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Author Topic:   ublox Announces Sub-meter Accuracy GNSS
jimh posted 10-27-2013 10:22 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
From the uBlox press release:

Thalwil, Switzerland – September 24, 2013 - Swiss-based u‑blox, a global leader in cellular and positioning modules and integrated circuits, introduces an improved, low-power, compact, high-precision GPS module NEO-7P. While remaining backwards compatible with its predecessor NEO-6P, the new module achieves standalone sub-meter precision based on single-frequency “Precise Point Positioning” (PPP) technology.

Fully autonomous sub-meter performance can be realized for most outdoor applications within coverage of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) throughout North America (WAAS), Europe (EGNOS), and Japan (MSAS).

In areas where SBAS is unavailable, the NEO-7P achieves high-accuracy based on Differential GPS (DGPS) positioning as an alternative to PPP. DGPS uses RTCM correction messages (correctional data defined by the “Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services”) from a local reference station or aiding network to cancel out measurement error introduced by atmospheric distortion and variances in satellite orbits and clocks.

“The NEO-7P addresses many requirements for precise positioning used in surveying, mapping, marine, and clear-sky recreational applications. The solution delivers sub-meter positioning performance based on two techniques at a fraction of the cost of other high precision solutions. The solution is compact, requires no external base station, and uses a single frequency receiver” said Thomas Nigg, VP Product Marketing at u-blox.

The device comes in u-blox’ compact NEO Leadless Chip Carrier (LCC) module form factor. A UART, USB and I2C interface provide flexible connections to a host processor. It can also communicate directly with u‑blox’ SARA 2G, LISA 3G and TOBY LTE cellular modules.

The NEO-7P also provides complete GPS satellite raw data allowing further accuracy improvement based on post processing by an external host. Internal Flash memory allows simple firmware upgrades. The NEO-7P also supports Russian GLONASS Japanese QZSS positioning standards.

The module is suitable for vehicle, industrial and consumer applications.

Detailed information about the NEO-7P can be found on the u-blox website. For samples and evaluation kit, contact the u-blox office nearest you.

jimh posted 10-27-2013 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It will take a while, but I expect to see the ublox NEO-7 chip become available to experimenters on small printed circuit boards with integrated patch antennas and support components in the price range of $50 to $100. A GNSS receiver built around this chip would allow position finding with accuracy of 3-feet or less. The chip is also able to support DGPS, if one were able to find and incorporate a DGPS receiver. This is the latest generation of chips from ublox.

The prior generation ublox chips like the NEO-6 were GPS-only receivers. They are selling now for about $25 to $50 when integrated on small circuit boards, such as this one intended for use with the popular Arduino stack: sainsmart-ublox-neo-6m-uart-iic-gps-module-for-arduino.html?___store=en& ___store=en

And this one, for $22:

jimh posted 10-27-2013 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At this moment it looks like the ublox NEO-7N is selling for about $40 for just the chip alone. The just-announced NEO-7P precision GNSS receiver is probably going to be more expensive due to the added precision of its receiver.

The prospect of a marine GPS with sub-meter accuracy is not too far away, based on this new chip from ublox. Exactly what the cost will be when this device is provided in a marine form factor is hard to predict, but it most likely will be quite a bit more than the cost of the experimenter boards mentioned above.

jimh posted 10-27-2013 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A white paper on GNSS receivers authored by senior engineers at ublox provides an excellent explanation of multi-system or GNSS receivers. Download and read from u-blox_multi-GNSS_whitepaper_%28GPS%20G7-X-12003%29.pdf

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