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Launchpad: GNSS receiver, graphing software, hexacopter, more

April 25, 2019  - By

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


GNSS receiver

With embedded 9-DOF IMU


Photo: Rokubun

The Argonaut GNSS receiver is able to provide geo-location with real-time accuracy of 2 meters and off-line accuracy better than 0.4 meters using Argonaut PaaS. This is possible because GNSS raw measurements, together with inertial measurement unit (IMU) nine-degrees-of-freedom (9-DOF) measurements, are stored for offline GNSS processing (PPK, RTK, DGNSS). Argonaut will also register external events such as camera triggers within microsecond resolution and decimetric geo-location accuracy. The embedded IMU allows for an increased rate of navigation fixes as well as robust solutions in scenarios with impaired GNSS availability.

Galileo AltBOC addition

Plus atmospheric corrections


Photo: Skydel Solutions

SDX GNSS simulator update version 19.1 adds Galileo AltBOC signal generation, new atmospheric errors, SBAS improvements and SV antenna patterns. SDX users licensed with the Galileo E5 signal will be able to generate 8 Phase Shift Keying (8-PSK) constant envelope AltBOC after upgrading to SDX 19.1. Version 19.1 also adds a new error type to all SDX users: atmospheric delays. These errors can be compensated for with the SBAS option installed.
Skydel Solutions,

Wavefront simulator

Added to software-defined platform


Photo: Skydel Solutions

The BroadSim Wavefront Simulator is a new addition to Skydel’s software-defined platform. The BroadSim Wavefront further extends the capabilities achieved by BroadSim Anechoic, incorporating support for controlled radiation pattern antenna (CRPA) and multi-element receiver testing. Powered by Skydel SDX, the simulator’s features include phase-coherent simulation, real-time automated phase calibration, scalability from 4 to 16 elements, and advanced jamming and spoofing scenarios.

GNSS antenna

For high-precision and autonomous applications


Photo: Maxtena

The M7HCT-A-SMA is a high-accuracy, multi-frequency active quadrifilar helix GNSS antenna designed for high-precision and autonomous multi-frequency applications. The design offers concurrent GNSS reception on L1 (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou) and L2 (GPS L2C, Galileo E5B and GLONASS L3OC) in a rugged, compact and ultra lightweight form factor. The antenna is designed for GIS, RTK and other high-accuracy GNSS applications such as the drone and automotive markets. Helicore technology provides exceptional pattern control, polarization purity and high efficiency in a 25-gram form factor. The antenna offers up to 30-dB gain for GNSS applications in one radome housing with a single SMA connector.

Portable simulation

Solution for field-test requirements


Photo: CAST Navigation

The CAST-1000 duplicates GPS RF signals and uses dual-frequency signal generation technology. This allows for duplicate testing in the laboratory or the field and real-time or configured control. The CAST-1000 is mobile and portable, which makes it the ideal solution for field test requirements. Producing GPS and GLONASS signals with up to 12 satellites in view, the CAST-1000 simulates signals for satellites of P code on L1 and L2 and C/A code on L1. The GPS RF signal is dual-frequency and has a 12-channel configuration for any combination of visible space vehicles. The system is highly programmable — operators can choose from an array of vehicle types and replicate dynamic motion for all kinds of vehicles, from terrestrial to aquatic, airborne to space-based. By utilizing 6-DOF dynamic profile data collected in the field and through profile configuration, a trajectory can be created. The CAST-1000 also features a performance evaluation module, allowing for comparisons between raw and filtered data.
CAST Navigation,

Survey & Mapping

Graphing software

New plotting features


Photo: Golden Software

Version 14 of the Grapher scientific graphing package offers new plotting and customizing functionality based on user feedback. The Grapher software gives users deeper insights into their data by providing them with 80 flexible and easy-to-use 2D and 3D graphing tools for plotting, analyzing and displaying scientific data sets. The package is used extensively by scientists and engineers in oil & gas operations, hydrologic/geochemical studies, environmental consulting, mineral exploration and academic research. New or upgraded features include Enhanced Plotting (the ability to plot data in rows and columns, perform one-button Durov class plots, and easily generate multi-plot reports); and Improved Bar Charts (bar charts are more versatile, offering variable bar widths and differentiated fill colors for negative and positive).
Golden Software,

GIS software update

New lidar functionality


Photo: Blue Marble Geographics

Global Mapper version 20.1 offers new and updated geospatial tools, as well as performance improvements throughout the application. Enhancements to version 20.1 include a new zooming function in the path profile window, a digitizer tool for automatically closing gaps between features and, for lidar module users, a point proximity query function.
Blue Marble Geographics,

Survey application

For the geospatial industry


Photo: Global GNSS

The GNSS Surveyor mobile application provides location information and quality position data in real time with sub-meter to centimeter accuracy. It connects to any external GNSS receiver via Bluetooth. Features include a one-touch configured command to communicate directly with the GNSS Bluetooth device; location information and quality of the position data in real time with centimeter accuracy; GPS data such as position, height, satellites and velocity; and constellation information for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS and SBAS satellites. It also includes a direct IP feature for real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections data. An internal NTRIP client loads RTCM data from the internet. Location information is collected as latitude and longitude, altitude, speed or pace, bearing and UTC time. GNSS precision includes global coverage, centimeter-level accuracy, fast time to first fix, multi-constellation and multi-band, and highest security. Navigation uses include ground robotics navigation, lane-level navigation, heavy machine navigation, industrial navigation and tracking, and commercial UAV.
Global GNSS,

Indoor mapping

Slam technology removes point cloud artifacts


Photo: NavVis

The SLAM-based NavVis M6 Indoor Mobile Mapping System (IMMS) now automatically detects and removes point cloud artifacts, including moving objects in static scenes. The latest IMMS release removes artifacts from point clouds during the post-processing of scan data (see before and after image above). Fringe points and dynamic objects are two common types of point cloud artifacts that affect all 3D laser scanning devices. The NavVis M6 IMMS uses laser scanners to capture a high volume of measurement points of an environment. With the latest software update, the algorithms applied during the post-processing of scan data uses the multiple observations to detect whether measurement points actually exist in the physical space. If it is determined that the point does not exist and is instead resulting from the laser beam hitting an edge or an object moving through the space, this point is automatically removed. The result is a much cleaner, crisper point cloud that requires less clean-up time in point-cloud editing software and that is easier to use for applications such as BIM modeling.

Mobile & UAV

Adventure handhelds

Larger display, improved access to Satellite imagery


Photo: Garmin

Garmin has updated two premium adventure-oriented handhelds, the GPSMAP 66s and the GPSMAP 66st, with expanded wireless connectivity, direct-to-device access to BirdsEye satellite imagery, weather forecasting and a larger 3-inch sunlight-readable color display. The GPSMAP 66st offers preloaded topographic maps for U.S. and Canada, with detail of coastlines, rivers, summits, terrain contours and geographical points. Connectivity to the new Garmin Explore app and the BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (no annual subscription) bring high-resolution photo-realistic route views. Weather updates come via Bluetooth to a compatible mobile device. The Explore app includes features for outdoor navigation, trip planning, mapping and data sharing. Features include multi-GNSS satellite support and altimeter, barometer and compass sensor capabilities; 16 hours of battery life in full GPS mode; LED flashlight and SOS beacon; built to military standards for thermal, shock and water performance (MIL-STD-810G); RINEX data logging that enables sub-meter accuracy of GPS position after post processing.

RTK Hexacopter

Integrated GNSS improves accuracy


Photo: Yuneec International

The H520 hexacopter is now available with a real-time kinematic (RTK) system. The fully integrated RTK satellite navigation enables extremely accurate recurring images and faster 3D mapping. It also makes automated inspection flights easier and more precise. The H520 RTK is suitable for commercial applications that require maximum precision. By using RTK technology, the H520 can now fly much closer to objects for inspection because the UAV positions itself precisely in the centimeter range (1 cm + ppm horizontal / 1.5 cm + ppm vertical) rather than in the meter range, which is standard for the H520.
Yuneec International,

Web-based data service

Enables sharing of UAV data sets

MAGNET Collage Web is a web-based service enabling the sharing and collaboration of UAV and scanning data sets. Version 1.3 allows operators to work with more types of data with greater flexibility, including the ability to import BIM models, as well as CAD and GIS data. It can be used to overlay as-built laser scans and design data to visualize proposed changes and detect construction issues. The software supports OBJ, FBX and 3DS formats. The upgrade also includes new direct publishing functionality for CAD and GIS data files through the browser.

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