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Swift’s latest Piksi Multi firmware release supports SBAS

May 9, 2018  - By

The Piksi Multi.

Swift Navigation has issued a new ​​firmware ​​upgrade to ​​its ​​flagship ​​product ​​​Piksi Multi ​​GNSS ​​module.

This marks the fifth major point release to Piksi Multi and is available free of charge to Swift customers. ​​The most recent provided GLONASS support, among other features.

The firmware release also enhances Duro, the ruggedized version of the Piksi Multi receiver housed in a military-grade, weatherproof enclosure designed for long-term outdoor deployments.

Duro – Piksi enclosure.

Firmware Release 1.5 for Piksi Multi and Duro supports four regional Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) — the United States-based Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS), the pan-European Union-based European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Navigation System (EGNOS), the Japanese Multifunctional Transport Satellites (MTSAT) Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS) providing coverage for Japan and Australia and the GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) regional system operated by the Indian government.

These four regional satellite systems are used to improve the overall performance of GNSS such as GPS and GLONASS, both of which are supported by Swift’s receivers.

SBAS support is particularly relevant for Swift customers located in places where cell phone coverage is sparse or is not available, such as rural areas where precision agriculture operations are taking place or alternatively in marine locations, lakes, in-land waterways and up to approximately 100 miles off shore where cellular or internet coverage may not be feasible.

Applications using SBAS do not require a local reference station, allowing rovers such as drones, combines and other agricultural equipment and marine vessels to benefit from satellite corrections accurate to a sub-meter, when centimeter-accuracy is not required and where internet or cell coverage is spotty or absent.

Firmware ​​Version ​​1.5 ​​Enhanced Receiver Performance Highlights ​

  • SBAS Support — The ​​new ​​firmware ​​adds support for WAAS + EGNOS + MSAS + GAGAN regional satellite constellations and augments standard positioning performance for ​​GLONASS (G1/G2) + GPS (L1/L2C) for use with Swift Navigation products.
  • Acquisition Improvements — Firmware 1.5 allows Piksi Multi and Duro a faster time to first fix and once a signal has been acquired, improves accuracy and availability. Time to first RTK fix was improved by 21 seconds.
  • Standard Positioning Performance (SPP) Enhancements — Time to first SPP improved by 7 seconds.
  • Increased Satellite Count for RTK — Increased satellite count used in the RTK engine improves RTK performance in all environments, particularly those where skyview is partially obscured and/or rapidly changing.

“The addition of four regional satellite constellations for our devices enhances reliability and improved position accuracy in challenging or remote environments where autonomous vehicles may have limited or no cell coverage. Essentially, SBAS provides a free corrections service, allowing our precision agriculture, marine and other customers to receive satellite corrections without a base station,” said Anthony Cole, Ph.D., director of the measurement and positioning team at Swift Navigation. “Being hardware-ready means that Piksi Multi and Duro users simply download the 1.5 firmware at no additional cost, to get the latest features and performance improvements.”


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.