April 1, 1997
Trimble Navigation Limited (Sunnyvale, CA) recently made several announcements concerning aspects of its business on many fronts—a new real-time GPS technology, a new reference station for highly accurate GPS measurements, and a new GPS chipset agreement.
Trimble’s new real-time Everest Multipath Rejection technology for its 4000 Series GPS receivers is an advancement in multipath signal mitigation. This technology increases survey productivity, especially in high multipath environments such as near buildings, mine walls, vehicles, trees, water, or other reflective surfaces. Everest technology extends real-time GPS surveying to many sites that were not previously viable due to multipath interference. Its GPS signal processing algorithms reject error inducing multipath signals before satellite range determinations are performed.
The new technology provides significant improvements in real-time kinematic (RTK) automatic initialization performance. Productivity gains are realized in the speed at which surveying can begin or the speed at which the system will re-initialize after a loss of satellite signal lock. Difficult initializations that previously took a long time due to multipath interference are now performed much faster.
In addition, overall initialization reliability exceeds 99.9%, which means that surveyors can be assured of the accuracy of their results, even in difficult environments. Improvements in real-time differential GPS (DGPS) accuracy is another significant benefit of Everest. The real-time DGPS accuracy of 4000 Series receivers are improved by a factor of two, with accuracies of 1 to 2 decimeters now possible. This accuracy is especially beneficial for GIS mapping and marine applications.
Trimble Introduces New Reference Station for High-Accuracy GPS Measurements
Trimble recently introduced a continuously operating reference station (CORS) system for permanent GPS base station installations. The CORS system is well-suited for accurate land surveying/GIS mapping base station operations or scientific research applications.
The system includes the 4000SSi CORS receiver combined with a Trimble choke ring antenna and PC-based reference station software. The GPS measurements made with the Trimble CORS system can then be made available for private or public access via an electronic bulletin board service or the Internet. Customized options also allow users to add survey outputs for real-time sub-meter or real-time centimeter positioning via radio links to roving GPS receivers.
PC-based reference station software provides operational control for the CORS system by logging raw GPS data—including pseudo ranges, carrier phase, and ephemeris data from all satellites in view—direct to a PC. Data files can be automatically converted to a standard format for general distribution and used for surveying, mapping and scientific applications. A multitasking version of the reference station system includes a dial-up bulletin board service allowing one or more remote users to simultaneously obtain GPS data for post-processing while GPS data continues to be stored to the PC’s hard disk at the reference station.
Trimble Signs Chipset Agreement
Trimble and Xanavi Informatics Corp. (Kanagawa, Japan) have signed a GPS chipset agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Trimble will grant Xanavi access to its GPS chipset for use in its in-vehicle navigation systems for an undisclosed royalty.
The agreement completes Xanavi’s transition from a board-level GPS engine customer to a volume user of Trimble’s Sierra GPS Chipset, a second generation commercial architecture especially effective in "urban canyons."
Xanavi Informatics Corp. was established in 1991 by Hitachi and the Nissan Motor Co. Xanavi operates as a developer, producer, and marketer of a wide range of integrated automobile information and communication systems. Xanavi’s Birdview car navigation and information system uses GPS satellite technology and the most up-to-date GIS mapping information available for urban and out-of-town road networks. Birdview lets drivers know where they are on a moving map for efficiently reaching a destination.
Beyond Xanavi, Trimble now has significant car navigation alliances with companies worldwide, including Pioneer Electronics, Philips Car Systems, TECmobility, Delco Electronics, and Intel Corp.
Trimble’s chipset agreement with Xanavi Informatics is the latest in a series of agreements placing Trimble in the fastest-growing sector of the GPS industry. According to the US GPS Industry Council, car navigation will grow from $310 million in 1995 to $3 billion by 2000. The Council further estimates that the GPS industry as a whole will grow to over $8 billion by the year 2000. By these same industry estimates, Trimble has approximately 30% of the worldwide market for GPS engines at the heart of car navigation systems.
Trimble Issued 100th Patent
In a related matter, Trimble recently announced that it has been issued its 100th patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for its Centimeter Accurate GPS Receiver for On-the-Fly Real-Time Kinematic Measurement and Control. This technique, an advance in GPS positioning, increases survey productivity by performing accurate surveys dynamically on the move, and in real-time.
Trimble was issued its first patent in 1988 and holds more US patents on GPS and related technology than any other organization.
"I am extremely proud of our technical staff and 166 inventors," said Charlie Trimble, president and CEO of Trimble. "In emerging technologies, protecting a company’s intellectual property is vital to its long term success."
Contact: Trimble Navigation Limited, 800-827-8000, 408-481-8000, http://www.trimble.com