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Epson displays SureColor T5470M at Esri UC 2019

Epson’s Matt Kochanowski offers an overview of the company’s SureColor T5470M printer and scanner at the 2019 Esri User Conference in San Diego. According to the company, the SureColor T5470M, which combines a 36-inch printer and integrated scanner, can produce accurate A1/D-size prints in as fast as 22 seconds.

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Lidar USA partners with Teledyne Optech on UAV sensor integration

Teledyne Optech, a Teledyne Technologies company and global leader in advanced lidar sensors, has announced that its new compact lidar sensor, the CL-90, is available for purchase through its first integration partnership with Lidar USA.

For more than 20 years, Lidar USA has been building UAV sensor systems that meet the demands of a growing number of applications.

Lidar USA has sold thousands of systems worldwide. Its ability to support numerous industries with cutting-edge integration makes them an ideal partner for Teledyne Optech’s compact lidar sensors, Teledyne stated in a press release.

Lidar USA’s products are used for surveying-related tasks ranging from topography work, to highways and land development. They are also used for agricultural work for forestry and plant growth, and have applications in archeology as well.

Teledyne Optech’s CL-90 sensor features exceptional canopy penetration for excellent ground coverage, long-range performance for maximum productivity at UAS ceilings, and best-in-class data precision for tight-tolerance applications; an ideal companion to Lidar USA’s robust and dynamic integration capabilities.

“Our customers face many challenging projects and they need tools that can deliver. Whether it’s greater range, more accuracy, or better penetration of vegetation, using the new Optech CL-90 gives us the means of providing the tool to get the job done” said Lidar USA CEO Jeff Fagerman.

Teledyne Optech Executive Vice-President and General Manager Michel Stanier said in a statement:
“Teledyne Optech is pleased to partner with Lidar USA to bring our compact lidar sensors to market. Lidar USA is a premier UAV solution provider. As a result, we are confident that their integration expertise and strong global market presence will provide the ideal platform to deploy the CL-90’s rich, unique feature set into the UAV marketplace.”

Lidar USA will be at InterGEO this year and can be found at ICS Foyer Stand 2 featuring a fully integrated CL-90 solution. Teledyne Optech will be featuring some of its new Compact Lidar (CL) suite of products this year at InterGEO Booth B3. 042 from September 17-19 in Stuttgart, Germany.

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Drone Rescue supports German Aerospace Center’s FALCon project

The FALCon research project has already carried out initial flight experiments with unmanned small aircraft. Drone Rescue Systems (Photo: Drone Rescue Systems)

The FALCon research project has already carried out initial flight experiments with unmanned small aircraft. Drone Rescue Systems (Photo: Drone Rescue Systems)

The parachute safety solution manufacturer Drone Rescue Systems GmbH is supporting the European research project FALCon, the “Formation flight for in-Air Launcher 1st stage Capturing demonstration.”

Under the leadership of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), research is being conducted on how launch vehicles can be returned to the launch site as efficiently as possible for re-use.

The aim of FALCon is to achieve cost-efficient and environmentally friendly satellite transport. The focus of the project lies on the return of rocket stages after launch. To be able to reuse these stages, efforts are being made to recapture them in the air using a “rocket catcher.”

For the next three years (March 2019 to February 2022) the focus will be on the development and flight demonstration of a technical solution for this idea. While still in the air, rocket stages are to be captured by a transport aircraft over the sea and pulled into the vicinity of the landing site. There, the stages are to land independently.

“We are proud to be part of the FALCon research project together with five international partners and DLR as part of HORIZON2020 (EC grant 821953), the EU’s largest research and innovation program to date. The capture and towing of rocket stages in flight, that is, an autonomous and safe landing, is a particularly interesting topic for us as a manufacturer of parachute safety solutions,” said Andreas Ploier, CEO of Drone Rescue Systems GmbH.

The research project has already carried out initial flight experiments with unmanned small aircraft.

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IdeaForge provides specialized UAVs to Indian market

The Ninja UAV. (Photo:: ideaForge)

The Ninja UAV. (Photo:: ideaForge)

Lynx–Lawrence & Mayo, an Indian engineering equipment providers, has expanded its portfolio to include specialized drones, through its partnership with ideaForge, India’s largest UAV manufacturer.

As part of the agreement, ideaForge’s drones equipped with more than a decade of UAV design expertise, will be accessible to Lynx – Lawrence and Mayo for applications across urban development, weather monitoring and testing, agro-technology and other sectors.

Developed by a team of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay graduates, ideaForge has been celebrated for its innovations in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) domain. It built a small, light autopilot in 2009 and India’s first autonomous quadcopter UAV. Their designs have led the development of world class, indigenous UAVs for security and surveillance, reconnaissance, mapping, photogrammetry and other industrial applications. Now, their UAVs even come with the capability to meet the DGCA regulations, to ensure NPNT compliance.

Through this partnership, Lynx–Lawrence & Mayo will have access to ideaForge’s fleet of UAVs for inspection, surveillance, traffic and crowd management, and disaster management. The fleet includes:

  • Switch UAV – A fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) hybrid for terrain-independent deployment with long range, high endurance and high altitude capabilities.
  • Q-Series UAV – Enterprise specialist VTOL quadcopter built with military design philosophies.
  • Ninja UAV – Lightweight and economical micro UAV built specifically for mapping and advanced surveillance.
  • Netra Pro – Rugged quadcopter for maximum redundancy in extreme conditions.
  • Netra V-Series – Field-proven UAVs for mission-critical applications, integrated with high zoom HD real-time video transmission.

“We at Lynx have been driving innovation and excellence in advanced precision equipment for engineering and industry. With the addition of innovative UAVs from ideaForge, we are delighted to add a range of advanced and futuristic drones to our portfolio,” said Glenford D’souza , Lynx senior general manager. “We will be strategically deploying these products to create an integrated and specialised service/solution offering to our existing and potential clients. We look forward to a long term and fruitful partnership.”

IdeaForge has deployed more than 700 systems and has trained more than 1,200 pilots in services including the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force; state police forces; Indian railways; and many more agencies.

IdeaForge drones have been used in defense and homeland security for border monitoring, anti-terror operations, counter insurgency operations, disaster management, traffic monitoring, campus surveillance, crowd management and more.

With the flexibility to customize their drones for an array of requirements, ideaForge also provides end-to-end UAV solutions and services to the industrial and commercial sectors.

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Laser scan data improves response in active shooter simulation

A security technology firm reduced the time needed for public-safety personnel to engage a simulated active shooter by providing the team with site floorplans created from 3D laser scan data.

Before the exercise, the firm scanned the entire 112,000-square-foot building interior in just 2.5 hours with the GeoSLAM ZEB-HORIZON 3D mobile scanner.

Entropy Group’s Robert Myers scanned the interior and exterior of a 112,000-square-foot facility in less than three hours using a GeoSLAM handheld 3D laser scanner. (Photo: GeoSLAM)

Entropy Group’s Robert Myers scanned the interior and exterior of a 112,000-square-foot facility in less than three hours using a GeoSLAM handheld 3D laser scanner. (Photo: GeoSLAM)

“In the role-playing scenario staged at a mega-church, the off-duty police officers reached the shooter in up to 21 percent less time using a 2D floorplan generated from the laser scans,” said Robert W. Myers, CEO of Entropy Group LLC. “However, we expect engagement times to drop considerably by leveraging the 3D scan data to create virtual reality training simulations.”

Based in San Ramon, Calif., Entropy Group was established to save lives during active shooting incidents at schools and churches by providing law enforcement with the situational awareness information they need to reach perpetrators more quickly inside complex building spaces.

Handheld mapping. The firm uses the GeoSLAM ZEB-HORIZON handheld mapping device to capture 3D scans of school and church interiors, including small offices, classrooms and closets. The GeoSLAM software generates highly accurate 2D floorplans for use by responders, either hardcopy or digital, to navigate the interior of the building.

The same data set can also be used to create virtual environments where multiple officers train on computers to respond to attack scenarios in realistic, immersive 3D simulations of actual schools and churches in their jurisdictions.

“Eventually, we plan to utilize machine learning technology that will allow individual officers of first responder teams to be dispatched to specific locations within the facility in real time to quickly reach shooter engagement locations within the buildings,” Myers said.

The ZEB-HORIZON handheld 3D scanner. (Photo: GeoSLAM)

The ZEB-HORIZON handheld 3D scanner. (Photo: GeoSLAM)

The handheld ZEB-HORIZON laser scanner allows users to map interior and exterior spaces in 3D at walking speed. The lightweight device captures up to 300,000 points per second with an accuracy of 1-3 centimeters up to 100 meters from the user.

SLAM technology ensures points are tied to local coordinate systems even in interior spaces where GPS/GNSS coverage is poor. Large multi-room buildings that might take days to scan with a stationary scanner can be mapped in a few hours with the ZEB-HORIZON.

“Mobile laser scanning technology is the fastest and most cost-effective way to create the 2D and 3D building information tools public safety personnel need to prepare for a variety of emergency scenarios,” said Shelley Copsey, GeoSLAM CEO.

The GeoSLAM Hub software creates a fully integrated data collection and mapping workflow, enabling ZEB-HORIZON users to process, view, merge, edit and output 2D and 3D deliverables within minutes of data capture. Outputs include 2D floorplans, CAD, as well as an integrated workflow for the creation 3D building information models (BIMs).

Entropy Group is working directly with school districts and places of worship to provide scanning services and develop standardized procedures for the capture of 3D data inside their buildings. These reality capture data sets and derived 2D and 3D products will be provided to local public safety organizations for use in generating hardcopy and digital representations.

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NavTechGPS offers GNSS and INS courses in New Orleans

NavtechGPS is offering the following multi-day training sessions on GNSS/GPS technology in New Orleans this December. Both courses will take place at the InterContinental New Orleans Hotel.

Photo: InterContinental New Orleans Hotel

Photo: InterContinental New Orleans Hotel

Dec. 9-12 (4 days)
Course 346: GPS/GNSS Operations for Engineers and Technical Professionals
Instructor: Dr. Chris Hegarty, MITRE

Take this 4-day course to gain a comprehensive understanding of GPS/GNSS system concepts, design and operation, including information on GPS signal processing by the receiver; techniques by which GPS obtains position, velocity and time and a brief introduction to differential GPS (DGPS) and Kalman filtering.

Dec. 9-13 (5 days)
Course 557: Inertial Systems, Kalman Filtering and GPS/INS Integration
Instructors: Dr. Alan Pue, Johns Hopkins, APL; Mr. Michael Vaujin, Aerospace, Navigation & Defense Consultant.

Expanded to a full five full days based on attendee requests, this course on GPS-aided navigation will thoroughly immerse you in the fundamental concepts and practical implementations of the various types of Kalman filters that optimally fuse GPS receiver measurements with a strapdown inertial navigation solution. The course includes the fundamentals of inertial navigation, inertial instrument technologies, technology surveys and trends, integration architectures, practical Kalman filter design techniques, case studies, and illustrative demonstrations using MATLAB.

Five fulls days allow for a fuller and detailed development of the design of an aided navigation system, combined with a detailed discussion of the use of lower quality IMUs, and advanced filtering techniques.

For more information, visit the NavtechGPS website.

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Komatsu dozing control logic combines GNSS/INS for machine control

Photo: Komatsu

Photo: Komatsu

Komatsu America Corp. has introduced Proactive Dozing Control logic, a fully-integrated dozing control system that allows operators to perform auto-stripping, auto-spreading and high production dozing, as well as finish grading.

Built on the company’s intelligent machine control, the system uses GNSS positioning in conjunction with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to calculate precise position. The two sensors work together to calculate exactly where the tracks are on the ground.

The machine control system communicates with the dozer’s hydraulic controllers, engine controllers and the machine controller. Through cylinder sensor technology, the position of the blade is calculated in relationship to the machine body.

The Proactive Dozing Control logic measures the surrounding ground and determines what has been done on the area being graded, then stores that data and information. When the dozer prepares to go back over that area to cut or work it more, the system understands what it was like from its previous track and, therefore, follows the existing terrain — the very terrain that was just created.

Proactive Dozing Control logic provides real-time position of the machine on the job site to create a highly accurate elevation for the system to drive the blade to the precise grade needed. Using real-time conditions, the system understands what the terrain around the machine looks like and makes calculated decisions — whether it should cut and carry material, whether it should spread or fill that material, or whether it should be finish grading.

The new system is available on the Komatsu D51EXi-24, D51PXi-24, D61EXi-24 and D61PXi-24 dozers.

Photo: Komatsu

Photo: Komatsu

“Proactive Dozing Control logic opens up a world of application possibilities for machine control technology,” said Derek Morris, Product Marketing Manager, Intelligent Machine Control and Smart Construction for Komatsu. “Traditionally, GPS machine control focused on finish grade, which meant operators only used the technology approximately 10 to 20% of the time. Proactive Dozing Control logic is a game-changer because the integrated system now lets operators use automation any time, whether for general site clean-up, backfilling trenches and more.”

“A key differentiator is that our system collects data at the tracks, while aftermarket solutions collect data at the blade,” Morris noted. “Because data is collected at the track, the system provides a real-time picture of the ground around the machine, allowing the system to make calculated decisions based on the current terrain. By collecting data at the track level, we’ve created machine control that is far more advanced, offering an entirely new level of efficiency, whether you’re an operator who has 20 years’ experience or someone new to the job, our Proactive Dozing Control logic provides precision work every time, making operation easier and more productive.”

With Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic, operators can use the dozer to its full capacity, leading to increased utilization, better ROI and better production. Owning and operating costs are also lowered because wear and tear on the machine is reduced by automating operation, Komatsu stated in a press release.

By significantly minimizing track slip during operation, undercarriage wear is reduced, thereby lowering O&O costs, since 50% of the ownership cost of a dozer is the undercarriage.

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Kansas to fly BVLOS drone with onboard systems only

Kansas receives approval for first beyond-visual-line-of-sight drone flight in the nation using only onboard detect and avoid.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has received permission to conduct the first beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone operation in the nation leveraging only onboard detect-and-avoid systems.

This is the first U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized operation to fly without a requirement for visual observers or ground-based radar. It is the result of the 31-member Kansas UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team efforts to advance drone technologies.

In a collaborative effort among Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus (K-State Polytechnic), Westar Energy, Iris Automation and KDOT, the Kansas IPP team will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies to inspect power lines in rural Kansas. This approval is the first of its kind for long line linear infrastructure and is the first step to enable routine commercial infrastructure inspection across the state.

This is the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight to leverage onboard sense and avoid systems alone for collision avoidance. It also marks the first required automated avoidance action.

Historically, all FAA-issued Part 107 BVLOS waivers have required visual observers or ground-based radar. These mitigations limit the possibility of true BVLOS flights, as they are typically prohibitively expensive and limit operations to pre-defined corridor areas with radar coverage.

This important milestone is facilitated by Kansas UAS IPP partner Iris Automation’s Casia onboard collision-avoidance system.

“The UAS industry has worked over 10 years to demonstrate the most significant commercial benefit of drone operations within the United States,” said Bob Brock, KDOT director of aviation. “We are proThe Applied Aviation Research Center on the K-State Polytechnic Campus, which assisted in development of the safety case that ultimately led to FAA approval, will be responsible for the training and flight operations with a cross-functional team from the KDOT IPP. Flights will take place over the next few months, providing the FAA with much-needed data on true BVLOS activity.d of the joint state, university and industry team that made this landmark decision possible.”

“The ability to fly BVLOS missions without ground-based radar or visual observers is a significant advancement, and Westar Energy views this as an opportunity to play a key role in shaping the future of UAS operations within the utility industry,” said Mike Kelly, Westar Energy Senior UAS coordinator. “Being able to operate under this waiver allows the Kansas IPP team the ability to research and develop truly scalable BVLOS UAS operations for the automated inspection of linear infrastructure.”

“We look forward to leveraging this waiver to integrate UAS technology into the transmission line inspection process,” said Kurt Carraway, UAS Executive Director of the K-State Polytechnic Applied Aviation Research Center. “We are certain that utilities will be able to quickly realize a return on investment while mitigating safety to their maintenance personnel and increasing the reliability of their infrastructure to the general public.”

“Flying rural missions like these without a human pilot onboard or costly radar on the ground is exponentially safer and more cost effective,” said Iris Automation CEO and Co-Founder Alexander Harmsen. “The FAA is trusting us to pave the way for a safer, scalable future together with this precedent-setting second approval of our system.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Kansas Department of Transportation as one of nine participants in the FAA UAS IPP. This program allows state, local and tribal governments to conduct advanced UAS operations to gather data to assist the rulemaking process that will set the boundaries for UAS operations in the United States.

Feature photo: Kansas UAS IPP

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Second GPS III satellite tops rocket at launchpad

The second GPS III satellite — nicknamed Magellan — is now at the launchpad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in preparation for liftoff on Aug. 22.

United Launch Alliance tweeted out an image of the encapsulated satellite on its way to the rocket.

The Lockheed Martin-built satellite was originally scheduled for launch on July 25, but the launch was pushed to Aig. 22 because of “an anomaly during component testing at a supplier that created a cross-over concern. Upon further evaluation, additional time is needed to replace and retest the component on the launch vehicle,” ULA said.

Launch Updates

The launch window on Aug. 22 will open at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 UTC) and extend to 9:27 a.m. EDT (1327 UTC),a duration of 27 minutes. ULA’s live countdown blog begins at 11:45 p.m. EDT (0345 UTC) on Aug. 21. The launch webcast starts at 8:40 a.m. EDT (1240 UTC).

Those interested can dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at, and; hashtags #DeltaIV #GPSIIISV02.

GPS III SV02 will be the 29th and final flight of the Delta IV Medium rocket, the 73rd GPS launch by a ULA or heritage vehicle and marks ULA’s 135th mission.

GPS III SV02 is named Magellan in honor of the Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth.

The satellite, encapsulated in the 4-meter-diameter composite payload fairing, was moved overnight last week from its processing facility to the seaside launchpad at a top speed never exceeding 5 mph.

The satellite was hauled by a motorized KAMAG Elevating Platform Transporter (EPT) that provided hydraulic leveling and precision positioning capabilities along the route. The EPT also towed a Portable Environmental Control System (PECS) trailer to supply conditioned air to the payload fairing during the trip.

Once parked in the hoistway on the backside of the Mobile Service Tower (MST), technicians used the crane system in the gantry the next morning to carefully lift the satellite onto the Delta IV rocket’s second stage to complete a successful vertical integration of the launch vehicle and payload. The fully assembled rocket now stands 207 feet tall.

A tip-to-tail electrical test of the combined payload and launch vehicle will occur next, an operation known as the Integrated Systems Test (IST). Once that is completed, the comprehensive process to verify flight readiness will begin in parallel to final vehicle closeouts for the launch targeted for Aug. 22 at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 UTC).

ULA rockets have successfully launched 70 GPS satellites since 1978.

ULA technicians transport the GPS III satellite to the Delta IV launchpad.( Photo: United Launch Alliance)

ULA technicians transport the GPS III satellite to the Delta IV launchpad.( Photo: United Launch Alliance)

The Delta IV rocket leaves the the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) aboard a 36-wheel, diesel-powered transporter on May 28 and traveled to Space Launch Complex-37. The trip took 40 minutes. (Photo: ULA)

The Delta IV rocket leaves the the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) aboard a 36-wheel, diesel-powered transporter on May 28 and traveled to Space Launch Complex-37. The trip took 40 minutes. (Photo: ULA)

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GNSS experts: The GSA wants you for Fundamental Elements

Screenshot: EU Science & Innovation video

Screenshot: EU Science & Innovation video

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is looking for experts with a high level of expertise in navigation satellite systems to assist it with tasks related to the implementation of the Fundamental Elements funding mechanism.

The GSA is interested in experts with professional experience in specific market segments such as aviation, location-based services, agriculture, surveying, rail, road, maritime, and timing and synchronisation and/or with hi-tech business building skills.

Specifically, the GSA would like to involve business and technical experts with proven experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • E-GNSS signal processing;
  • Development (hardware, software/firmware algorithms etc.) of E-GNSS receivers and antennas;
  • Applications, services and products in the area of E-GNSS;
  • E-GNSS technologies state of the art boosting, particularly E-GNSS differentiators.

Experts assist in:

  • Evaluation of proposals, prize applications and tenders
  • Monitoring of actions, grant agreements, public procurement contracts

Experts also provide opinion and advise on preparation, implementation and evaluation of EU programmes and design of policies.

No deadline, but apply early

To select experts, the European Union Institutions regularly publish calls for expression of interest detailing the selection criteria, the required expertise, the description of the tasks, their duration and the conditions of remuneration.

The call for expression of interest is permanently open, so there is no application deadline. However, early application is encouraged because the first experts should be appointed in the third quarter of 2019. Anyone interested can register here.

Experts who have already registered in the Participant Portal expert database are invited to log-on here to declare their interest in Fundamental Elements assignments and to update their area(s) of expertise.

For more information and to download the call, click here.

Fundamental Elements

Fundamental Elements is an EU R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of EGNSS-enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas. Fundamental Elements projects are part of the overall European GNSS strategy for market uptake, led by the GSA. The objectives of the programme can be summarised as follows:

  • Facilitate the adoption of EGNSS, building on innovative services and differentiators;
  • Improve the competitiveness of EU industry ;
  • Address user needs in priority market segments ;
  • Maximise benefits to European citizens.

The total budget for projects to be carried out in 2015-2020 is EUR 111.5 million.