At the Razisse dam on the Dadou River in southwest France, a Spectra Precision FOCUS 35 robotic total station has completed monitoring the structural movements that occurred during recent major repairs and improvements to the dam. The Razisse is an arch and gravity type dam 30 meters high and 300 meters across built in 1955 to impound water for hydroelectricity. The current engineering project to improve dam performance and ensure downstream safety included raising the dam height by 60 cm, reinforcing existing abutments and adding two new piano key spillways.
Raising the height of the dam was expected to cause the abutments to settle. To ensure that the abutments were settling properly and within expectations, the FOCUS 35 was positioned to measure XY movement. Eight survey points were selected. Four prisms were place on the existing parapet of the right abutment and four prisms on the reaction points of the left abutment. The survey points were measured and recorded at different steps in the project: before deconstruction, after deconstruction and before and after post-tensioning tendons. To ensure accuracy each prism was measured four times and averaged to produce a final result. Measurements were taken at each step, then five days and 10 days following each step. spectraprecison.com
Future evolution of GPS III satellite design
Designed with evolution in mind, Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites for the Air Force’s next acquisition will be able to offer on-orbit re-programmability so they can be upgraded in space to add new signals or missions, a first for the GPS constellation. The satellite’s modular design will also allow for low risk, easy insertion of new, future technology into the production line – guaranteeing GPS III remains the gold standard for positioning, navigation and timing. Lockheed Martin will demonstrate the value of its flexible GPS III design over the next 26 months, as part of the Air Force’s GPS III Space Vehicles 11+ Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment. http://lockheedmartin.com/
“Future Proof” GNSS RTK Technology
Septentrio has introduced Altus APS3G RTK receiver, which brings technology only previously available in scientific receivers into the field for professional surveyors.
The new multi-constellation APS3G addresses major concerns about compatibility with new satellite constellations, as well as interference and jamming. Built on Septentrio’s AsteRx4 engine, the APS3G tracks all-in-view GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, IRNSS, SBAS, Galileo and QZSS, including E6/L6, and all other signals known to be available in the medium term. septentrio.com
AFC Mapper App by Trimble
Trimble has released its AFC Mapper App, a free, standalone Web and mobile app that can run on the latest version of the Trimble® Unity software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for managing critical water utility assets and field operations. It is designed to leverage technologies from Trimble, AMERICAN Flow Control (AFC) 2D barcodes and Esri to automate mapping and asset management of hydrants, valves and related water network assets, using Android- or IOSbased smartphones and tablets or Trimble handhelds. AMERICAN Flow Control, who manufactures the American-Darling and Waterous fire hydrant brands, is one of the largest fire hydrant companies in the utility industry. www.trimble.com
Trimble has introduced the Trimble® MB-Two GNSS module. The MBTwo delivers highly accurate GNSSbased heading plus pitch or roll in an advanced industry standard form-factor for system integrators. The module’s embedded Z-Blade™ GNSS technology uses all available dual-frequency GNSS signals equally, without any constellation preference, to deliver fast and stable centimeter-accurate position and heading information. The MB-Two is an ideal solution for a wide variety of applications such as unmanned, agriculture, automotive, marine and military systems.
The MB-Two features an enhanced dualcore GNSS engine with 240 channels capable of tracking L1/L2 frequencies from the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou constellations. The GNSS engine supports Trimble RTX™ correction services, including CenterPoint® RTX and RangePoint® RTX, delivered worldwide via L-Band satellite. www.trimble.com
BAE developing new navigation system for submarines
BAE Systems is developing a new undersea navigation system for U.S. Navy submarines and unmanned underwater vessels. The project is part of a program called Positioning System for Deep Ocean Navigation, or POSYDON, and was commissioned by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Current navigational methods that pose a detection risk for undersea vehicles forced to surface periodically to access the spacebased GPS which cannot sufficiently penetrate seawater. Under the program, the company will create a positioning, navigation, and timing system — as well as vessel vehicle instrumentation to capture and process acoustic signals — that allows vessels to remain underwater when navigating by using multiple, integrated, long-range acoustic sources at fixed locations around the oceans. Working with BAE Systems will be the University of Washington, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin. www.upi.com/
IZT Expands its GNSS Support Cooperating with TeleOrbit
To expand its GNSS support, IZT GmbH announced the cooperation with TeleOrbit, the marketing & sales unit of TeleConsult Austria. As a result of this agreement the generation of GNSS signals provided by the GIPSIE® software from TeleOrbit will be integrated into the feature set of the IZT S1000 signal generator. The S1000 signal generator with its broad frequency range and the Virtual Signal Generator (VSG) channels enables the similar generation of various GNSS standards in one device which can be combined with interferers or broadcast signals. In addition, it supports the combination with recorded signals. https://teleorbit.eu/en/
Juniper Systems’ Geode is a real-time, submeter GNSS receiver. Its overall focus is the same: high-quality data collection in rugged environments. It is an all-in-one, sub-meter receiver that provides users with real-time, precision GNSS data at an affordable price. Designed with versatility, the Geode features one-button simplicity and can be used with any Juniper Systems rugged handhelds, and a wide range of Windows®, Windows Mobile, and Android® devices – particularly useful for bring-your-own-device workplaces.
Mayflower receives small GPS user equipment contract
Mayflower Communications Company, Inc., has been awarded a Phase III SGUE (small GPS user equipment) contract with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), sponsored by the Space and Missile Systems Center/GPS Directorate (SMC/GPSD), to develop a small SWaP (size, weight, and power) security certifiable Common GPS Module (CGM) for the Air Force’s Modernized GPS User Equipment (MGUE) Program.
Mayflower’s SGUE program is aimed at the development of advanced GPS receiver technology to support future military GPS requirements. The goal of the program is to develop a NAVWAR (Navigation Warfare)–compatible CGM form factor that will support SWaP-constrained military users.
CHC has launched its new N72 GNSS series, a high-end sensor designed for GNSS applications including offshore surveys and machine control, national geodetic networks, crustal deformation monitoring and bathymetry
The N72 GNSS series is designed to offer all necessary technical features, making it one of the most complete and reliable GNSS receivers for scientific and surveying industries professionals.
“To meet the market requirements from geodetic survey and demanding applications such as CORS, on-board machine control and disaster monitoring, CHC research and development has designed one of the most feature-rich GNSS receivers available on the market. The N72 GNSS went through extensive validation and stringent quality process to achieve high performance and reliability,” said George Zhao, CEO of CHC.
SST Software and Eos Positioning Systems have announced a technology partnership to deliver in-field mobility solutions to precision agricultural service providers. The offering is now available to Sirrus for iPad users.
The new pairing allows agronomists and service providers to have reliable geospatial tools when and where they need it. Instead of relying on iOS location updates, Sirrus for iPad users can purchase one of Eos’ Arrow series GNSS products to stay connected anytime, anywhere.
CMD gets nod to pair FreeFlight GNSS with TDR-94
CMD Flight Solutions has received an approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML STC) of its ADS-B OUT solution for Part 25 airplanes. The STC covers installation of FreeFlight’s 1203C SBAS/GNSS GPS position sensor with Rockwell Collins TDR-94/94D transponders. According to FreeFlight, “The pairing is a cost-effective way to help aircraft owners meet the ADS -B mandate.” In addition to being used for ADS-B OUT compliance—due Jan. 1, 2020 in the U.S.—the 1203C, a 15-channel GPS sensor, is also an approved position source for NextGen applications such as CPDLC, TAWS/FMS, RNP and others. www.ainonline.com
Harxon Corporation has launched the HX-DU1603D, a high-speed, Bluetooth-enabled, wireless data link designed for GNSS/RTK surveying and precise positioning. It is a lightweight, ruggedized UHF receiver designed for digital radio communications between 410 and 470 MHz in the radio frequency spectrum using either 12.5- or 25-kilohertz channels. The HX-DU1603D has a 1.9-inch display screen with which to configure system parameters such as frequency, protocols, power display, serial port baud rate, and air baud rate.
Tallysman adds triple-band GNSS antennas + L-band
Tallysman has added two tripleband GNSS antennas to its multi-band antenna line.
The TW3970 is a pole mount, or through-hole mount antenna, which is also available in an embeddable form as the TW3965. Both employ Tallysman’s Accutenna technology and are capable of receiving GPS L1/L2/ L5, GLONASS G1/G2/G5, BeiDou B1/B2, Galileo E1/E5a+b plus L-band correction services (1164MHz to 1254MHz + 1525MHz to 1606MHz).
u-blox 8 Module
u-blox has released its 8 module series that addresses user needs for powersensitive operation. A derivative of the u-blox 8 GPS/GLONASS receiver platform launched in January, the module is related to the u-blox M8 platform that targets applications where navigation performance and high accuracy are paramount.
Leica Geosystems has announced the Leica Viva GS16 survey receiver, along with updated Leica Captivate and SmartWorx Viva software.
The GS16 is a “self-learning GNSS receiver,” the company said, able to automatically select the optimal combination of GNSS signals and stay connected with or without reference links.
The addition of self-learning GNSS is accompanied by increased lock-on capability in the multistation and various upgrades to the immersive Captivate software.
The new receiver is empowered by RTKplus to access all known and current signals, while intelligently distinguishing which ones are the optimal combination to lock onto for accurate positioning adapting to any environmental conditions. The GS16 also has capacity for future signals, such as the full deployment of BeiDou and the expected progress of Galileo and QZSS.
Teledyne Optech introduces lowcost, automated airborne surveying
Teledyne Optechs latest airborne systems is Optech Eclipse. As the world’s first autonomous airborne collection system for active and passive data, the Eclipse is a great step forward for low-cost and flexible surveying. The system’s highly simplified operation workflow and innovative sensor motion detection system let pilots manage surveys on their own, eliminating the need for an in-aircraft operator and drastically reducing survey costs. To minimize maintenance costs and down time, the Eclipse lidar system uses a rugged polygon scanner, and an integrated camera with a fully electronic shutter. Combined with a relatively low purchase price, these features make the Eclipse an affordable way for many groups to start collecting high-accuracy spatial data and camera imagery remotely for small-area and corridor surveys.
NovAtel Inc. recently announced the company ’s ground breaking initiative to develop functionally safe GNSS positioning technology for fully autonomous applications. NovAtel is leveraging its extensive experience developing safety critical systems for the aviation industry to meet the future safety thresholds required for driverless cars and autonomous applications in agriculture, mining, and other government, military and commercial markets. In early 2015, NovAtel took an important step in meeting this goal by forming a specialized Safety Critical Systems Group comprised of highly skilled engineers with backgrounds in functional safety as well as all aspects of GNSS and Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) technology.
Following is an interview with Mr. Jonathan Auld, Director Safety Critical Systems at NovAtel briefly explaining about the companys initiatives in the autonomous applications space.
Please explain briefly about NovAtels initiative to develop functionally safe GNSS positioning technology for fully autonomous applications.
We’ve seen a trend amongst a number of our target markets over the last few years related to the need for both high precision and functionally safe GNSS. NovAtel is a global leader in providing high precision GNSS to markets such as Precision Agriculture, UAV/UGV, and Rail applications, to name a few. In all of these there is a growing need for, what is termed in the automotive industry, functional safety as they move to more autonomous operations. We have also seen the explosion in the efforts to develop the same autonomous capability for the automobile industry. At present the capability to deliver both high precision and functional safety doesn’t exist in the market. The new initiative at NovAtel is to build a team of experts to tackle this challenge and transition NovAtel’s core technology into a safety context. We see GNSS as the heart of many autonomous systems and this is a new capability we need to add to our portfolio to continue to lead in these market segments.
How do you foresee the growth of autonomous application?
NovAtel’s involvement in autonomous applications from a GNSS perspective has been extensive over the last several years. We see more and more industries finding reasons to exploit autonomous operations and at the heart of many of these is a need to determine the absolute position, velocity and in some cases attitude of the platform. The growth of these applications is expected to be significant over the coming years in several market segments (agriculture, mining, UAV/UGV, Rail, as well as the automotive world) and we need to anticipate the future requirements. As more and more systems go autonomous the need for safety increases.
Please educate our readers about the ‘Safety Critical Systems Group’ at NovAtel.
The group was assembled initially in early 2015 as a project team to explore the opportunities and conduct business development and technical feasibility studies. In late 2016 the decision was made to form a separate cross functional team, containing Engineering, Product development, and Business Development staff, with the mandate to define the needs and begin development of a new platform to meet those needs. The team is made up of experts from all aspects of NovAtel’s core engineering functions as well as members of that contributed to our Aerospace products in the past. These staff have experience with safety critical development already and their experience is key to helping the new team understand what needs to be done.
How is ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 26262 compliance going to benefit NovAtel product development?
ISO/TS16949 is a more rigorous quality management standard based on ISO9001. TS16949 builds in additional requirements for overall defect prevention, more sophisticated supply chain management, continuous improvement and a philosophy of reduction in waste throughout your corporate processes. These concepts are certainly not new to NovAtel as we have been on a successful Lean journey for a number of years already. In this case the TS16949 solidifies the requirements cross-functionally in the organization and aligns to what many automotive OEM’s and Tier1 suppliers expect. We expect adopting this standard and getting certification will further increase NovAtel’s already exceptional quality and reliability.
ISO26262 is the functional safety standard that supports the development of electronic subsystems for the automobile industry. This standard is “table steaks” for developing products where there is a safety of life aspect to the operation of the system. There are other standards in other industries (like DO-178 and DO- 254 for aviation) which are similar in their overall structure of how to conduct product development to mitigate the potential for risk. ISO26262 puts in place the structured process and requirements in all stages of the development, production and service stages of a products life cycle to manage and mitigate risk. The goal being to provide a system that can operate safely and meet the performance expectations of the customer.
NovAtel expects these two standards to help increase our capabilities in all of our markets over the coming years.