Sensonor AS first began supplying its standard Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and Gyroscope Modules for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) space applications in 2012, beginning with the launch of the NASA sponsored AeroCube-4 satellite.
Recently Sensonor is a supplier for NASA’s current and future Low and Near Earth Orbit space applications. Sensonor’s STIM300 and STIM210 inertial products are now a standard part in many spacecraft’s similar to the AeroCube-4. Current NASA projects using STIM inertial systems include the Raven technology demonstration and Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout. Raven, which launches to the International Space Station in 2016, will test key elements of an autonomous relative navigation system. Its technologies may one day help future robotic spacecraft autonomously and seamlessly rendezvous with other objects in motion, such as a satellite in need of fuel, or a tumbling asteroid. The NEA Scout is a robotic reconnaissance mission that will be deployed to fly by and return data from an asteroid representative of NEAs.
NASA, in conjunction with the Aerospace Corp, spearheaded the use of STIM products in space, and many other commercial launch and satellite companies have since followed NASA’s lead.
The STIM Gyroscope Modules are often used in combination with GPS or a Star Tracker and Kalman Filter to orient and stabilize the satellite, as well as to provide feedback on satellite motion induced by its reaction wheels. In some applications, the gyroscopes are used to stabilize satellite-to-satellite communications.
NovAtel Inc. has introduced the GPS- 713-GGG-N and GPS-713-GGGL-N ATEX-qualified triple-frequency GNSS antennas with an Inmarsat rejection filter. Based on the company’s pinwheel technology, the antennas offer multi-constellation reception of L1, L2 and L5 GPS; L1, L2 and L3 GLONASS; B1 and B2 BeiDou; as well as E1 and E5 a/b Galileo frequencies.
The GPS-713-GGGL-N also supports L-Band from 1525 to 1560 megahertz. The same antenna can be used for GPS-only, dual or triple constellation applications, resulting in increased flexibility and reduced equipment costs, the company said in a news release.
The phase center of the antennas remain constant as the azimuth and elevation angle of the satellites change. Signal reception is unaffected by the rotation of the antenna or satellite elevation, according to NovAtel. With the phase center in the same location for the GNSS signals, and with minimal phase center variation between antennas, the antenna is suitable for baselines of any length.
Septentrio PolaRx5 GNSS
Septentrio has announced that the expansion of the PolaRx5 GNSS receiver family with the introduction of its newest ionospheric scintillation monitoring product. The PolaRx5S is powered by Septentrio’s AsteRx4 next-generation multi-frequency engine. It offers 544 hardware channels and supports all major satellite signals including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou for allin- view ionospheric monitoring. The increased number of pierce points provided by the highest possible satellites creates a more comprehensive opportunity for mapping anomalies. www.septentrio.com
Harxon antenna aimed at marine positioning
Harxon has released a utility beacon antenna — HX-CS7615A — to professionally solve marine satellite positioning challenges. The HX-CS7615A supports GPS L1/L2, GLONASS L1/L2 BDS B1/B2/B3 and beacon frequencies (282.6 to 326 KHz), which greatly overcomes the defects of long-distance transmission limits. In addition, combining wide frequencies in one antenna makes the new device more cost effective.
Fugro, US Army Corps of Engineers ink mapping deal
The agreement is a five-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a ceiling value of $12.5 million. It marks Fugro’s third consecutive mapping contract with the Corps, making this a partnership that has spanned more than 30 years. Mapping completed under this contract will support the Corps’ Center of Expertise for Photogrammetric Mapping in their endeavours to provide full service, rapid response photogrammetric mapping. Task orders from the contract will span the range of geospatial services that Fugro offers, including photogrammetry, LIDAR elevation mapping, oblique imagery solutions, remote sensing, topographic and planimetric mapping, land use/land cover analysis and disaster response services. www.marinelink.com
Spectracom Introduces GSG- 6 Series GNSS Simulators
Spectracom has introduced two timingrelated products, the GSG 6-Series GPS/ GNSS simulator for testing receivers’ timing capabilities and the SecureSync Timing Reference with enhanced Loran (eLoran) backup capability for GNSS.
The company’s off-the-shelf GSG 6 units support supports dual-frequency (L1/L2) GPS receivers and military secure SAASM modules with pseudo P(Y) code as well as the new GPS civil signals, L2C and L5; legacy GNSS L1 (GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo) signals and other new GNSS signals: GLONASS L2, Galileo E5, BeiDou B2; and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) L5.
Hemisphere GNSS has introduced two new OEM boards, the Eclipse P326 and P327, designed for machine control, land or marine survey, and agriculture applications. The boards support GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, and Japan’s QZSS. The boards are the first within the Eclipse product line to have refreshed low-power capability, reduced size, cost, and weight, the company said. P326 and P327 offer centimeter-level accuracy in single or multi-frequencies, using signals from multiple GNSS constellations and Atlas-capable modes.
Because of its small size (41 x 71 millimeters), P326 is a drop-in upgrade for Hemisphere’s existing products. The P327 module, larger at 41 x 72 millimeters, is a drop-in upgrade for standard 20-pin modules manufactured by other companies.
Defense contractors Polaris Consulting have developed a software system to use visual and radar data to compute a vessel’s position in littoral waters – independent of GPS.
The research was funded by the UK Ministry of Defence’s Centre for Defence Enterprise for use in autonomous applications, allowing self-navigating vehicles to get a fix on their location in coastal areas where an adversary is jamming GPS signals (“GPS denied environments”).
The common option for automated, GPSfree navigation is the inertial guidance system, long used in aerospace and defense applications. However, an inertial system’s estimate is based on dead reckoning from one initial position, and it degrades over time until the next fix. It must be very sensitive in order to deliver an accurate estimated position, and the equipment is expensive.
Instead, Polaris’ software uses an algorithm for integrating input from optical and radar sources, analogous to a mariner’s triangulations in terrestrial navigation. It calculates a position based on what each input “sees” and then adjusts how much it trusts the data based on current conditions. If it’s foggy, the algorithm treats the camera-based position as less accurate. www.maritime-executive.com
INS/GNSS Inertial Navigation System for Maritime Applications
With iMAR Navigation’s iNAT-RQT-4003, an RLG-based highly accurate INS/GNSS system is launched which is not affected by any ITAR regulations and which is handled under standard dual-use export control only. The system is designed for navigation and guidance applications as well as for most accurate surveying applications with interface capabilities to external sensors like USBL or DVL.
The iNAT-RQT (‘iNAT’ stands for ‘iMAR Navigation & Timing’) is the successor of the iNAV-RQH system, which has now been on the market for more than 15 years. The new version has lower power consumption, smaller size, less weight and extended interface capabilities including Ethernet (UDP, TCP/IP), UART RS422/RS232, CAN, ARINC429, ARINC825, HDLC and USB. The system supports GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GALILEO and TerraStar, provides RTK and optionally SAASM capability and contains 32GB of internal memory for online data storage. The system is qualified to MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-416F, MIL-STD-704F and DO-160G.
The iNAT-RQT-4003 has gyro-compassing capability and is used for AUV navigation as well as for surface-vessel navigation, surveying and motion control.
Trimble acquires AXIO-NET
Trimble has announced the acquisition of AXIO-NET GmbH from Airbus Defence and Space. Based in Hannover, Germany, AXIO-NET is a prominent provider of GNSS corrections and professional data services serving Germany, the United Kingdom and Benelux. www.trimble.com
IndoorAtlas Awarded 2.2 Million Grant from the European Commission
IndoorAtlas Ltd has received €2.2 million from the European Commission Horizon 2020 grants program. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program, with nearly €80 billion in funding available. Grant recipients, including IndoorAtlas, were selected based on technological breakthroughs with the potential to drive economic growth by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
IndoorAtlas’ researchers originally discovered that each modern building has a unique magnetic fingerprint. They went on to develop software that enables the magnetic sensor within any smartphone to accurately pinpoint and track a person’s location indoors. Developers can now integrate indoor location-based services into their mobile applications. www.indooratlas.com.
Empresa Argentina de Navegación Aérea S.E. (EANA), a Ministry of Transport company, has taken over full management of Argentina’s air traffic services. The company says it plans to invest US$121M in infrastructure and technology.
“We are very excited to take this definitive step as part of EANA’s development by fully taking over the ANS. We are firmly committed to service quality and we shall make our contribution to the overall efficiency of the air transport system. That includes our own efficiency and that of our customers”, said Agustín Rodríguez Grellet, General Manager of EANA S.E. “We want to proudly play a key part in the deep changes ahead and put EANA on a par with the world leaders in the industry” www.airportsinternational.com
SXPad 800H released by Geneq
Geneq Inc. has released the SXPad 800H, which the company describes as a feature-packed, rugged handheld GPS data collector at an affordable price. It is specifically designed for mobile GIS users in applications ranging from water, electric and gas utilities, transportation, mining, agriculture and forestry. The high-performance 800-MHz device is designed to give users all the power needed to work with maps and large data sets in the field. It is designed for rugged outdoor use, the company says, with a waterproof seal (IP65) and ability to survive a 5-foot (1.5-meter) drop to concrete. Its 3.7- inch color touchscreen (full VGA) is sharp and is sunlight readable.
senseFly & Air Navigation Pro to reduce the risk of mid-air collision
senseFly, has teamed up with the popular aviation navigation app, Air Navigation Pro, to launch Safer Together. This joint initiative has been designed to address one of the biggest issues facing the General Aviation (GA) and unmanned aircraft communities: the risk of mid-air collision.
Safer Together will make the skies a safer place by providing GA pilots and drone operators with awareness of each other’s airborne activities, giving them the knowledge they need to take any actions necessary to avoid mid-air incidents around 200 – 400 feet (60 – 120 m) above ground level, where most light-weight drones currently fly. This initiative is fully in-line with senseFly’s recent involvement in Global UTM (UAS Traffic Management) and JARUS discussions.
Intuicom offering enhanced connectivity solution for GNSS
Intuicom Incorporated has released the Intuicom 4G LTE RTK Bridge-X Communication Hub. Increasing the communication capabilities of the standard-setting RTK Bridge product line, the 4G LTE RTK Bridge-X lets users leverage the faster upload/ download speeds, the expanded coverage and enhanced connectivity offered by 4G LTE providers including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The 4G LTE RTK Bridge-X supports all leading precision guidance systems and GNSS manufacturers. It allows users to access configure and manage their device from their smart phone, tablet or laptop without being connected by a physical cable.