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Spectra Geospatial GNSS receiver chosen for around-the-world yacht race

September 14, 2020  - By
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Photo: Spectra Geospatial

Photo: Spectra Geospatial

The Spectra Geospatial SP90m GNSS receiver will guide the racing yacht Maître CoQ for the 2020 Vendée Globe, single-handed, non-stop around-the-world yacht race. The Vendée Globe is an extreme endurance test for both sailor and boat and widely considered the ultimate challenge in ocean racing. The race starts Nov. 8 and is expected to finish in late January or early February.

The SP90m will provide the skipper of the Maître CoQ, Yannick Bestaven, with precise position and boat heading information. The SP90m information is integrated to a separate attitude information source, and the entire package of the position, heading and attitude is sent to the boat’s autopilot.

Photo: Spectra Geospatial

Photo: Spectra Geospatial

Bestaven, responding to the changing sea and wind conditions, strategically adjusts the autopilot to keep the boat moving at top speed to the desired destination as he changes and trims sails and trims foils to achieve maximum sailing efficiency.

The Maître CoQ is an advanced design mono-hull foiling sailing yacht in the category of IMOCA (International Monohull Offshore Class Association) which have a fixed length of 18.28 meters (60 feet), Antoine Connan, head of engineering for the Maître CoQ racing team, selected the SP90m.

The hostile environment and requirements for precise position information at sea far from land made the selection of the SP90m an important technical choice. It always delivers an accurate position and precise heading with no GNSS corrections.

Commenting on the performance of the SP90m in the recent July 2020 2,800-mile qualifying race, the Vendée- Arctique-Les Sables D’Olonne, Connan reports, “We are already very happy with its installation on board.”

The SP90m is a rugged design for marine environments. With 480-channel tracking and dual GNSS antenna inputs, the SP90m is an integrated onboard rover receiver offering minimal size and low power consumption.

When the Maître CoQ technical team, based in La Rochelle, decided they needed to upgrade the boat’s navigation system, they contacted Cadden, a specialist in supplying advanced electronic precision measurement sensors. In addition to the requirement for delivering fast, precise position and heading data, the new sensor had to be lightweight, small, require little power, be easy to integrate, and flawlessly withstand a hostile saltwater environment. Cadden’s analysis concluded the Spectra Geospatial SP90m fit the spec perfectly.

“We are thrilled that the Maître CoQ racing team selected the Spectra Geospatial SP90m,” said Olivier Casabianca, vice president Spectra Geospatial. “It’s one more confirmation that Spectra Geospatial provides truly the highest quality rugged and precise GNSS receivers.“

About the Vendée Globe 2020. Held every four years, the Vendée Globe is a single-handed (solo) non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance. It starts and finishes in Les Sables-d’Olonne in the Département of Vendée in France. The course is a circumnavigation from Les Sables- d’Olonne, that heads south in the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, then east in the Southern Ocean clockwise around Antarctica, keeping Australia’s Cape Leeuwin and South America’s Cape Horn to port (to the left); and then back north in the Atlantic returning to finish in Les Sables-d’Olonne.

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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