field of view for maximum situational awareness, covering large areas in a single flight, or a narrow 18-degree field of view to put more pixels on target when needed. Factory calibrated, the dual 640 × 512 Boson thermal cameras are equipped with expandable infrared video streaming at 30 Hz.

FLIR, flir.com

Fixed-wing UAV

For surveyors, GIS professionals

Photo: SenseFly

Photo: SenseFly

The eBee Geo represents the first extension into a new eBee X series of fixed-wing UAVs and is positioned as a cost-effective option for surveyors and GIS professionals who may be unfamiliar with fixed-wing UAV mapping and data collection. With a maximum 45-minute flight time, the eBee Geo can achieve single-flight coverage of 160 ha at 122 m (395 A at 400 ft), suitable for smaller surveying firms and project-based drone service providers. Construction, urban planning and land management users can also benefit from the RGB imaging capabilities of the supplied senseFly S.O.D.A. camera fixed payload, while achieving greater efficiency and absolute accuracy down to 2.5 cm from the eBee Geo’s real-time kinematic (RTK) function. The eBee X is a premium version that offers users the high-precision of on-demand RTK/PPK for achieving absolute accuracy of down to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) without ground control points. Customers also have access to senseFly’s intuitive eMotion flight planning software.

SenseFly, sensefly.com

Actuator

With CAN and UAVCAN connectivity

Photo: Hitec Commercial Solutions

Photo: Hitec Commercial Solutions

The SG50BL actuator includes CAN 2.0 A/B or UAVCAN control options. It is designed with robust steel gears and a high-performance brushless motor. It is capable of operating at 18 to 32 volts. The actuator features a programmable digital circuit with a MOSFET amplifier; a BLDC motor; a magnetic encoder position sensor; five hardened steel gears with low gear backlash (less than .5°); a four ball-bearing supported output shaft; and nine needle bearing supported idlers. It has a rugged anodized aluminum alloy case and an IP68 waterproof rating. The SG50BL also is capable of 360° proportional rotation and has T4131012051-000 TE connectivity. Custom connector options are available.

Hitec Commercial Solutions, hitecnology.com

Smart antennas

Designed for tough environments

Photo: Trimble

Photo: Trimble

The AX940 and AX940i high-precision GNSS smart antennas are designed for a range of high-precision applications, including UAVs. With multi-frequency, multi-constellation support for GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and NavIC, the smart antennas can deliver reliable centimeter-level accuracy in a variety of environments. In addition, the Trimble AX940 and AX940i provide reliable, high-accuracy positioning without the constraints of a local base station or cell modem by using Trimble RTX correction services. Built-in inertial sensors on the AX940i allow a tight integration with GNSS observations in the RTK/RTX positioning and orientation engine, providing continuous high-rate low-latency output to guidance and control systems. The Trimble AX940 and AX940i provide flexible interfaces with high-speed data transfer and configuration; simplified integrations reduce development times; and an intuitive 3D graphical web page allows easy input of the lever arm for easier set up.

Trimble, trimble.com

About the Author:


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.

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