Launchpad: GNSS firewall, drone rescue, modules and mappers

November 1, 2018  - By

A roundup of recent products in the GNSS and inertial positioning industry from the November 2018 issue of GPS World magazine.


Simulator signals

GPS L5 and Galileo E5 added to simulator

Rohde & Schwarz adds GPS L5 and Galileo E5 simulation capabilities to the R&S SMW200A GNSS simulator. (Photo: R&S)

Photo: Rohde & Schwarz

Rohde & Schwarz has added GPS L5 and Galileo E5 simulation capabilities to its R&S SMW200A GNSS simulator. The R&S SMW200A GNSS simulator is designed for efficient test and characterization of multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS receivers. It now enables generation of complex and highly realistic test scenarios with up to 144 channels in the GNSS frequency bands L1, L2 and L5. In addition to GPS (L1/L2/L5), GLONASS (L1/L2), Galileo (E1/E5) and BeiDou (L1/L2), the R&S SMW200A also supports signal generation for QZSS and SBAS on L1. Channels can be routed to up to four RF outputs, so that even multi-antenna systems can be tested. The R&S SMW200A can generate complex coexistence and interference scenarios with multiple interferers.

Rohde & Schwarz,

GNSS firewall

Provides secure, continuous timing integrity

The BlueSky GNSS Firewall enables critical infrastructure providers to harden the security of their operations from GPS threats and deliver a more reliable and secure service. The security-hardened system provides protection against GPS threats such as jamming, spoofing and complete outage. It also supports a range of precision timing technologies, including atomic clocks, to enable continuous operation when GPS may be completely denied for extended periods. The TimePictra software management suite provides centralized control and visibility of GPS reception across regional, national and global geographic areas. It can incorporate an optional internal miniature atomic clock.


GNSS antenna

For reference deployments, CORS networks and monitoring

The VeraChoke GNSS antenna. (Photo: Tallysman)

The VeraChoke GNSS antenna. (Photo: Tallysman)

The VeraChoke is a high-accuracy choke ring antenna with a choice in form factor for reference and monitoring applications. The VC6100, the first model variant of the VeraChoke, shares a common high-efficiency element design with its counterpart VeraPhase. With the choke-style form-factor, however, the rings have been optimized for all GNSS signals and are slightly pyramidal in shape to improve reception of low-elevation satellites. The VC6100 offers a tight phase center variation (PCV) of no more than ±1 mm for every frequency. It is capable of receiving all GNSS signals, and achieves a very low axial ratio. The antenna also supports large and small SCIGN radomes.


GNSS + INS module

Combination improves availability

Duro Inertial fuses GNSS and inertial measurements into a combined solution. (Photo: Swift Navigation)

Photo: Swift Navigation

Duro Inertial is a ruggedized version of Swift Navigation’s Piksi Multi dual-frequency real-time kinematic (RTK) GNSS receiver combined with Carnegie Robotics’ SmoothPose sensor fusion algorithm, which fuses GNSS and inertial measurements into a combined solution. The blending of GNSS and inertial measurements provides a dead-reckoning capability that allows Duro Inertial to provide a highly accurate, continuous position solution during brief GNSS outages and to deliver a robust precision navigation solution in harsh GNSS environments.

Swift Navigation,; Carnegie Robotics,


Features GPS, GLONASS and Galileo

Photo: Garmin

Photo: Garmin

The durable Instinct has GNSS; three-axis compass; barometric altimeter; and wrist-based heart-rate sensor. The watch includes a built-in sports apps, smart connectivity and wellness data. It is built to endure challenging environments, and is constructed to military standards for thermal, shock and water resistance. The multi-GNSS feature helps users track their location in challenging environments, while the Garmin Explore app helps plan and track a trip.



Navigation system

GNSS + inertial for surveying

Photo: SBG Systems

Photo: SBG Systems

The Navsight Land & Air Solution provides high-performance inertial navigation to make surveyors’ mobile data collection easier, whether for mobile mapping, GIS or road inspection. The solution consists of an inertial measurement unit (IMU), available at two different performance levels, connected to Navsight, a rugged processing unit embedding fusion intelligence and a GNSS receiver. It also has connections for external equipment such as lidar, cameras or computer. SBG’s fusion algorithms allow the company to get the best performance from inertial, odometer and GNSS technologies; exclude false GNSS fixes; and improve the trajectory in complicated areas such as urban canyons, forests and tunnels. The solution supports all GNSS constellations, and real-time kinematic (RTK) and precise point positioning services such as Omnistar and TerraStar.

SBG Systems,


Edge-to-cloud big data system

iSTAR Pulsar is designed to capture 360-degree data while mounted on a vehicle, drone or on foot. An upcoming feature in cloud-based processing software VR.WORLD uses artificial intelligence and image recognition to analyze the images captured by iSTAR Pulsar so that objects like cars, trucks, traffic lights, road signs, pedestrians and cyclists can be automatically identified in images. Handheld 3D mobile mapping company GeoSLAM and mobile mapping software company Orbit GT have introduced integration with iSTAR Pulsar.


Smart antennas

Offers L-band access to TerraStar

Photo: NovAtel

Photo: NovAtel

The SMART7 family features NovAtel’s GNSS + inertial navigation system (INS) SPAN technology; future-ready GNSS; Wi-Fi and internet protocol connectivity; superior tracking performance; and TerraStar-C PRO corrections. It is designed to increase GNSS availability, accuracy and reliability for major precision-agriculture equipment manufacturers. The SMART7-S includes SPAN technology, the SMART7-W includes Wi-Fi and an integrated NTRIP client, and the SMART7-I model also incorporates Ethernet. All SMART7 models provide exceptional positioning availability using signals from all constellations and frequencies to deliver assured positioning anywhere.


Rugged tablet

For high-accuracy measurements

Photo: DT Research

Photo: DT Research

The DT301X rugged military-grade tablet is purpose-built to enhance the precision of 3D surveying, crime and crash scene reconstruction, and bridge and other construction inspections. An option is a dual-frequency GNSS module for real-time mapping and positioning. The tablet integrates the Intel RealSense depth camera, which provides real-time 3D imaging providing accurate measurements for CAD, engineering, design, utility management and crime-scene forensics. A high brightness 10.1-inch touchscreen offers flexible viewing in a wide range of lighting, and an Intel eighth-generation Core i5 or i7 processor offers high-performance while still being energy efficient. With high-capacity 60- or 90-watt hot-swappable batteries, the DT301X keeps working continuously, complemented with a variety of battery chargers so fully charged batteries are always available.

DT Research,

Rugged smartphone

For data collection

Photo: Juniper Systems

Photo: Juniper Systems

The Cedar CP3 rugged smartphone is capable of data collection and communication. It has a high-visibility 5.5-inch AMOLED display; 14- to 16-hour battery life operating at full brightness and running GPS; 16-megapixel user-facing camera and dual 12-megapixel rear camera; and 6 gigabytes of RAM with 64 gigabytes of internal storage.

Juniper Systems,


Drone rescue system

Parachute systems for multicopters

Photo: Drone Rescue

Photo: Drone Rescue

Parachute rescue system DRS-5 is designed for multicopters up to 8 kg; the DRS-10 for multicopters weighing 5–20 kg. The system consists of a carbon cage in which the parachute is stored as well as associated electronics. The electronics, including the sensors, monitor the flight status of a drone independent of the flight controller. A sophisticated algorithm merges this sensor data, enabling automatic crash detection and parachute ejection. All flight data and movements are recorded in a black box.

Drone Rescue,

UAV data analysis tool

New analytics tool for drone pilots

PrecisionPass assesses UAV data collected in the field. The toolkit lets pilots quickly determine if a data-collection job meets the required criteria or if it needs to be collected again. PrecisionPass assesses coverage, assesses image resolution and quality, reviews required metadata, speeds upload and processing times, and packages data for processing. The immediate feedback reduces the risk of failures during the analysis stage, all but eliminating the need to re-fly a mission, so customer needs are met in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Harris Geospatial,

Computing platform

Automates commercial drone tasks

The Skyfish platform is controlled by the tiny SkyNode computer, which integrates with optical, thermal, navigational and lidar devices along with sensors, algorithms and robotics. (Photo: Skyfish)

Photo: Skyfish

The Skyfish computing platform fully automates crucial infrastructure inspection and measurement tasks. It supports DJI and PixHawk flight controllers and other drone architectures, as well as 3D modeling software from companies such as Bentley Systems. Its easy-to-use interface enables anyone to fly, inspect and model complex infrastructure. The platform also pre-processes the collected infrastructure data and metadata to help create impeccable 3D models.



Development kit

Open-source GNSS+IMU kit for autonomous guidance

Photo: Aceinna

Photo: Aceinna

OpenIMU is a professionally supported, open-source GPS/GNSS-aided inertial navigation software stack for low-cost precise navigation applications. Integrating an inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based sensor network improves navigation and self-location capabilities. It is aimed at developing autonomously guided vehicles for industrial applications, autonomous cars, industrial robots and drones. OpenIMU enables advanced localization and navigation algorithm solutions; its extensible software infrastructure provides the code needed for algorithm development. A hardware development kit includes JTAG-pod, precision mount fixture, EVB and an OpenIMU300 module that features Aceinna’s 5 deg/hr, 9-Axis gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer sensor suite with an onboard 180-MHz ARM Coretex floating-point CPU.


GNSS module

Leverages the Teseo III receiver

Image: STMicroelectronics

Image: STMicroelectronics

The Teseo-LIV3F module incorporates the Teseo III receiver. It speeds application development and adds up to 16 MB of Flash memory for firmware updating or data logging without a backup battery. Used by automotive and industrial sectors, the Teseo III multi-constellation receiver combines high accuracy with fast response time and low power consumption. The Teseo-LIV3F module enables makers and small engineering teams to leverage the Teseo III advantages in creating new products in the industrial and consumer market segments such as vehicle trackers, drones, anti-theft devices and pet locators, and systems for services such as fleet-management, tolling, vehicle sharing or public transportation.


Digital mirrors

Coming to Europe in late 2018

Photo: Ficosa

Photo: Ficosa

Audi’s latest e-tron electric car will launch in Europe with a digital rear-view system. Developed by Ficosa, the camera monitoring system is made up of cameras and displays that replace traditional external side mirrors to increase safety and comfort. The vision system is comprised of two cameras, integrated into the sides of the car’s chassis, and two tactile displays inside the doors.

Ficosa,; Audi,

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.