Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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25 unmanned systems inside June/July 2016 OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE IDEAS. LOTS OF THEM. Turning those ideas into a competitive advantage is what we do. NovAtel's integrated global positioning solutions deliver success time and time again on land, sea, and in the air. We help many of the world's leading companies stay in the lead by consistently delivering OEM global satellite positioning products that are recognized for their technical innovation, unsurpassed quality and industry-leading customer support. critical system to the aviation indus- try, they also have access to a global Precise Point Positioning (PPP) cor- rection delivery service through the wider Hexagon family of companies. This PPP correction delivery service is critical to delivering the level of per- formance driverless vehicles require, Auld said, and has already been used in safety of life applications in the ma- rine market. "The need to provide a robust po- sitioning source to the vehicle so you know where in the world the vehicle is at a very precise level is our main of- fering, and we have expertise in sensor integration and augmenting GNSS," he said. "We're not trying to be the au- tonomous driving solution. We're try- ing to be the autonomous driving po- sitioning reference. When developing a driverless car there's a lot more going on than just GNSS. We want to be the GNSS system used as part of solving that wider problem." The Challenges For driverless cars to operate safely, it must be possible to identify exactly where the car is on the road, not just how far it is from a certain address, Auld said. You have to know which lane it is in and how far it is from oth- er cars and objects around it. "Autonomous systems in cars involve all sorts of technology such as Li- dar, Radar and cameras," he said. "At the heart of that you need to position absolutely. If you're going to operate a bunch of cars on a freeway from different manufacturers, you need an absolute reference to use, and the best one to do that is GNSS. The ac- curacy has to be there, and you have to do it safely." Another challenge? The system also must be able to identify when it's oper- ating inside expected measurements and when it isn't—and to tell other systems or the user when it's condi- tions do not allow for a safe solution, Auld said. A Learning Process The group has learned a lot since starting on this journey, including how the automotive industry views safety standards and how the indus- try works, Auld said. This industry is very different from the others NovAtel serves, which is why it was important to include people with an automotive background on the team. A year and a half before the group even formed, en- gineers from NovAtel began visiting with car manufacturers to determine exactly what they were looking for and how NovAtel fit in. Members of the auto industr y working with the engineers also have learned a lot from NovAtel about GNSS and what it makes possible— and the difference between a compa- ny like NovAtel and a lower accuracy GPS manufacturer, Auld said. Moving Forward Developing this safety critical solution is a multi-year project, and one that Auld said this newly formed team is ready to take on. "A solution does not exist yet in the world where you can provide a highly precise GNSS based position simulta- neously with all these safety standards. We are in a unique position to do that," he said. "Within the Hexagon family we have all the pieces, and with our history in the aviation world, we have all the ex- perience necessary to do it." " A SOLUTION DOES NOT EXIST YET IN THE WORLD WHERE YOU CAN PROVIDE A HIGHLY PRECISE GNSS BASED POSITION SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH ALL THESE SAFETY STANDARDS. WE ARE IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO DO THAT. Jonathan Auld, NovAtel Director of Safety Critical Systems

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