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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Septentrio Adds Benefit to GNSS Systems with AsteRx-i S Integrated Positioning

August 29th, 2018 by Susan Smith

From Leuven, Belgium, GNSS receiver manufacturer Septentrio recently announced the addition of the AsteRx-i S to its GNSS/INS product portfolio.

According to company materials, the AsteRx-i S combines Septentrio’s compact, multi-frequency multi-constellation GNSS engine with ultralight external industrial grade MEMS based IMU. Calibrated for wide temperature ranges, the AsteRx-i S delivers accurate and reliable GNSS/IMU integrated positioning to the cm-level as well as full attitude at high update rates and low latency.

Key benefits for users:
• GNSS/INS positioning with 3D attitude: heading pitch and roll
• Multi-constellation, multifrequency, all-in-view RTK receiver
• AIM+ interference monitoring and mitigation system
• High-update rate, low-latency positioning and attitude
• Small & ultralight IMU (10 grams)
• Robust calibration for wide temperature ranges

Septentrio product manager Gustavo Lopez answered some questions for GISCafe Voice about the addition of AsteRx-I S to the open interface of Septentrio’s core technology.

1. What problems are you attempting to solve with the AsteRx-i S?
One important aspect in high-end positioning technology is relying on advanced systems which combine the benefits of GNSS with the benefits of industrial grade IMUs. A GNSS/INS solution gives extra possibilities to applications working in difficult environments or where 3D reliable orientation is needed.

2. Is the technology for AsteRx-i S something you created in house or was it as a result of an acquisition?

The AsteRx-i S (same as the AsteRx-i V) uses an external quality industrial grade IMU however all the GNSS algorithmic engine is Septentrio’s proprietary bringing the stamp of quality and performance for what we are normally well known for. This means that the product also inherits all the intuitive and open interface of Septentrio thus making it easy-to-integrate in multiple applications.

Using Septentrio’s core technology, the AsteRx-i S comprises a reliable solution against jamming or interference (AIM+), making it robust for multiple applications where reliability is important. The fact that automation is coming to multiple applications means that more and more reliable systems are needed in the market. Septentrio is providing an answer to these problems.

Septentrio OEM Receiver Boards

3. Can you describe the applications that you mention in the press release in more detail, such as direct georeferencing in mapping applications in UAVs, managing containers and use for small robots?

Orientation is a critical aspect which help mapping applications in UAV’s to be more precise and efficient in processing. While photogrammetry applications can benefit of 3D angle information for optimizing this processing, it can also move further the applications from offline processing to real time (thanks to newer technologies on board of UAV systems). Orientation information is critical for optical mapping since it is not only important to have the precise position but also orientation of the aerial vehicle for properly geo-referencing laser or optical beams.  Terrestrial applications also benefit from GNSS/INS systems thanks to the fact that an INS system can be more robust in difficult environments such as container terminals. Nowadays more and more robotic applications are appearing in the market where both angle information as well as reliable positioning system benefit from a GNSS/INS system. GNSS/INS also brings a reliable velocity which makes it attractive for many other applications where speed accuracy is important (car crashing tests, sports research, etc.). A GNSS/INS system does not only make current applications more reliable but also opens doors for newer applications.

Septentrio Smart Antennaes

4. What is the value having temperature range capability?

IMU systems including industrial ones are components which can be sensitive to temperatures thus affecting performance of the solution. Good IMU’s or GNSS/INS systems are not only carefully calibrated but also well validated before being shipped as a product. This is a quality procedure which is important for applications working in a wide temperature range. Septentrio pays careful attention to these aspects and ensures that GNSS/INS systems perform according to specifications in final applications.

Septentrio Reference Receivers

5. What is the benefit of the product being lightweight?

SWaP: Small, low Weight and low Power are characteristics that we see more commonly appearing in the market; not only in UAV applications where space is extremely limited but also in many other applications which can benefit of a smaller system while integrating it on their applications. Low weight is surely critical in UAV applications; a heavy IMU can result in a high penalty on battery consumption or shorter flight time of the drone. Small and light components can also be more easily integrated in multiple parts of a vehicle thus giving extra flexibility to the user and giving the integrators more options for the rest of the pay load on their UAVs. While drones are becoming smaller for users to easily deploy them on the field, extra requirements are also put on the sub components used in an aerial platform. We see the same trend in other robotic applications and even other heavier applications thus bringing extra possibilities and flexibility to applications on the field.

Septentrio Integrated Receivers

6. What are the accuracy benefits of this product?

Our AsteRx-i family is not only a system giving reliable orientation output but is also an RTK system. RTK combined with INS has an important benefit in mainly reliability of the solution. The AsteRx-i S and V help applications to work in difficult environments. The GNSS/INS solution of the AsteRx-i will help in giving a smoother solution to applications still at a centimeter-level accuracy and with a sub-degree orientation. The dual antenna used in the AsteRx-i helps also in reducing the initialization time which can be important in certain applications.

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Categories: analytics, Big Data, cloud, data, emergency response, field GIS, geocoding, geospatial, GIS, GNSS, government, laser radar, Leica Geosystems, lidar, location intelligence, mapping, photogrammetry, remote sensing, satellite imagery, sensors, Septentrio

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