Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2017

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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34 unmanned systems inside June/July 2017 Smaller, smarter and cheaper are all familiar terms to those looking to build the next mobile mapping solution for land, sea or air systems. One company has helped lay the groundwork for the fl edgling mobile mapping market. by Stan Goff Photos courtesy of RIEGL USA. A pplanix is one of the industry's most recog- nizable developers of inertial and GPS/GNSS solutions for mobile mapping. Applanix was born in the shadow of the War in Iraq and the dawn of commercial GPS. Initially named Applied Analytics Corporation, the company was founded by three co-workers as a spin-off of Honey well's Advanced Technology Centre in 1991. Their business plan was to engineer integrated inertial systems and real-time image processing for the aerospace and defense markets. Two years later, the founders shifted direction, re-focusing their energies on next generation off-the-shelf position and orientation systems (POS)—a move that would for- ever change the future of the company and the industry. With its position and orientation systems, such as the POSPac direct georeferencing GNSS, the POS MV ON A STRAIGHT TRAJECTORY: Mobile Mapping sponsored by APPLANIX for underwater, and the lightweight APX-15 for unmanned aircraft sys- tems (UAS), the company is at the forefront of innovation. POS-itive Solutions Applanix builds inertial navigation systems that can be directly inte- grated by developers and OEMs. For companies such as RIEGL USA, Applanix's innovative developments in positioning solutions—and its focus on integration—set the foundation for a partnership that began more than a decade ago. "In the old days we were a sensor manufacture," recalled Andres Vargas, a system applica- tions and integration specialist in RIEGL USA's airborne division. We developed sensors that our customers, pri- marily system integrators, could incorporate with other sensor suites. Over time, those same customers wanted more streamlined units and more integration support." At one point, RIEGL was supporting upwards of 12 different IMU/INS manufacturers. "Of course, these sys- tems can get very complicated and we found we simply couldn't continue to provide our customers with quality services and solutions if we continued to try to provide trajectory support for all solutions," Vargas added. RIEGL executives evaluated the industry and, at the recommendation of CEO Jim Van Rens, opted to partner with Applanix. "Applanix already had extensive experience coupling GPS and IMUs for the airborne photogrammetry Miniaturization advancements including position and orientation systems and LiDAR solutions are changing the way the mobile mapping market operates.

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