Trimble unveils software GNSS receiver for high-accuracy in mobile devices

November 8, 2016  - By
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Trimble has introduced Catalyst, a software-defined GNSS receiver that works with select Android mobile handhelds, smartphones and tablets. When combined with a small, lightweight, plug-and-play digital antenna and subscription to the Catalyst service, the receiver provides on-demand GNSS, geo-location capabilities to transform consumer devices into high-accuracy mobile data collection systems.

The announcement of the new product, designed for GIS professionals, was made at Trimble Dimensions.

Through smartphone and tablet developments accelerated by the bring your own device (BYOD) to work movement, field workers and consumers increasingly have access to positioning technologies for geospatial data use and collection. The Catalyst software receiver collects data and inspects or manages assets using smart devices. The software-defined GNSS receiver is designed to be integrated into a wide range of applications—providing a dual-frequency, multi-constellation receiver. The mobile device receives dual-frequency signals from the plug-and-play Trimble DA1 digital antenna. The small size and light weight of the antenna makes it possible to store in a car glove box or backpack, available for use on demand. By adding a Trimble Catalyst subscription, users can choose the level of accuracy to suit their application needs from meter level to centimeters.

Trimble calls its Catalyst service Positioning-as-a-Service. It is available on-demand. Users download applications to suit their business needs, purchase the low-cost DA1 digital antenna and subscribe to the level of service required for the application. For GNSS corrections, the solution automatically selects the best available correction service based on the user’s location and subscription level. Corrections powered by Trimble RTX technology and the Trimble VRS Now networks are supported. Trimble RTX corrections can be received either via IP/cellular connection or L-band satellite. The subscription cost is based on usage, allowing users to scale up/down for projects with minimal capital expense.

“The addition of Trimble Catalyst expands our portfolio to address the needs of organizations that have adopted a workplace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy for their businesses and individuals who periodically need accurate positioning to support various work activities,” said Ron Bisio, vice president of Trimble’s Geospatial Division.

TerraFlex Geospatial Data Collection. The first available application for the Trimble Catalyst service is the Trimble TerraFlex cloud-based mapping and GIS field software, enabling users to achieve up to centimeter-level accuracy. TerraFlex is a scalable cloud-based solution addressing a  variety of field requirements including attribute-rich GIS data collection on consumer devices. With an intuitive interface and streamlined toolset for creating custom digital form templates, TerraFlex keeps the data flow standardized and streamlined from the field to the office.

TerraFlex provides a common interface for users across a range of common mobile and smart devices to provide robust, high-accuracy GNSS positioning and detailed asset attribution collection. The Catalyst service for TerraFlex provides a new option for a higher level of accuracy for users’ workflows without the upfront investment of traditional hardware GNSS receivers. It enables scaling up to meet specific project demands and allows a workforce to collect high-accuracy location in conjunction with other work tasks.

Availability. Catalyst service subscriptions and Catalyst DA1 antenna are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2017. In addition, a Software Development Kit (SDK) is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2016 for developers who are interested in developing new applications that use the Trimble Catalyst positioning on-demand service. Information and updates.

TerraFlex is available now.

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