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Editorial Advisory Board PNT Q&A: Keeping data safe

What is the best way to protect data centers and mobile devices from spoofing and jamming?

Ellen Hall

Ellen Hall

“After speaking to our head of engineering, Roger Hart, he explained this as something akin to ‘What’s the best way to achieve world peace?’ As the strengths and vulnerabilities of static and mobile devices vary considerably, the best solution will be achieved through a tailored application of algorithms, antenna siting and design, multi-constellation, multi-frequency and non-GNSS inputs.”
Ellen Hall
Spirent Federal Systems

Allison Brown

Allison Brown

“Spoofing and jamming presents a very credible threat today to users of GPS for navigation and perhaps the greatest threat is vulnerability within our national infrastructure to spoofing of GPS timing. Congress, recognizing this threat, has tasked the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2017 to provide a backup for the timing component of the GPS. Specifically this backup is to ‘ensure the availability of uncorrupted and non-degraded timing signals for military and civilian users if GPS timing signals are corrupted or otherwise unavailable.’ Although the act directed the DOT that this system should be operational in two years (2019), little progress appears to have yet been made in deploying a backup timing system. This system not only would reduce vulnerability to spoofing for timing users, but could also be used by mobile users for detection of spoofing, allowing for national alerting when jamming or spoofing is detected. These alerts, tied with a quick response mechanism for law enforcement to take action, would provide an effective method for protecting all GPS users nationwide from jamming or spoofing.”
Alison Brown
NAVSYS Corporation

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

“Take full benefit of multi-frequency multi-constellation redundancy.  Perform signal monitoring and authentication using advanced receiver architectures and signal-based protection (e.g., Galileo’s Open Service Navigation Message Authentication). Foresee non-GNSS redundancy to bridge gaps, such as precise clocks for data centers or IMUs for mobile devices.”
Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

Members of the EAB

Tony Agresta

Miguel Amor
Hexagon Positioning Intelligence

Thibault Bonnevie
SBG Systems

Alison Brown
NAVSYS Corporation

Ismael Colomina

Clem Driscoll
C.J. Driscoll & Associates

John Fischer

Ellen Hall
Spirent Federal Systems

Jules McNeff
Overlook Systems Technologies, Inc.

Terry Moore
University of Nottingham

Bradford W. Parkinson
Stanford Center for Position, Navigation and Time

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

Michael Swiek
GPS Alliance

Julian Thomas
Racelogic Ltd.

Greg Turetzky

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GPS monitoring and crimes that shouldn’t have happened

Headshot: Tracy Cozzens

Tracy Cozzens

Law enforcement agencies have been quick to adopt GPS monitoring of offenders on parole or awaiting trial. An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. are wearing ankle bracelets. Proponents say the systems enhance public safety, reduce prison costs and provide social benefits.

However, technology is only as good as the people who use it, as a tragic case from Ohio illustrates. In February 2017, 21-year-old Reagan Tokes was kidnapped and murdered after leaving work in Columbus. The man convicted of killing her had been recently released from prison. Yes, he was wearing a GPS monitor, but no one was tracking his movements until after he robbed six people and killed Tokes.

In response, Ohio lawmakers introduced a bill to improve real-time monitoring of parolees by shrinking the workload for parole officers, who now are responsible for 90 to 100 offenders at one time.

In cases in Florida and New York, the system worked as intended and alerts were sent, but authorities took no action. In the Florida case, no one was on duty, despite the suspect having triggered more than 100 alarms.

An offender in Syracuse, New York, was able to remove and reassemble his ankle bracelet in less than a minute, using techniques he learned when he watched the officers put the bracelet on him. Because of numerous false alarms, the monitoring company had set a five-minute limit before officers were notified, at the police department’s request. Having beat the monitoring system, the offender committed a murder.

A nationwide investigation by ABC’s “20/20” news magazine program found at least 50 murders allegedly committed since 2012 by people ordered to wear monitored ankle bracelets.

“Public safety is only as good as the supervising entity we provide our products to,” Jennifer White of monitoring company BI Analytics commented on “20/20.” Criminal justice experts say the monitoring system should not be used for anyone who is a risk to the public.

While policymakers and law-enforcement authorities determine the most effective use of such systems —and how to address issues of monitoring response, overtaxed officers and tight budgets — the monitoring industry continues to improve the “tamper-resistant” devices as well as the services offered.

After all, no one wants to live with a false sense of security.

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First development kits available for Septentrio’s mosaic GNSS module

Septentrio’s Mosaic chip-level GNSS. (Photo: Septentrio)

Septentrio’s mosaic chip-level GNSS. (Photo: Septentrio)

Septentrio has announced that its mosaic development kit is available for testing and integration.

Mosaic is Septentrio’s most compact next-generation, high-precision multi-frequency GPS/GNSS module. Tbe receiver brings precision and reliability of high-end multi-frequency GNSS to mass-market applications. It is designed to fit into the assembly-line process, which allows mosaic to be favorably priced for high volumes.

Its lightweight and low power consumption helps extend the battery life of robotic devices, increasing operation time and efficiency. This makes mosaic suitable for applications such as robotics, automation, telematics and wearables.

“We see a growing demand for reliable high-precision positioning,” said Chris Lowet, product manager at Septentrio. “A few years ago, this demand was concentrated in professional applications, for example survey, high-precision mapping and machine control. Today, with expansion of robotics, automation and IoT, a wide range of devices need high-precision positioning, from ag robots to IoT gateways to autonomous vehicles. We designed mosaic to answer these market needs.”

Highlights of mosaic include:

  • Centimeter positioning in tough environments with multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS technology
  • Advanced Interference Mitigation (AIM+), which allows users to continue working despite radio interference from other electronic devices or jamming
  • Extensive corrections support for high-accuracy positioning: SBAS, PPP, SSR, RTK
  • RAIM+, integrity engine needed for safety-critical applications such as autonomous vehicles
  • Tracking all current and future GNSS satellite signals for enhanced real-time kinematic (RTK) performance and guaranteed RTK network compatibility
  • 100-Hz update rate, suitable for robotics and fast-moving vehicles.

The development kit assists Septentrio customers with integrating mosaic into their system. It supports connectivity through internet, COM ports, USB 2.0 as well as an SD Card slot. The development kit can be requested here.

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K2 will drive GLONASS under 1M

New GLONASS-K2 satellites will improve the accuracy of Russia’s satellite navigation system from 3-5 meters to less than 1 meter, said Chief Designer Mikhail Korablyov of the Joint Stock Company GLONASS, operator of the ERA-GLONASS traffic accident emergency response system, at a transport conference in Moscow in late May.

Russia plans to launch the first K2 satellite in late 2019 or early 2020. By 2030 the GLONASS constellation will consist wholly of K2 space vehicles, 24 of them.

The improved accuracy will better determine vehicle location in analyzing a traffic accident, according to Korablyov. It will not, however, be sufficient for lane-keeping and other advanced driver assistance systems, nor for more stringent autonomous driving requirements, at least according to emerging Western standards.

“There are also tasks linked with the country’s defense, there are special precision weapons, the requirements for which already make up less than a meter,” Korablyov added.

Yury Urlichich, First Deputy Director General, Roscosmos. (Photo: Roscosmos)

Yury Urlichich, First Deputy Director General, Roscosmos. (Photo: Roscosmos)

Numbers. Writing in the December 2018 issue of GPS World, Yury Urlichich, First Deputy Director General, Roscosmos State Space Corporation, gave a somewhat more precise figure for the new accuracy to be achieved via the K2 generation. “The new signals will allow lowering the hardware-dependent SC-user ranging error by an order of magnitude, reducing the influence of signal reflections from buildings, constructions and landscape (multipath effect), thus enabling their effective use for high-precision navigation with real-time errors below 0.1 m.

“This SC will enable navigation not only using legacy FDMA signals available for users for more than 35 years, but simultaneously with a full row of CDMA signals in all GLONASS frequency bands: L1, L2 and L3.”

Later in the same piece, Urlichich wrote “Mission Definition Requirements for Glonass-K2 define user range error to be 0.3 m, qualitatively improving GLONASS user performance.”

The new K2 satellite will transmit nine navigation signals and will weigh about 1,800 kg, twice as much the latest GLONASS-K generation, known as K1. Of the 24 currently orbiting operational satellites, only two are K1 space vehicles. The other 22 are older GLONASS-M satellites.

A Shock to the System. A bolt of lightning struck the rocket launcher for the latest GLONASS-M satellite to rise, on May 27. It did not adversely affect the bird’s journey to space, and all systems were found to be functioning properly once the satellite was released into preliminary orbit, Russian space officials said.

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Jammers at Dachas add to Russia’s ability to silence GPS

A new investigative report by the Russian independent media group “The Project” into luxury dachas owned by high-ranking government officials revealed that most all include GNSS jammers among their amenities. Attempts by the journalists to photograph the dachas from the air using drones were routinely foiled by jamming.

Most all nations’ military and security services have equipment that can block GPS and other satellite navigation signals over areas both large and small. Russia, though, has advanced this to a fine art which it regularly demonstrates.

A Russian dacha. (Photo: Project)

A Russian dacha. (Photo: Project)

Russian forces always been proud of their electronic warfare capabilities. They see them as an essential counter to the effectiveness of western high-tech weapons. The news outlet “Sputnik” reported in 2015 Russian military claims that their ability in electronic warfare “makes aircraft carriers useless.”

GPS is an underlying technology for many western weapons, and for much of the west’s critical networked infrastructure. As a result, jamming and spoofing GPS and other GNSS has long been a priority for Russian forces.

In 1997 a Russian company offered a handheld four-watt GPS and GLONASS jammer that was effective at ranges of up to 150 to 200 kilometers. They also reported working with the Russian military on directional antennas for this jammer. These antennas would focus the disruption on a particular target while leaving most other users unaffected. The U.S. Army was sufficiently interested that, in 2002, they reportedly spent almost $200,000 to purchase the jammers for testing and evaluations.

In 2016 Russia announced a program to add GPS jammers to more than 250,000 cell towers as a partial defense against a U.S. cruise missile attack.

That same year a Moscow Times headline proclaimed, “Kremlin Eats GPS for Breakfast!” GPS users near the Kremlin had been regularly finding their cell phones reporting that they were 20 kilometers away at an international airport. This was playing havoc with Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as delivery services that depended upon satellite navigation. This spoofing, or sending false information to receivers, was reported to be an effort to protect the Kremlin and leaders from attack and surveillance by drones. Most drones are programmed at the factory with the locations of airports and to fly away from them. Convincing receivers near the Kremlin or elsewhere that they are really near an airport helps keep the area drone-free.

Independent technologists in Moscow also reported that this spoofing employed a classic electronic warfare technique called “herding.” GPS L2 and L5 signals and Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation signals were jammed. This forced receivers to rely upon the L1 signal which was spoofed.

That same year this same kind of activity was also detected in the Black Sea. The RNT Foundation reported that over 600 ships had been “transported” to airport locations ashore. A subsequent report in 2019 by the non-profit group C4ADS revealed almost 10,000 instances of ships being spoofed in the Black Sea, the Baltic and in Russia’s west near Vladivostok between 2016 and 2018. It also drew a strong correlation between the movements of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the spoofing events.

Russian jamming and spoofing has not been limited to its homeland. Vehicles, ships and aircraft in other nations, as well as in international waters and airspace, have been impacted. This despite Russia’s treaty obligations under the International Telecommunications Union radio regulations which provide that “All transmissions with false or misleading identification are prohibited.”

The C4ADS report documented a massive Russian “smart jammer” operating almost continuously in Syria that had impact far beyond that nation’s borders. Smart jammers, by their definition, transmit messages that seem to be valid GPS signals, but with content that does not allow receivers to calculate a location. The operation in Syria has caused multiple warnings by the U.S. Maritime Administration of GPS disruptions in nearby international waters, and the European air traffic agency issuing warnings for international airspace in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Baltic and Scandinavia have also seen Russian GPS jamming in recent years. In 2017 the Secretary General of NATO complained about Russian naval jamming that also degraded cell phone service in Latvia, Norway and Sweden.

Early this year Norway protested Russian jamming in its far north, some of which was timed for NATO exercises. Five significant jamming events in the previous 17 months impacted, aviation, construction and other users.

Russia regularly demonstrates that GNSS jamming and spoofing can be a useful tool for internal security and an effective method of power projection. Its actions, along with the portability and proliferation of jamming and spoofing equipment, are undoubtedly meant to remind the west that Russia can take away essential GNSS services at any moment with a just the flip of a switch.

Dana A. Goward is the president of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, and is a regular contributor to GPS World.

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Landviewer’s new change detection tool runs in a browser

A major use of remote sensing data is to compare images of an area taken at different times and identify the changes it underwent. With a wealth of long-term satellite imagery in open use, detecting such changes manually would be time-consuming and most likely inaccurate.

To address this, EOS Data Analytics has introduced an automated Change Detection tool to its flagship product LandViewer, a cloud tools for satellite imagery search and analysis in today’s market.

Unlike the methods involving neural networks that identify changes in the previously extracted features, the change detection algorithm implemented by EOS is using a pixel-based strategy, meaning that changes between two raster multi-band images are mathematically calculated by subtracting the pixel values for one date from the pixel values of the same coordinates for another date.

This new signature feature is designed to automate a change detection task and deliver accurate results in fewer steps and in a fraction of the time needed for change detection in most image-processing software.

Change detection interface: Images of Beirut city coastline selected for tracing the developments of the past years. (Image: LandViewer)

Change detection interface: Images of Beirut city coastline selected for tracing the developments of the past years. (Image: LandViewer)

Change detection interface: Images of Beirut city coastline selected for tracing the developments of the past years. (Image: LandViewer)

Change detection interface: Images of Beirut city coastline selected for tracing the developments of the past years. (Image: LandViewer)

Applications from farming to environmental monitoring

One of the main goals set by EOS team was to make the complex process of change detection in remote sensing data equally accessible and easy for non-expert users coming from non-GIS industries.

With LandViewer’s change detection tool, farmers can quickly identify the areas on their fields that were damaged by hail, storm or flooding. In forest management, satellite image detection of changes will come in handy for estimation of the burned areas following the wildfire and spotting the illegal logging or encroachment on forest lands.

Observing the rate and extent of climate changes occurring to the planet (such as polar ice melt, air and water pollution, natural habitat loss due to urban expansion) is an ongoing task of environmental scientists, who may now have it done online in a matter of minutes. By studying the differences between the past and present using the change detection tool and years of satellite data in LandViewer, all these industries can also forecast future changes.

Top change detection use cases: Flood damage and deforestation

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the capabilities of satellite image change detection in LandViewer can be best demonstrated on real-life examples.

Forests that still cover around a third of the world’s area are disappearing at an alarming rate, mostly due to human activities such as farming, mining, grazing of livestock, logging, and also the natural factors like wildfires. Instead of massive ground surveying of thousands of forest acres, a forestry technician can regularly monitor the forest safety with a pair of satellite images and the automated change detection based on NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).

How does it work? NDVI is a known means of determining vegetation health. By comparing the satellite image of the intact forest with the recent one acquired after the trees were cut down, LandViewer will detect the changes and generate a difference image highlighting the deforestation spots, which can further be downloaded by users in JPG, PNG or TIFF format. The surviving forest cover will have positive values, while the cleared areas will have negative ones and be shown in red hues indicating there’s no vegetation present.

A difference image showing the extent of deforestation in Madagascar between 2016 and 2018; generated from two Sentinel-2 satellite images. (Image: LandViewer)

A difference image showing the extent of deforestation in Madagascar between 2016 and 2018; generated from two Sentinel-2 satellite images. (Image: LandViewer)

Another widespread use case for change detection would be agricultural flood damage assessment, which is of most interest to crop growers and insurance companies. Whenever flooding has taken a heavy toll on your harvest, the damage can be quickly mapped and measured with the help of NDWI-based change detection algorithms.

Results of Sentinel-2 scene change detection: The red and orange areas represent the flooded part of the field,; the surrounding fields are green, meaning they avoided the damage. California flooding, February 2017. (Image: LandViewer)

Results of Sentinel-2 scene change detection: The red and orange areas represent the flooded part of the field,; the surrounding fields are green, meaning they avoided the damage. California flooding, February 2017. (Image: LandViewer)

How to run change detection in LandViewer

There are two ways you can launch the tool and start finding differences on multi-temporal satellite images: by clicking the right menu icon “Analysis tools” or from the Comparison slider ‒ whichever is more convenient. Currently, change detection is performed on optical (passive) satellite data only; addition of the algorithms for active remote sensing data is scheduled for future updates.

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Exploring, once again, the brave new world of UAVs

Welcome to Part II of our coverage of the mammoth AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2019 show in Chicago, which drew 8,000 attendees, featured 300+ speakers on its technical program, and furnished a temporary home for more than 800 exhibitors. It was “Everything Unmanned” and a challenge to cover. Last month we looked primarily at new vehicles. This month’s column focuses on sensors, capabilities and apps aboard those and other airborne drones — and even an anti-drone drone!

Sagetech: For UAVs to gain entry to the US National Airspace System (NAS) and to other controlled airspace all around the world, sense-and-avoid capability is paramount. Sagetech comes from the world of Mode-S transponders, with which the majority of piloted aircraft are equipped. These devices transmit aircraft identification and provide the moving IDs on air-traffic controller display monitors. In the military sector, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator-transponders enable similarly equipped aircraft of NATO countries to determine which are friendly aircraft within their immediate airspace, and which are not.

The MX12B Mode 5 IFF with FAA-certified civil modes. (Photo: Sagetech)

The MX12B Mode 5 IFF with FAA-certified civil modes. (Photo: Sagetech)

Sagetech has just released a micro-mode 5 MX12B aviation transponder that enables small unmanned aircraft to interoperate within NATO airborne units. The transponders weigh around 10lb, so mil-spec UAVs operating in NATO airspace can now also carry this light-weight unit.

For civilian UAVs, GPS has been added to provide aircraft position outputs in Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS–B) message format, allowing other aircraft and UAVs to receive a vehicle’s location. The Sagetech ADS-B transponder is small, certified to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards (TSO C-166b) and is affordable. Boeing Scan-Eagle UAVs apparently already carry Sagetech transponder capability.

uAvionThe tailBeacon ADS-B retrofit. (Photo: uAvionics)ics

The tailBeacon ADS-B retrofit. (Photo: uAvionics)

uAvionics: Another avionics supplier has brought out certified ADS-B capable transponders, but with a novel way to add the required capability to general aviation (GA) aircraft, typically smaller private planes. The FAA has mandated that all aircraft should be fitted with ADS-B capability by January 1, 2020 in order to fly within controlled airspace, so uAvionics has simplified ADS-B retrofit for older GA aircraft.

All aircraft have wingtip and/or rear-tail beacon lights; this update replaces their existing beacon with a light which also includes ADS-B capability when paired with the aircraft transponder.

The FYXnav TSO CERTIFIED GPS navigation source. (Photo: uAvionics)

The FYXnav TSO CERTIFIED GPS navigation source. (Photo: uAvionics)

uAvionics also supplies a couple of GPS sensors for external mounting on UAVs: the FYXnav sensor is FAA-certified to TSO-C199 Traffic Awareness Beacon System Class B.

Sensefly released a new inspection application for their eBeeX UAV, specifically designed for solar farms. With a dual thermal/video sensor for data collection and data processing using application-specific Raptor Maps software, Sensefly claims to reduce the inspection time required for a 150MW solar farm to around 1 day, a 300-times improvement on ground inspection using a hand-held thermographic sensor.

Provided an inspection operation could support five 70-minute eBee-X flights during one day, the UAV could over-fly up to 161 acres of solar panels at an altitude of 138ft, gathering anomalies during each flight. This adds up to 150MW of solar panels over the 5 flights. Sensefly claims this to be twice as fast as with multi-rotor dones. The Raptor Maps software then generates an inspection report identifying each anomaly, using the eBee X’s video and thermal imagery to identify, classify, and localize the detected problems.

The Fortem DroneHunter intercept drone. (Photo: Fortem)

The Fortem DroneHunter intercept drone. (Photo: Fortem)

Fortem makes an anti-drone defense combining a radar detection system with a DroneHunter drone that attacks other UAVs, releasing an 80ft net to capture intruders. For those nefarious drones which are hardened against RF countermeasures, this system is also touted as capable of recovering the offending drone without damage, returning it to the operator in a net at the end of a tether. The DroneHunter flies autonomously on its intercept mission, carrying a compact radar system integrated with a ballistic net release system.

Septentrio continued promotion of its Mosaic chip-level GNSS at XPONENTIAL, The new chip uses the same proven core DSP with a new RF front-end and a new processor, working with more than 30 signals from the existing six GNSS constellations, and with L-band and satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS).

Septentrio’s Mosaic chip-level GNSS. (Photo: Septentrio)

Septentrio’s Mosaic chip-level GNSS. (Photo: Septentrio)

The chip appears to be aimed at the high-precision market, replacing the AsteRx-m2 board level receiver family.

The chip runs Septentrio RTK algorithms, is quite small (1.29 x 1.29 x 0.15 in), is designed for high-volume surface mount manufacture, and comes with a set of popular interfaces. The chip is sampling now, with production planned for later this year.

NovAtel is growing, opening new offices in the US and needing more local real-estate to fit its headquarters in Calgary, Canada. The company is now part of Hexagon Positioning Intelligence (Hexagon PI), a partial re-branding that includes VERIPOS correction services and recently purchased AutonomousStuff, specializing in ground vehicles. Each organization still operates individually through its own brands. On the NovAtel booth, existing products were presented through a number of new applications, including those of the growing mil-spec products group.

Summary. While AUVSI EXPONENTIAL was over in early May, the companies who were there have not rested. All are developing new approaches for UAVa andunmanned ground vehicles, sensor systems for even wider applications than seen in Chicago, and all manner of other added capabilities. This business only gets bigger and more innovative.

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ESA focuses on PNT vs GNSS, wants proposals

Logo: ESA

OK, perhaps the headline is a tad misleading. But in addition to its natural preoccupation with Galileo, the European Space Agency (ESA) has begun thinking and talking about PNT as a service and user needs. Last year the European Commission issued a memo saying that GNSS alone was not sufficient for many critical and fail-safe operations.

ESA is now seriously considering how Galileo AND other systems can provide users the PNT services and resilience they need, regardless of whether the signals come from space.

They have also issued a permanent Request for Proposals in this area. From their website:

The goal is to maintain and improve the capability and competitiveness of the industry of the participating States in the global market for Satellite Navigation, and more broadly PNT technologies and services. In this context, the wider ambition towards the overall PNT sector is justified by the necessity to facilitate cross-fertilisation between space-based and terrestrial positioning technologies.

This programmatic action will ensure the readiness of the industry to effectively respond to emerging market opportunities by focusing its activities on products ready for the commercial or institutional market.
The development of ad hoc technologies and product development activities along the whole Satellite Navigation value chain and more broadly PNT products can be proposed by industry to develop products aligned with their plans for future exploitation.

Activities therefore shall have been identified by industry as having clear potential for being applied in the area of PNT. The activities may address completely new products of a disruptive nature, may be an upgrading or improvement of an existing product or may address a continuation of an activity funded in another framework within another European institutional programme, a national programme or an industrial/academic research programme. The activities shall aim at resulting in a product ready for commercial exploitation.

Implemented through a continuous open call capable of stimulating unsolicited proposals, the eligibility of which will be indicated by the relevant participating State (i.e. support letter). The pre-commercial nature of this programme element will call for a co-funding approach to be envisaged.

Proposals must be from companies in EU states and proposers must first establish a ESA-STAR/EMITS username and password. More information can be found here.

Dana A. Goward is the president of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, and is a regular contributor to GPS World.

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Allystar offers dual-antenna GNSS-aided INS platform

The Allystar INS Platform— the company’s latest technology — is a dual-antenna, multi-frequency, multi-GNSS inertial navigation system (INS) that delivers accurate and reliable position, velocity and orientation.

It is designed for a wide range of autonomous vehicle applications under the most demanding conditions.

Allystar RTK/INS Evaluation Board V1.0. (Photo: Allystar)

Allystar RTK/INS Evaluation Board V1.0. (Photo: Allystar)

The Allystar INS Platform combines high-grade, six-axis, temperature-calibrated accelerometers and gyroscopes with a multi-frequency, multi-GNSS engine, the HD9300 series. HD9300 is a dual-antenna chip-grade real-time kinematic (RTK) GNSS receiver for accurate positioning and heading.

GNSS-aided inertial navigation systems are widely used in autonomous vehicles. However, high-accuracy multi-frequency multi-GNSS receivers are usually too expensive for mass-market applications. The Allystar HD9300 series is a mass-market multi-band chip-grade receiver that concurrently support all civil bands in all GNSS constellations (GPS/QZS L1&L2&L5&L6, BDS B1&B2&B3, GAL E1&E5, GLO L1OF/L2OF) with an integrated RTK engine to achieve centimeter-level accuracy.

The Allystar INS platform contains an on-board sensor-fusion filter, navigation and calibration algorithms for different dynamic motions of land vehicles. Key features include:

  • multi-band multi-GNSS chip-grade receiver
  • dual antennas
  • integrated RTK engine (up to 2 centimeters)
  • 100-hz update rate
  • OBD data adapter.
Allystar OBD Data Adaptor V1.(Photo: Allystar)

Allystar OBD Data Adaptor V1.(Photo: Allystar)

The Allystar OBD Data Adapter (v1.0) enables users to read and monitor various sensors built into cars, obtaining the real-time vehicle speed and gear signals from the OBD interface, and then output AT commands by serial port or SPI. When connected to the Allystar RTK INS platform, the adapter allows for outstanding navigation accuracy, especially in urban areas, helping to increase accuracy and reduce position drift.

An evaluation kit — including platform board, antenna and OBD adaptor — will be available in August.

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STMicroelectronics GNSS module targets mass-market navigation

Image: STMicroelectronics

Image: STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics has enlarged its GNSS product offering with the Teseo-LIV3R ROM-based module. The module provides ST’s full GNSS algorithm capability for cost-conscious tracking and navigation devices.

ST’s new GNSS module provides odometer functionality with three trip counters and reached-distance alert, along with geofencing capabilities with up to eight configurable circles and crossing-circles alarm. Support for real-time assisted GNSS with free server access ensures uninterrupted positioning data for dependable navigation.

Simultaneous tracking of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and QZSS constellations, with satellite-based augmentation system (S-BAS) and Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) V3.1 differential positioning ensures excellent accuracy to within 1.5 meters (50% circular error probability, CEP).

Tracking sensitivity of -163 dBm and time-to-first-fix faster than one second ensure high performance for demanding applications. The module is easy to use and responds to proprietary National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) commands.

With scalable power consumption according to accuracy, average current, and frequency of fixes, a sub-15µA standby mode with RTC backup, and support for multiple low-power modes, Teseo-LIV3R is an ideal choice for battery-sensitive applications. The low-power modes include continuous-fix with adaptive and power-saving cycled modes, periodic-fix with GPS only, and fix-on-demand with the device in permanent standby.

To simplify and accelerate new-product development, the module is FCC certified and is supported by the STM32 Open Development Environment. STM32 applications for advanced geolocation, smart tracking, and server-assisted GNSS are available, while the EVB-LIV3x evaluation board and X-NUCLEO-GNSS1A1 expansion board provide a head-start with hardware. The Teseo Suite PC tool helps easily configure settings and fine-tune performance. Developers can also join the ST GNSS community to share information and increase their understanding of the field.

The Teseo-LIV3R is in volume production. The 9.7mm x 10.1mm LCC18 module is priced from $7.3 for orders of 1,000 pieces.