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Leica Pegasus TRK mobile mapper guided by AI

Photo: Leica

Photo: Leica

Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, has introduced Leica Pegasus TRK, a reality-capture mobile-mapping system that features artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous workflows and intuitive interfaces.

The Pegasus TRK features an AI-enhanced camera and automatic camera calibration. To comply with privacy regulations, its AI can identify and blur identifiers, such as people and vehicles, in real time.

Features include advanced dynamic laser scanning and an expandable imagery system for recording, measuring and visualizing environments. It also increases productivity with automated, intelligent workflows.

Light enough to be operated by one person, the Pegasus TRK is user-friendly, able to be used by professionals new to the technology. Its reliable, high-quality deliverables serve the needs of technical experts in various industries, including surveying, transportation and utilities.

The Pegasus TRK solution enables long-range mobile mapping for applications in asset management; road construction; rail and critical infrastructure; oil, gas and electricity industries and more. The system also is suitable for creating high-definition base maps for autonomous vehicles.

The Pegasus TRK connects with the new powerful Leica Pegasus FIELD software for fully autonomous and secure data collection and route planning in the field. It also connects with Leica Cyclone Pegasus OFFICE for seamless input into post-processing and publishing workflows.

“The Pegasus TRK solution is the most efficient mobile mapping product we’ve tried so far,” said Raymon Somford, CEO and owner of Rise3D. “It is lightweight and easy to use, guiding our team through the process of data collection. Its sensors that trigger automatically avoid missing details. We can achieve quality images regardless of the conditions, making mobile mapping almost effortless.”

“The Pegasus TRK solution offers flexibility, true-to-life image clarity and best-in-class accuracy while making mobile mapping more accessible and easier than ever before,” said Christian Schäfer, business director, Mobile Mapping at Leica Geosystems. “There is a growing demand for more autonomy. This solution raises the bar in data collection with automated route planning, guidance and collection processes that increase efficiency, improve data quality and reduce project costs.”

The Pegasus TRK will be a featured Tech Highlight at Hexagon’s flagship digital-reality solutions conference HxGN Live Global in Las Vegas, which takes place June 20-23.

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PassTime launches Encore 3 for long-life asset tracking

Photo: PassTime

Photo: PassTime

PassTime asset-tracking company has launched Encore 3, the third-generation of its wireless GNSS tracking platform.

Encore 3 builds upon the device platform introduced in 2019. It’s low power consumption results in extensive battery life, as much as several years. It can select and switch among four power modes so that customers can choose the features and reporting frequency they desire while balancing the battery-life options that meet their business objectives.

The compact Encore platform is self-powered, offering customers the ability to place an Encore device on an endless number of mobile assets within seconds. An optional, external power cable can be used  to enhance the device’s functionality even further. Encore 3 features an updated, modern USB-C connector for the optional external cable, for improved ease of use and connectivity.

Encore 3 is built with Cat-M1 LTE cellular technology for connectivity and provides 5G compatibility.

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Semtech extends LoRa Edge for seamless worldwide asset tracking

The new LoRa Edge LR1120 enables satellite-based networks and simplifies terrestrial network interoperability

Image: Semtech

Image: Semtech

Semtech Corp. has added multi-band capabilities to its LoRa Edge device-to-cloud geolocation platform.

The LoRa Edge LR1120 allows for direct satellite-connected internet of things (IoT) applications in supply-chain management and logistics with seamless low-power geolocation on a global scale, the company said.

“Semtech’s LoRa is targeting track and trace challenges faced by the logistics industry today with a geolocation IoT platform adapted to global transportation and mass-scale asset management,” said Marc Pégulu, vice president of IoT product marketing for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “With the launch of multi-band LoRa support, coupled with LoRa Cloud services, it has never been easier to expand ubiquitous IoT connectivity and geolocation globally.”

With LoRa Edge LR1120, intercontinental logistics companies can leverage highly integrated, ultra-low-power trackers with enhanced interoperability, more versatile connectivity for a simpler operation, and global mobility across multiple regulatory regions, Semtech said. Additionally, the possibility to offer a low-power and low-cost sensor with satellite connectivity unlocks a multitude of use cases in infrastructure monitoring, agriculture and environmental monitoring that require deployment in remote areas, which tend to be capital intensive.

“Combining LoRa with small, relatively low-cost LEO satellites will change the game for LoRa and IoT,” said Christopher Taylor, director, RF & Wireless with Strategy Analytics. “Adding satellite communication capabilities in the S-band to LoRa can help replace aging SCADA monitoring and opens up new applications and markets, especially in remote regions. So far, LoRa has attracted the interest of several satellite companies including EchoStar and Lacuna.”

Key Features of LoRa Edge LR1120:

  • multi-band LoRa capability (sub-GHz, 2.4 GHz and licensed S-band for satellite) and multi-technology geolocation using GNSS for outdoor and Wi-Fi for indoor, as well as areas where satellite coverage is poor
  • LoRa Cloud geolocation solver, which transfers the location processing workload from the device to the cloud, making “deploy once” battery life possible
  • supported by the GPS and BeiDou constellations
  • hardware crypto engine for increased security.
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Xona’s private GNSS satellite passes pre-launch testing

Xona has completed environmental testing for its upcoming demo mission, a significant step towards realizing its high-performance commercial navigation system

Xona Space Systems announced that their first in-space demonstrator has been delivered to Spaceflight Inc. for final integration after successfully completing testing and is scheduled for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter 5 in May.

Xona is an aerospace startup developing a precision navigation and timing system in low Earth orbit. It plans to build an independent high-performance satellite navigation and timing system to meet the needs of intelligent systems.

Xona’s first demonstration mission successfully completed testing at Experior Laboratories and prepares for launch on a Falcon 9 in May. (Photo: Xona)

Xona’s first demonstration mission successfully completed testing at Experior Laboratories and prepares for launch on a Falcon 9 in May. (Photo: Xona)

Satellite navigation systems such as GPS and Galileo are in the domain of major governments (and free to users). Xona said it is part of the new commercialized space movement, using it to bring benefits to satellite navigation and timing.

Xona Space is launching Huginn, the first of two missions, demonstrating the capability of its Pulsar constellation. Pulsar’s architecture uses small, powerful satellites in low Earth orbit, more than 20 times closer to Earth than GPS satellites, which are in medium Earth orbit.

Pulsar is planned to deliver high-performance navigation and timing services by combining security and signal designs with Xona’s patent-pending distributed atomic-clock architecture to enable robust precision navigation services from low-cost satellites. Its precision LEO positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) service leverages advances in small satellite technology to provide users with a secure and robust alternative to traditional GNSS.

Xona’s system architecture utilizes the efficiency of small satellites to provide an affordable global system with more than 10 times better accuracy and 100 times better interference mitigation than legacy systems, the company claimed

Huginn will transmit the first precision navigation signals from a LEO spacecraft, designed to test and validate the core software and hardware technology that Xona has developed for Pulsar. The mission will also demonstrate the functionality of end-user equipment on Earth and supporting ground systems.

Huginn is now going through final integration with Spaceflight in preparation for launch on the scheduled Transporter 5 mission in May.

“We’re thrilled that Huginn has successfully completed its very rigorous test campaign in preparation for launch and are incredibly proud of the Xona team for achieving such a critical milestone,” said Brian Manning, CEO of Xona. “Through this process, we learned a massive amount and will be incorporating these lessons into our second demo mission as well as the production satellites.”

Following the Launch of Huginn, the Xona team will shift focus to the second demonstration mission as well as the development of the Block I Pulsar system.

The final Pulsar constellation will consist of several hundred LEO satellites, delivering secure and robust precision PNT services designed to meet the needs of advanced applications such as self-driving cars, precision agriculture and construction, augmented reality, critical infrastructure, and many others.

“It is inspiring to see what this team has been able to achieve going from a blank slate to orbit in less than a year from the time we completed our ground-based prototype testing,” Manning said. “This is a huge step in the development and deployment of our Pulsar constellation, and we’re looking forward to a very exciting year here at Xona.”

Xona is backed by Seraphim Space Investment Trust (LSE:SSIT) and MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Toyota Ventures, Daniel Ammann (co-founder of u-blox), and Ryan Johnson (former CEO of BlackBridge, operator of the Rapideye constellation). Follow-on investors also include 1517 Fund and Stellar Solutions.

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Emcore contracted for navigation for space launch vehicles

Initial value of the contracts is expected to be more than $12 million

Logo: EmcoreEmcore Corporation has been awarded new contracts for the Booster Rate Gyro (BoRG) and Tri-Axial Inertial Measurement Unit (TAIMU) programs for space launch vehicles resulting from its acquisition of the L3Harris Space and Navigation business.

The BoRG program award is a contract valued at more than $12 million for the production of IMUs used for flight stabilization of the booster stage of a multistage launch system. The TAIMU program award is a development contract for the design and qualification of IMUs deployed for navigation and flight control of the upper stage of a multistage launch system.

Pending successful demonstration of required capability and quality, Emcore expects to be awarded follow-on production contracts for TAIMU within the next 12 months.

“We are honored to supply our highest grade inertial navigation equipment for these critical space launch vehicle programs,” said Albert Lu, senior vice president and general manager, Aerospace and Defense for Emcore. ”We look to further our close partnership with L3Harris through successful on-time deliveries for both the BoRG and TAIMU programs,” Lu added.

Acquisition Closes

Emcore’s acquisition of the L3Harris Space and Navigation business closed on May 2. Emcore acquired the business for approximately $5 million in an all-cash transaction, subject to any net working capital adjustments.

The acquisition expands Emcore’s inertial navigation product portfolio with the addition of navigation-and strategic-grade gyro and inertial measurement unit products.

Emcore acquired all outstanding assets and liabilities of the L3Harris Space and Navigation business, including all L3Harris intellectual property rights primarily used in the Space and Navigation business, a 110,000-square-foot leased production facility in Budd Lake, New Jersey, and associated production equipment.

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U-blox and Geespace partner to extend positioning solutions to US, Europe

U-blox and Geespace have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their respective augmentation services for high-precision applications. Both partners will be able to extend their service offering to the U.S., European and Chinese markets, primarily in the automotive sector.

Geespace is provider of aerospace information and communications (AICT) infrastructure and application solutions.

The agreement between u-blox and Geespace seeks to create a combined offering that will enable both companies to offer full-stack high-precision positioning software and hardware solutions to customers across the United States, Europe and China. It will enable Geespace, which provides automotive GNSS augmentation services to its parent company Geely Group, to use the u-blox PointPerfect GNSS augmentation service to grow its coverage to serve Geely’s automotive brands.

Meanwhile, it will enable u-blox to expand the coverage of the PointPerfect service to offer customers a comprehensive high-precision solution for products sold in China, and benefit from simplified development and logistics efforts.

The rise of reliable and cost-effective high-precision positioning has improved the accuracy of GNSS solutions to the order of tens of centimeters, enabling new applications in the automotive, industrial and robotics industries. Global adoption has, however, been hampered by a fragmentation of the augmentation services landscape, the companies stated in a press release.

For global adoption to become a reality, worldwide coverage is required, as is unified pricing and business models designed to serve mass-market high-precision solutions for automotive and industrial customers operating on a global scale, the companies said.

Image: adamkaz/E+/Getty Images

Image: adamkaz/E+/Getty Images

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Septentrio expands product portfolio for marine market

The housed AsteRx-U3 Marine and the OEM board AsteRx-m3 Fg are the two new GNSS receivers for dredging, marine construction and offshore applications

Photo: CharlieChesvick/E+/Getty Images

Photo: CharlieChesvick/E+/Getty Images

Septentrio, a leader in high-precision GNSS positioning solutions, has launched two new GNSS products for marine applications: AsteRx-U3 Marine and AsteRx-m3 Fg.

Both products offer accurate positioning near shore and offshore via centimeter-level real-time kinematic (RTK) or the built-in Fugro precise point positioning (PPP) sub-decimeter subscription service, delivered either over NTRIP internet or over L-band satellite.

Corrections delivered over L-band allow dredging, bathymetry or marine construction projects even in areas where there is no internet service. The AsteRx-U3 Marine receiver, enclosed in an IP68-rated housing, offers a unique feature of a dedicated L-band demodulator with a separate L-band RF input, which allows for the use of dedicated antennas for excellent reception of L-band signals even at high latitudes.

“The new products are designed around our most powerful GNSS core, bringing the latest evolution in GNSS technology to the demanding marine construction and dredging markets,” said Silviu Taujan, product manager at Septentrio. “They build on the success of the field-proven AsteRx-U Marine Fg and AsteRx4-Fg, with more processing power to allow tracking of all visible satellite signals while enabling higher update rates. AsteRx-U3 Marine and AsteRx-m3 Fg are both feature-rich receivers, combining the best-in-class RTK base and rover functionality with an option of sub-decimeter PPP positioning.”

Orders for both products can be placed immediately. Deliveries for AsteRx-m3 Fg will follow the company’s standard lead times, while deliveries for AsteRx-U3 Marine will start from July.

Septentrio GNSS technology is resilient to RF interference, which on vessels can come from satellite uplinks such as Iridium modems or from other radio antennas. Having robust GNSS technology means accurate and uninterrupted positioning on any vessel, even in challenging marine environments. Both AsteRx-U3 Marine and AsteRx-m3 Fg receivers offer accurate heading and pitch or heading and roll orientation information with the dual GNSS antenna configuration.

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GNOMES-3 GNSS radio-occultation satellite launched

Artist's illustration of a GNOMES satellite. (Image: Blue Canyon)

Artist’s illustration of a GNOMES satellite. (Image: Blue Canyon)

A new GNSS radio-occultation (RO) satellite is now in orbit. The GNOMES-3 — GNSS Navigation and Occultation Measurement Satellite — flew aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 rideshare mission on April 1 and was launched into a 646-km circular sun-synchronous orbit. The payload was powered on and operating nominally within four days of launch.
The GNOMES-3 was manufactured for PlanetiQ by Blue Canyon Technologies LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies. Using refracted GNSS signals, PlanetiQ can determine the density and moisture content of the atmosphere to improve weather predictions, helping improve NOAA weather models.

The GNOMES-3 joins GNOME-2 on orbit and is expected to achieve highly accurate GNSS-RO measurements using the fourth-generation Pyxis-RO sensor. PlanetiQ plans to launch more Pyxis-RO atmospheric and ionospheric sounding spacecraft in 2023. In all, PlanetiQ plans for a fleet of 20 GNOMES by 2024.

The GNOMES-2, launched in June 2021 on SpaceX’s Transporter-2 mission, produces more than 3,200 soundings of the Earth’s atmosphere and 5,000 ionosphere soundings per day with a large-aperture RO antenna that tracks all four GNSS constellations: GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou.

The soundings have sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to indicate the location of the planetary boundary layer, as well as detect super refraction at the boundary layer and near the Earth’s surface. The higher quality GNSS-RO soundings, along with the associated lower troposphere assimilation tools, will be used to produce more accurate weather forecasting and hurricane tracking, and aid in energy, transportation and agriculture industries as well as serve as a climate record with its SI-traceable data.

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RedLore launches high-accuracy onsite positioning solution

RedLore logoRedLore has launched a high-resolution version of Locus Site, its patented solution for high-accuracy onsite positioning. The real-time location system (RTLS) pinpoints assets down to one-half foot or 15 cm without requiring wiring throughout the facility.

Locus Site provides high-accuracy tracking for companies and facilities where installing wires is not possible. A 200,000-square-foot facility can be equipped with positioning capability in one day.

“The world’s logistical processes are today stretched to the breaking point,” said RedLore CEO Niek Van Dierdonck. “Keeping track, in real-time, of the location and condition of assets onsite and during loading and unloading provides an immediate improvement in efficiencies. Locus Site offers exactly that at a fraction of the cost and burden of other systems.” The system uses wireless sensors and asset tags, configured with a desktop app and supported by a mobile app.

Locus Site is used by manufacturers, healthcare service providers, construction companies, logistics companies and others to track everything in their facility without manual intervention.

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