Tech Trends Article in Coordinates Magazine

January 30, 2018

Coordinates

Robust positioning in a lot of challenging environments is at the heart of SBG Systems DNA for now more than 10 years. We are at the forefront of Inertial Navigation Systems, fusing motion sensors and GNSS signals to enable continuous mobile positioning for innovative markets such as robotics, surveying, driverless car navigation, defense, etc. Our customers are coming from such different industries, all over the globe, with both real time and postprocessing needs. At the core of those exceptional changes is our industry, we can see two huge trends: a phenomenal expectation on real time positioning accuracy and reliability, and an increasing need of accurate 3D maps.

Professionals working on real time GNSS positioning are facing an amazing period with the modernization of current constellations and the arrival of a new promising one: GALILEO. This newborn delivers higher data availability and comes with very high compatibility with the existing constellations, promising a higher performance when mixing GALILEO signals with GPS, GLONASS, or BEIDOU. This great opportunity comes with the challenge of how to handle these new GALILEO signals and best mix them with the existing ones to obtain the best performance in all conditions. All the algorithm design teams face a total new constellation with lots of parameters to handle, synchronise, correct, and compute.
GALILEO is part of the other big advancement in real-time GNSS: the enhancement of the Precise Point Positioning (PPP) technology with the goal of a centimeter-level position. Getting rid of infrastructure and reaching the centimeter-level accuracy with a shorten fixing time is a dream for many integrators and could reduce the time on market of several projects.
If the arrival of GALILEO and the improvement of the PPP technology are amazing opportunities, some markets relying on the GNSS technology will continue to face technical challenges. When we speak about real-time performance in the GNSS industry, we talk about precision, availability but also reliability.

Reliability is the key of markets based on real-time GNSS positioning. Lots of outdoor human tasks tend to go unmanned such as agriculture, surveying, or driving. Positioning is the core of these systems, and GNSS is only one of the solutions. Even if the availability of satellite is greatly increasing, there will always be obstructions between the mobile and the GNSS signal. The GNSS signal cut could be due to masks such as urban canyons, forest, mountains, tunnels, or intentional spoofing. GNSS integrators need to find the right additional technology that will ensure robustness in their navigation solutions, at the right size and price. They will even need more than one sensor to ensure safety and will rely on aiding equipment such as LiDARs, odometer, vision, and inertial navigation systems. The challenge here is to take the best of each technology. This is another big task for the algorithm design team. How to best handle positioning in areas where GNSS is disturbed by taking into account those aiding technologies, the platform, the conditions of use, etc. Intelligence is the most valuable element in the positioning chain. For example, the tight integration of GNSS with Inertial Navigation System (INS) is a great way to improve robustness by deeply taking into account all the parameters of the GNSS fix (ephemerides, number of satellites, etc.) with the raw inertial data. Moreover, filtering can integrate odometer aiding data when the application is car-based, LiDAR when obstacles are close to the equipment, etc. This complex computation results in a more precise and robust realtime trajectory, consequently improving the reliability of the overall solution…

 

Read the entire article: http://mycoordinates.org/technology-trends-and-innovation-challenges/

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