Launchpad: UAV that follows, tracker with hotspot, tilting GNSS antenna

November 28, 2018  - By
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A roundup of recent products in the GNSS and inertial positioning industry from the December 2018 issue of GPS World magazine.

OEM

Combination antenna

Long-range connectivity

Photo: Molex

Photo: Molex

The Molex highly compact 2.4/5-GHz combination GPS/Wi-Fi ceramic antenna is designed to be a cost-competitive solution covering the full GNSS band, 1.561 to 5.85 GHz. The triple-band ceramic antenna has Wi-Fi HaLow compatibility and is interference-resistant, supporting larger but lower (900-MHz) frequency ranges than 2.4/5-GHz connections. It also operates with lower power over longer ranges than 2.4/5-GHz Wi-Fi. Advanced Wi-Fi applications the internet of things, connected cars, smart homes and smart cities.

Molex, www.molex.com

GNSS module

Built-in flash memory

Photo: Fujitsu

Photo: Fujitsu

The MSB1054 multi-receiver module requires no external components, meeting needs of smartwatches, fitness trackers, logistics and navigation. Its Flash memory saves navigation data to optimize performance and provide a hot start. The ability to receive signals from several satellite systems significantly reduces the time to first fix. The module provides a built-in RF-front end (SAW filter, low-noise amplifier) as well as a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), so no external component is required other than an antenna. It measures 5.8 × 6.2 × 1 millimeters and uses 3.4 mA current in low-power mode, such as for tracking.

Fujitsu Electronics Europe, www.fujitsu.com/uk/

GNSS IoT module

Aimed at European market

The GE310-GNSS module. (Image: Telit)

The GE310-GNSS module. (Image: Telit)

The GE310-GNSS is an internet of things (IoT) module with GSM/GPRS, multi-constellation satellite positioning and Bluetooth functionality in a 270-millimeter-squared form factor. It meets European demand for GSM/GPRS compact form factors and is part of Telit’s migration-support program that helps customers leverage 2G’s low cost and broad coverage while preparing for 4G and 5G. The GE310 enables OEMs and system integrators in asset management, utilities and telematics to meet the strong demand for low-cost, highly compact devices without tradeoffs in performance, reliability and functionality, particularly in regional markets such as Europe, where 2G is forecast to remain in strong growth in number of IoT connections for many years.

Telit, www.telit.com

GNSS/INS board

With multi-sensor fusion positioning and orientation

Photo: Unicore

Photo: Unicore

The CLAP-B multi-GNSS/MEMS integrated inertial navigation board features a miniaturized high-performance inertial measurement unit (IMU) on a compact high-performance GNSS board. The high-accuracy GNSS positioning coupled with a high-precision gyro and accelerometer provides stable, continuous 3D position, velocity and attitude, as well as original acceleration and angular velocity measurements, even in GNSS-denied environments. CLAP (Concurrent Localization & Attitude Pilot) technology is a high-precision multi-sensor fusion positioning and orientation technology developed by Unicore. The board is compact, light weight and has low power consumption. It is designed for ease of integration and mass production, and is suitable for autonomous driving, smart surveying and UAVs.

Unicore Communications, www.unicorecomm.com

GNSS receiver

Can serve as base station or rover

Photo: Marxact

Photo: Marxact

The UNI-GR1 RTK GNSS receiver offers highly accurate heading and positioning output. It can be connected to any device through Wi-Fi, mobile data, radio, USB or serial cable. It simultaneously tracks GPS L1/L2/L5, GLONASS L1/L2, Galileo E1/E5a/E5b and Beidou B1/B2/B3 on 432 channels. The receiver has a built-in level, a LED ring driven by a nine-degrees-of-freedom inertial measurement unit. Users can configure numerous settings such as real-time kinematic, or begin surveying immediately with a smartphone or laptop.

Marxact, www.marxact.com


SURVEY & MAPPING

Smart antenna tilt

Designed for rugged jobsites

Photo: Trimble

Photo: Trimble

Dynamic tilt functionality has been added to the Trimble SPS986 GNSS smart antenna. The dynamic tilt upgrade allows for faster data collection to enable construction surveyors to create larger digital terrain models faster and with improved accuracy. It can capture higher accuracy measurements on steeper slopes from a moving vehicle and more accurate volume measurements to save time and money on material planning. The dynamic tilt measurement mode also auto-measures antenna height. From inside the vehicle, contractors can set the height of the antenna and quickly interrogate surface models using the real-time 3D surface display in Trimble Siteworks field software.

Trimble, www.trimble.com

On-site data processing

With Kespry and DJI drones

Edge1 base station. (Photo: Skycatch)

Edge1 base station. (Photo: Skycatch)

The Skycatch Edge1 is an on-premise data processing and GNSS base station optimized for the Skycatch Explore1 and DJI Phantom 4 RTK drones. Field teams can fly a drone, process the data and receive centimeter-level data output in 30 minutes or less, directly to a tablet, without the need for internet or cellular connectivity. 2D maps and 3D point clouds can be shared from the tablet. The Edge1 includes built-in WiFi, LTE and reliable sub-5-centimeter accuracy, and delivers high-quality data output. It is also capable of running deep learning algorithms to extract more insights from collected data in near real time.

Skycatch, www.skycatch.com; DJI, dji.com

Drone software

To derive topographic information from drone data

Screenshot: Virtual Surveyor

Screenshot: Virtual Surveyor

Drone surveying software Virtual Surveyor now eliminates the need for clients to use third-party applications to prepare data for processing. Version 6.1 handles on-the-fly projections that previously required a separate software package to set the data in the proper coordinate system. It bridges the gap between UAV photogrammetric processing applications and engineering computer-aided design (CAD) packages. The software generates an interactive onscreen environment with UAV orthophotos and digital surface models where the surveyor selects survey points and breaklines to define the topography, creating highly accurate topographic products for CAD input up to five times faster than otherwise possible. Surveyors can drag and drop all kinds of files into Virtual Surveyor: points, raster, vectors and point clouds. The point clouds are converted to a DSM for manipulation and processing, dramatically accelerating the time required to generate the CAD model.

Virtual Surveyor, www.virtual-surveyor.com

Redistricting software

Includes Efficiency Gap Measure to explore redistricting problems

Screenshot: Mapitude

Screenshot: Mapitude

Maptitude for Redistricting is a professional tool for political redistricting. Maptitude provides measures and reports that support the creation of fair and balanced districts, and regularly enhances the software. Maptitude was used to democratize redistricting in California and is used by redistricters from independent commissions, non-profits, and civil rights groups, to the courts and political parties.

Mapitude, www.caliper.com

Mining solution

Stockpile measurements are up to 80% more accurate

Photo: DJI

Photo: DJI

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is now part of the Kespry stockpile measurement solution for mining and aggregates companies. Kespry’s stockpile measurement solution produces data up to 80% more accurate than manual measurement. All of the survey data is stored in a central cloud application, accessible for analysis by the entire team. Large aggregates and mining companies can standardize and capture stockpile data across all their sites in the Kespry platform, while using Kespry 2s or DJI Mavic 2 Pro drones.

Kespry, www.kespry.com; DJI, dji.com


TRANSPORTATION

C-V2X Module

Designed for next-generation automotive applications

Image: Quectel

Image: Quectel

The automotive-grade C-V2X module AG15 features the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset paired with Quectel LTE module AG35. It is designed to meet the telematics and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity requirements of autonomous driving and road safety. It features a built-in multi-constellation high-precision GNSS (GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo/QZSS) receiver with additional support from satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) and Qualcomm 3D dead-reckoning technology, which improves positioning accuracy and speed while simplifying customer designs. It is designed to allow low-latency, highly reliable and highly dense data exchange between vehicles and their surroundings, enabling effective information sharing among road users to avoid collisions, thus improving automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency.

Quectel Wireless Solutions, www.quectel.com

Automotive microcontroller

Enables remote updates, in-vehicle networking

Image: STMicroelectronics

Image: STMicroelectronics

The SPC58 Chorus H microcontroller (MCU) line can run multiple applications concurrently to allow more flexible and cost-effective vehicle electronics architectures. The line is designed for high-end body, networking and security applications such as gateways, body-control modules, battery management and ADAS safety systems. The line has three high-performance processor cores, more than 1.2-MB RAM and powerful on-chip peripherals. The MCU securely delivers updates over the air for vehicle powertrain, body, chassis and infotainment features. With high security and large on-chip code storage, ST’s Chorus automotive microcontroller is a gateway/domain-controller chip capable of handling major OTA updates securely. Two independent Ethernet ports provide high-speed connectivity between multiple Chorus chips throughout the vehicle and enable responsive in-vehicle diagnostics.

STMicroelectronics,www.st.com

Testing system

For advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)

Photo:

Photo:

The VBOX 3i RTK is a real-time-kinematic-enabled version of the VBOX 3i dual antenna that can be used in conjunction with an RTK differential base station to obtain ±2-centimeter positional accuracy in real time at 100 Hz. The data logger combines the advantages of a twin antenna GPS setup with GLONASS satellite tracking. It can be used in vehicle tests where positional accuracy and repeatability are of key importance, such as lane departure testing, distance to a fixed object or precise mapping. The VBOX 3i RTK comes with the VBOX manager, a display enabling users to change dynamic modes and filter settings, set up slip angle data and define antenna locations.

Racelogic, www.racelogic.co.uk

Tracker

Provides built-in Wi‑Fi hotspot

Photo: ERM Telematics

Photo: ERM Telematics

The StarLink TrackerWi‑Fi advanced vehicle-tracking device combines u-blox GNSS, 4G and Wi-Fi technology, eliminating the need to equip vehicles with a separate mobile Wi‑Fi hotspot. StartLink is suitable for applications for connected cars, telematics, vehicle diagnostics, fleet management, vehicle security, usage-based insurance, and rental and leasing service companies. With the Wi‑Fi hotspot, users can tap into cellular 4G to transfer telematics data to the fleet manager and send real-time data to the driver’s smart device or infotainment system.

u-blox, www.u-blox.com; ERM Advanced Telematics, ermtelematics.com


UAV

Underwater drone

Enables stable imaging

The Notilo Plus team with the iBubble. (Photo: Notilo Plus)

The Notilo Plus team with the iBubble. (Photo: Notilo Plus)

Notilo Plus has launched iBubble, a fully wireless, autonomous and intelligent underwater drone that can be used for search-and-rescue operations, naval or underwater infrastructure maintenance, and subsea patroling. iBubble can accompany divers for up to an hour and down to 197 feet depth, enabling superior underwater imaging. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was designed using a patented underwater localization technology, which is mainly based on acoustic signal transmission and image recognition (video tracking). By combining these technologies, iBubble is able to locate precisely its target underwater and shoot stable footage. The iBubble is equipped with an obstacle avoidance system, real-time image recognition, a stabilization system and direct surface control.

Notilo Plus, www.notiloplus.com

Compact drone

Captures images of inaccessible areas

Photo: Parrot

Photo: Parrot

Anafi Work is an ultra compact tool for professionals, helping them make informed decisions using the drone’s aerial insights. Anafi Work includes the advanced Anafi drone equipped with an innovative imaging system, a 4K/21MP camera with a 180° vertical orientation, allowing users to capture images of inaccessible areas.The drone operates for 1 hour and 40 minutes with its 4 USB-C smart batteries. It can be transported anywhere in a compact shoulder bag. Professionals can create 3D models of buildings, quickly and easily, using a one-year subscription to Pix4Dmodel.

Parrot, www.parrot.com

Airborne sensors

Laser scanners for large UAVs

Photo: Riegl

Photo: Riegl

The Riegl VQ-480 II and VQ-580 II are designed for airborne applications at mid-altitudes for use on both manned and unmanned aircraft. The new Mark 2 designs of previous models improve both performance and user-friendliness. Both offer a measurement rate of up to 1,250,000 measurements/second and a 75-degree field of view of suitable for corridor mapping, city modeling and applications in agriculture and forestry. Weighing approximately 10kg, they are ready for integration into helicopters and unmanned UAVs with a higher payload capacity. The VQ-480 II and VQ-580 II are prepared for smooth GNSS/IMU integration, offer interfaces for up to five optional cameras, and are have built-in and removable storage.The VQ-480 II works at a laser wavelength of 1550 nm; the VQ-580 II at the1064 nm wavelength suited to measure on ice and snow.

Riegl, www.riegl.com

UAV security

Designed to protect outdoor events

The portable DroneNode. (Photo: DroneShield)

The portable DroneNode. (Photo: DroneShield)

DroneNode is a portable, compact and inconspicuous counter-drone jamming device that law enforcement can use at large outdoor events without raising public concern (it is not yet authorized for use in the U.S.) It can simultaneously jam 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz and GNSS L1 and L2 bands up to one kilometer, causing drones to return to their point of origin or land. It is also effective against swarm attacks. Emergency broadcasts, cellphone communication and other dedicated channels are unaffected.

DroneShield, www.droneshield.com

Action drone

Follow drone with obstacle avoidance

Photo: Skydio

Photo: Skydio

Skydio R1 users now have the ability to follow cars. New modes include Car Follow, improved Lead Mode, and other improvements throughout the system, which is built on top of the Skydio Autonomy Engine. The engine operates 13 cameras, enabling it to map and understand the world in real time, allowing it to be fully autonomous and independently capture video footage. Its Nvidia Jetsonl AI runs neural networks that trained for the Car Follow feature on datasets of automobile images.

Skydio, www.skydio.com

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