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Launchpad: GNSS antennas, gyroscopes, lidars

A roundup of recent products in the GNSS and inertial positioning industry from the June 2020 issue of GPS World magazine.


GPS Tester

Compact antenna testing for mobile deployments

Photo: Zonu

Photo: Zonu

The ZonuSkyShot is designed for quick testing during the critical installation phase of an antenna at a new site build or small-cell integration. The compact tester is designed for integrating a Zeno GPS solution, but works as a neutral testing device. SkyShot is a compact GPS receiver that detects the presence of a GPS signal, indicated on the top-panel LED. The receiver can be accessed via the USB port on the base unit, allowing the user to see the available satellites by using the app provided with the system and available at the Optical Zonu website. The receiver can simultaneously track up to 16 satellites while searching for new ones. Because of this, a problem can be found and mitigated when a GPS antenna is installed, rather than when hardware is being integrated further down the line. Close-out of projects can be indicated with screenshots of satellite visibility via the micro-USB port to a laptop.

Optical Zonu,

Police antenna

Seamless installation on leading 2020 police sport utility vehicles

Photo: PCTEL

Photo: PCTEL

The Trooper TRP-20INT antenna platform supports the high-speed requirements of complex RF communication systems used for critical communications in FirstNet public safety and intelligent transportation systems. The antennas feature two 5G elements compatible with cellular routers supporting 600-MHz to 6-GHz frequencies. PCTEL’s proprietary high-rejection multi-GNSS technology is included for high-precision tracking and asset management.


Anti-jam unit

Mitigates RF interference

Photo: Quantum Reversal

Photo: Quantum Reversal

The QR-100 L1/L2 GPS anti-jamming unit mitigates RF interference or jamming signals using a spatial domain of an antenna array reception pattern. Three passive antennas of the customer’s choice can be connected to the QR-100 unit using built-in SMA connectors. The unit default configuration (no jamming signal present) has a 120-degree phase gradient between antenna elements to maximize the reception of GPS right-hand circularly polarized (RHCP) signals. This feature allows the unit to be connected to either RHCP-type antennas or linearly polarized antennas. The default configuration of the unit is designed to connect to passive GPS antennas.

Quantum Reversal,


Two and three Axis for use in harsh environments.

Photo: Inertial Labs

Photo: Inertial Labs

Inertial Labs’ TAG-200 two-axis and TAG-300 three-axis gyroscopes are developed for electro-optical systems, gimbals, line-of-sight, and pan-and-tilt platforms for stabilization and pointing applications. TAG-200 and TAG-300 use advanced-performance, tactical-grade MEMS sensitive elements to accomplish complex tasks requiring accurate stabilization of assorted platforms. The gyroscopes, designed for use in harsh environments, can withstand extreme shock and vibration in accordance with MIL-STD-810 ground mobile use. They are fully digitized, include built-in test functions and have no moving parts. The gyroscopes include low noise, low latency, wide bandwidth, high data rate, low bias drift, low VRE, high MTBF and are ITAR-free. They are factory calibrated over the operational temperature range and are quality assurance and quality compliance tested and supplied with individual calibration and acceptance test certificates.

Inertial Labs,


Grade Control

Version 2 of software adds features

Photo: Trimble

Photo: Trimble

Earthworks Grade Control Platform version 2.0 features improvements to enable faster return on investment, increase productivity and decrease training time for operators. Horizontal Steering Control for dozers automatically controls the machine to follow any horizontal alignment such as a back of a curb, breakline, roadway centerline or bottom of slope, without operator assistance. Augmented reality for excavators enables users to understand 3D models, cut/fill information, slope data and other bench points and reference points on the in-cab display in context, without the need to interpret complex 2D plans or stakes. A new mastless motor grader configuration gives operators an improved range of blade motion, allowing for machine control in applications where it previously was not possible. Integrated Trimble Loadrite Payload Management displays grade control and accurate payload data on one screen, increasing mass haul productivity and efficiency by preventing underloading, and improving safety by avoiding overloading. Trimble Earthworks is also now available for compact grading attachments with dual GNSS, single GNSS and total station guidance options. The Earthworks Assistant App provides access to Earthworks learning material and documentation, allowing for a shorter learning curve and less downtime for operators.


Tilt function

New feature for automatic excavator

Photo: Topcon

Photo: Topcon

The addition of advanced tilt and rotation functionality allows Automatic Excavator operators to easily swivel or tilt the bucket with automatic boom control for faster and more efficient excavation. If excavator operators are in situations such as at the top of the slope, grading a long incline and not totally perpendicularly lined up, the added feature makes it easier to position the cutting edge of the bucket to the surface. Operators can excavate more quickly, moving the excavator fewer times with less wear and tear on the chassis. It is also beneficial when navigating around manholes, trenches and tight spaces.



Lidar sensors

For L3/L4 autonomous driving

Photo: Livox

Photo: Livox

The Horizon is a high-performance lidar sensor built for Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous driving. It has a long-distance detection range of up to 260 meters, high-density point clouds, and is so small it can be embedded easily into vehicles. The Tele-15 has achieved a reliable detection range of up to 500 meters, offering improved safety for high-speed autonomous vehicles. Both the Horizon and Tele-15 high-performance lidar sensors feature a new scanning method that offers improved sensing performance at a low cost.

Livox Technology,

INS module

1.3°/hr automotive IMU sensor

Photo: Aceinna

Photo: Aceinna

The IMU383ZA is a high-accuracy, triple-redundant inertial measurement unit (IMU) for guidance and navigation solutions in autonomous machines and vehicles. It integrates triple-redundant, 3-axis micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. The IMU383ZA is pin-compatible with the IMU381ZA and offers high performance of 1.3 deg/hr, 0.08 deg/root-hr. The miniature module is factory-calibrated over the –40° C to +85° C industrial temperature range to provide consistent performance through extreme operating environments for a wide variety of applications.


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