Ellipse & Ellipse Micro FAQ

This Software Development Kit Release adds support to new ELLIPSE Series 3 and comes with the latest ELLIPSE firmware.

This update also includes the latest tools, drivers, documentations, and C code samples as well as improved performance and reliability.

SDK Important Highlights:

  • Added support for all ELLIPSE Series 3
  • Includes the latest ELLIPSE 1 & 2 firmware 1.9
  • Updated sbgECom to version 2.0
  • Reworked High Performance INS operating handbooks

Firmware Important Highlights:

  • Add support for new ELLIPSE Series 3 hardware.
  • Improved accuracy and performance with an updated Extended Kalman Filter using double precision numbers for all operations for ELLIPSE Series 3 hardware. This also improve the filter stability and
  • This firmware includes the latest World Magnetic Model to cover the 2020 to 2025 time frame
  • Improved UTC and PPS time management to better cop with noisy PPS signals.
  • Reduced alignment time, thanks to online lever arms estimation management in configuration
  • Automotive specific output on Can bus (Vehicle frame velocities, Slip angle, turn radius)

Windows SDK

A Software Development Kit includes the following elements:

  • The sbgCenter analysis tool
  • All documentations on Ellipse and High-performance series (User Manuals, Handbooks, …)
  • Drivers
  • C Library sbgECom
  • Sample Code


The Unix SDK includes:

  • All documentations on Ellipse and High-Performance series (User Manuals, Handbooks, …)
  • C Library sbgECom
  • Sample Code
  • In order to update Ellipse firmwares, you should use the Windows SDK only.

If you are updating from an older version of the SDK, it is recommended to uninstall all versions prior to the current SDK before installing a newer one.

Once you get the InertialSDK executable file, you can simply launch it and follow the instructions:

Once this step is done, you can launch the sbgCenter. Connect your device and start configuring and monitoring the outputs.

The System Status frame should be enabled to receive the General, Aiding Inputs, and Interfaces status. One of the EKF frame should be enabled to receive the Solution status. The Inertial Data frame should be enabled to receive the Sensors status.

These are the most critical status, the sensor won’t work properly if one of them is not ok:

  • Power status on Main, IMU, and GNSS let you know if one of these components is not properly power supplied.
  • Settings: Not ok if the last settings could not be properly loaded, settings by default are used instead.
  • Temperature: Shows if the internal temperature is out of the specified range [-40 +85] °C.
  • CPU: Shows if the internal processor is overloaded.


These status show which aiding input is used by the inertial unit in real time.

  • Solution Mode: Inertial unit will be in one of these modes:
  • Vertical Gyro = Roll, Pitch, and Heave. Unit starts in this mode.
  • AHRS = Vertical Gyro + Heading.
    Full Navugation = AHRS + GNSS
  • Alignment Status: Tells the warm-up time is over and the unit can be used at optimal accuracy.
  • Quality: Self-estimation of the accuracy based on the standard deviation of each output.
  • Used for solution: Show which input is accurate enough to be used by the Kalman filter

These status shows what aiding input are connected and sending data to the inertial unit.

For instance a GPS should appear here even if there is no fix, as it will be sending empty frames to the unit. This is used to ensure the serial configuration is valid.

The activated input / output interfaces are shown here.

This can be used to check the serial port is not saturating when sending a lot of data at a specific baud rate.


  • Communication: Shows if communication is possible between the processing unit and IMU
  • Built In Test (BIT): Constantly checks if the IMU is fully working or not.

Accelerometers and Gyroscopes

A Built In Test is continuously made on each sensor axis to ensure the sensor is functional.

Is also shows if one of the axis is in over-range in case of too high dynamics.

Interfacing a GNSSS receiver with our inertial devices is easy.
It is possible to use:

  • The NMEA standard (GGA, GST, RMC and ZDA messages and eventually HDT messages)
  • The binary protocol of the GNSS receiver. SBG Systems products are directly compatible with the binary protocol of some receivers. This method should be preferred when available.

In order to ensure a good synchronization, check if your GNSS receiver is able to send a PPS signal to the inertial sensor.

When using an external GNSS receiver, we recommend a model providing all recommended NMEA outputs. The following GNSS have been tested by SBG Systems:

  • Ashtech
  • Hemisphere
  • Novatel
  • Septentrio
  • Trimble
  • Ublox

Other third party GPS has been successfully used by some of our customers:

  • Javad
  • NavCom
  • Topcon

For other GNSS receivers please feel free to contact us.