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Benefits of an All-in-One Navigation System

Engineers who are solving complex navigation problems are presented with a choice about their GPS and GNSS/INS: Design their own platform, or purchase a complete solution? While the temptation may be to select parts from numerous manufacturers, the assembly of a self-designed system is not efficient, cost-effective, or reliable.

Let’s start with GNSS/INS

GNSS/INS offers data rates up to 1000Hz with the assistance of an Extended Kalman Filter. With the addition of inertial sensors, an INS adds pitch, roll, and yaw to the navigation solution. In many navigation applications, such as legged robotics, quadcopters, and aircraft, this attitude data is required for balance and stabilization, but the greatest benefit is the ability to operate in challenging GNSS denied environments. Without satellite coverage and a clear view of the sky, a GNSS system will quickly lose the ability to estimate position.

When you purchase your entire navigation system from Parker LORD integration has already been addressed, eliminating any compatibility issues.

Photo: Parker Lord

What is an all-in-one system?

The MicroStrain 3DMGQ7 with SensorCloud RTK includes a dual antenna RTK enabled Inertial Navigation System with an integrated, custom IMU, dual RTK-capable multi-constellation GNSS receivers, a barometric pressure sensor, and a magnetometer. Beyond the integrated sensors, it offers hardware and API support for external velocity sensor measurements such as wheel odometry.

The MicroStrain 3DMGQ7-GNSS/INS integral Extended Kalman Filter combines ease of use with an advanced navigation algorithm providing a level of performance that equals systems costing 5x the price. The sophistication of this system requires a sensor fusion algorithm that supports a wide range of applications.

One of the greatest benefits of an INS is the ability to operate in challenging GNSS environments.

Photo: Parker Lord

Unique to the MicroStrain system, SensorCloud RTK enables users to obtain the positional accuracies needed for autonomous platforms, providing the required correction information to achieve centimeter positional accuracy in a variety of dynamic and unpredictable environments. Paired with the 3DMRTK, this complete network RTK platform is a high-performing inertial navigation solution fitting for a variety of applications.


Why use a MicroStrain all-in-one system?

When you purchase a complete MicroStrain navigation system from Parker LORD, integration issues have already been addressed and compatibility issues have been eliminated. Buying an all-in-one system means there are no surprises. The perception that shopping around for parts allows for cost savings is often false and creates additional steps for the end user. True cost-savings usually occur with the purchase of an all-in-one system, from one manufacturer. Buying a navigation system from multiple suppliers is two to four times more expensive than an inclusive solution.

Image: Parker LORD

SensorCloud RTK is a cloud option maintained and managed by MicroStrain that enables users to obtain the positional accuracies needed for autonomous platforms and provides the required correction information to achieve centimeter positional accuracy. When paired with the 3DMRTK, this complete network RTK platform is a one-stop inertial navigation solution with proven performance at a competitive price.

Parker LORD’s system delivers better stability and lower noise than stand-alone GNSS systems. The MicroStrain 3DMGQ7 also works closely with Robot Operating Systems (ROS). MicroStrain’s ROS system is used in the operation of legged robots and excels on the mobile and versatile quadrupeds.

The key design parameters for the 3DMGQ7 were better performance for a lower price. The 3DMGQ7 delivers on both counts and is the easiest to implement all-in-one navigation system on the market.

Photo: Parker LORD

GNSS/INS Comparison:

3DMGQ7 + RTK + Dual Antenna increases accuracy 100X from Single Point INS (2m to 2cm) at 6X lower cost than REF (reference).
• Sensor fusion of Dual Antenna + INS + RTK yields smoother output than segmented standalone GNSS receiver.

Real life usage

Our all-in-one navigation system gets data collection up and running faster than other options. A Parker LORD customer working on an electric vehicle application integrated the 3DMGQ7 into their vehicle and were up-and-running in less than a week.

Meanwhile, out on the West Coast while driving through the Stockton Street Tunnel in San Francisco, the 3DMGQ7’s Extended Kalman Filter guided the customer’s autonomous vehicle on a safe and correct path, even though the GPS (incorrectly) showed the vehicle veering off course.

Go with an all-in-one solution

For better accuracy, reduced costs, ease of use, and fast implementation, turn to MicroStrain’s 3DMGQ7 with SensorCloud RTK.  Whether the work is in BVLOS drones, unmanned vehicle navigation, legged robots, or autonomous vehicles, the advantages are far greater with an all-in-one solution. Contact MicroStrain to find out how this system can help you.

Learn more about the 3DMGQ7-GNSS/INS and 3DMRTK and other MicroStrain inertial sensing solutions.

All images: Parker LORD

This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Parker LORD. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. The GPS World editorial staff did not create this content.