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Launchpad: Tracking drones, mapping water

September 6, 2018  - By

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


Reference receiver

For real-time networks (RTN)

Photo: Trimble

Photo: Trimble

The Trimble Alloy GNSS reference receiver is designed for continuously operating reference stations (CORS). It offers 672 channels and constellation tracking of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, IRNSS and SBAS for robust and reliable reference data. With an IP68 rating for protection against dust and moisture, the Alloy performs in rugged environments to meet the demands of professionals in earth science, surveying, construction, mapping and agriculture. The Alloy allows RTN owners and operators to track and log all current and planned GNSS and deliver absolute position monitoring, as well as centimeter-level accuracy in real time with Trimble RTX precise point positioning technology. Featuring a four-line OLED screen, the receiver displays key information without the need to scroll through multiple menus. Other features include dual hot-swappable batteries, multiple power inputs and serial ports, Wi-Fi connectivity and remote access options.


GNSS antenna

Designed for precision positioning

Photo: Tallysman

Photo: Tallysman

The TW7875 magnetic-mount GNSS antenna is designed for precision dual-frequency positioning. It is capable of receiving GPS L1/L5, GLONASS G1, BeiDou B1, Galileo E1/E5a and NavIC L5. It employs Tallysman’s Accutenna technology, which provides superior multipath signal rejection due to its low axial ratio across the full bandwidth. It also provides a linear phase response and tight phase-center variation. It is designed for precision agriculture, autonomous vehicles and other precision applications. The TW7875 is housed in a magnetic-mount IP67-rated housing, but can also be mounted with screws or adhesive tape. The embedded version, Model TW3875, has a wide selection of connectors and custom cable lengths, and can be custom tuned by Tallysman to ensure optimum performance within the customer’s enclosure.



Combined in Small Package

Photo: NovAtel

Photo: NovAtel

The SPAN CPT7 provides tightly coupled GNSS+INS navigation technology in a rugged, compact unit. Commercially exportable and designed for integration into a wide variety of applications, it delivers assured positioning anywhere. SPAN technology tightly couples GNSS and inertial navigation system (INS) measurements. The system enables continuous, robust positioning and fast reacquisition in challenging navigation environments where GNSS signals may be unreliable or unavailable for short periods. Dual antennas deliver instant alignment. NovAtel’s OEM7 Interference Toolkit (ITK) provides interference detection and mitigation, with the spectrum analysis function allowing integrators to identify interference within the GNSS frequency bands and implement digital filters to eliminate the problem.


Inertial measurement

COTS device with 6-degrees of freedom

Photo: Northrop Grumman

Photo: Northrop Grumman

The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) LN-200C is a compact and lightweight six-degrees-of-freedom inertial measurement unit (IMU) that can be used for instrument stabilization, motion compensation and navigation in commercial, aerospace and industrial applications. Based on fiber-optic gyro (FOG) technology, the LN-200C IMU’s hermetic seal and lack of moving parts help to ensure low noise and extended operational life. The LN-200C can serve as a drop-in replacement for applications that don’t require the full operational range of the original LN-200 and that can benefit from the expedited licensing and global ease of use offered by the LN-200C.

Northrop Grumman,


C-V2X testing

Global Certification Forum (GCF) protocol conformance tests available

Photo: Rohde & Schwarz

Photo: Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz CMW500 wideband radio communication tester and SMBV100A GNSS simulator have been expanded to support Global Certification Forum (GCF) protocol conformance tests for C-V2X device certification. Utilizing the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset from Qualcomm Technologies, the R&S CMW500 acting as an LTE network simulator allows automakers to test C-V2X direct communications (PC5) according to GCF Work Item 281. The new R&S CMW-KK550 test package includes the 3GPP Protocol Conformance tests from LTE-V2V GCF Work Item 281 and LTE-V2X GCF Work Item 282. The R&S CMW-KU514 C-V2X software package on the R&S CMW500 is used to verify data transmission and reception over the PC5 interface in ideal, faded and congested channel conditions. Together, both packages enable Rohde & Schwarz to support C-V2X device testing through all protocol layers.

Rohde & Schwarz,

GNSS + LTE + WI-FI antennas

Protected against hazards that threaten vehicles

Photo: Airgain

Photo: Airgain

The Multimax FV family is available in a range of configurations, supporting multi-constellation GNSS. The antennas also support up to dual MIMO LTE (including Band 14 for the FirstNet public safety network), 3×3 MIMO Wi-Fi or 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi. With a small footprint and a strong, bolt-mount aluminum base, the Multimax FV family provides protection against natural hazards threatening vehicles, including vibration, ice, salt, car washes and tree sweeps. The high-gain antennas deliver a large cellular footprint alongside high-rejection GNSS technology (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou).



BVLOS situational awareness

For Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) flight operations

Arctic UAV has adopted Kongsberg Geospatial’s IRIS UAS Airspace Awareness application for BVLOS operations within Canada’s Arctic. IRIS provides simultaneous monitoring of multiple drones. It offers real-time calculation of aircraft separation and communications line-of-sight, real-time visualization of track and weather data.

Kongsberg Geospatial,

Arctic UAV,

Marine anti-drone system

For superyacht, maritime and port industries

Photo: Martek Marine

Photo: Martek Marine

M.A.D.S detects and identifies commercial drones within a 5+ kilometer range, providing GPS positioning of both drone and pilot together with the drone’s speed and heading. Once a drone threat is established, the system enables a 500-meter electronic exclusion zone to be created around the yacht. Should the drone approach this exclusion zone, its control/video signal is blocked, initiating a fail-safe mode and forcing a landing or return to operator.

Martek Marine,

Drone tracking

Operates on the Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network (MANET)

The Auto-Tracking Antenna System is a portable ground-to-air antenna for tracking aircraft, including drones. Defense customers can use it for better airborne communications relay and full-motion video camera/sensor data transmission. It can be assembled and deployed in less than 15 minutes.

Persistent Systems,


Updated software

For surveying with drones

Image: Virtual Surveyor

Image: Virtual Surveyor

Version 6 of Virtual Surveyor drone surveying software offers a faster, more efficient workflow and better user experience in a more stable platform than previous versions. Along with new capabilities is an improved licensing system and an extended free application. The software generates an interactive onscreen environment through orthophotos and digital surface models generated from a UAV, where the surveyor selects survey points and breaklines to define the topography. It enables land surveyors to complement traditional fieldwork with UAV imagery to generate highly accurate topographic products.

Virtual Surveyor,

Forestry platform

Offers geospatial analytics

Foresights is a risk management and geospatial analytics platform designed to help clients manage forestry assets quickly, effectively and accurately. Foresights identifies areas of new or potential risk, and delivers operations tracking and forest damage management services. It combines satellite imagery, topography maps, soil maps, meteorological data and near real-time ground input from operational teams to deliver optimized insights. It can detect damage as small as 0.1 hectare (0.25 acre) from pests, disease and drought.


Cloud ecosystem

Integrates four EOS products

Image: EOS

Image: EOS

EOS Platform provides a powerful toolset for geospatial analysts — offering search, analysis, storing and visualization of large amounts of geospatial data. Image data obtained from LandViewer or uploaded from a user’s computer is stored in cloud-based EOS Storage and is instantly available for remote-sensing analysis or image processing. EOS Processing offers 16 workflows that run online, including raster tools, remote sensing analytics, photogrammetry and proprietary feature extraction algorithms designed by EOS engineers and data scientists to address the main challenges of agriculture, forestry, oil, gas, retail, city planning, defense and other industries.

Earth Observing System,

Surface water book

Highlights analysis of data sets

Cover: Esri

Cover: Esri

The Esri book GIS for Surface Water: Using the National Hydrography Dataset by Jeff Simley details how to use geographic information system (GIS) technology to visualize and analyze data sets. Simley is an award-winning cartographer and the former lead of the hydrography program at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The book examines the complexities of surface water systems and shows readers how to use the Esri ArcGIS software with government water data sets to better study and manage the United States’ vast water system.


Bathymetry store

Specializes in online shallow-water data

EOMAP has opened a commercial online store for global shallow-water bathymetry derived from satellite data. At the store, EOStore Bathymetry, customers can search for and request high-quality data. Satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB) is a valuable tool for the surveying, planning and management of coastal and offshore sites. SDB can provide shallow-water bathymetric data worldwide without the need for a physical presence in the area of interest. EOMAP developed the bathymetry store in response to industry feedback. EOStore Bathymetry offers different horizontal spatial resolutions of the bathymetric grid of 2 to 15 meters, making the data suitable for surveying as well as planning and modeling purposes.


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.