ROCK Base triple-frequency RTK/GNSS base station works with Web3 GEODNET decentralized network

ROCK Base RTK network base station

ROCK Robotic has announced the ROCK Base triple-band multi-constellation RTK/GNSS base station that works with the Web3 GEODNET decentralized GNSS reference network, with the solution designed to offer centimeter accuracy to support applications such as civil surveying, high-definition mapping, digital twin creation, and robotic solutions. Real-time Kinematic (RTK) is a relative positioning technique relying on GNSS (GPS,  Galileo, GLONASS, Beidou …) and allowing centimeter positioning accuracy. The technique requires an RTK “Base station” like the ROCK Base and a lower-cost “Rover station” typically attached to a vehicle or drone. For higher accuracy, it’s also possible to use a Network RTK: Network RTK is based on the use of several widely spaced permanent stations. Data from reference stations is combined in a common data processing in a control center. The control center computes corrections for the spatially correlated errors within the network. These corrections are transmitted to the rover. Comparing to […]

Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite enables two-way messaging using the Iridium network

You may soon be able to get true global coverage even in remote areas thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite which will offer pole-to-pole coverage and two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and other messaging applications. Qualcomm made this possible through a partnership with Iridium to bring satellite-based connectivity to next-generation premium Android smartphones starting with devices based on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, while emergency messaging support was done in collaboration with Garmin. You’ll just need to point your phone to the sky to send and/or receive messages, and the connection should take place within a few seconds. Note it can only be used for text, and the bandwitdh would not be sufficient for audio, pictures, and videos. The solution relies on Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems such as the Snapdragon X70 modem to connect to the Iridium low-earth orbit satellite constellation using the L-band spectrum (1 to 2 […]

$200 Swarm M138 kit enables two-way satellite connectivity for IoT projects

Sparkfun has launched a Satellite Transceiver Kit based on the Swarm M138 satellite and GNSS modem that allows low-bitrate two-way connectivity for IoT projects anywhere on earth. Remote IoT applications have benefited from LPWAN standards such as LoRaWAN and NB-IoT, but in some extreme cases coverage may still be challenging, so satellite communication may be the only practical option. It used to be really expensive, but Swarm makes this more affordable, and companies like SigFox and Semtech also have (or had?) plans to use low-earth orbit satellites for their respective LPWAN technologies. Swarm M138 kit content and specifications: Swarm M138 mini PCIe satellite modem and GNSS receiver module MCU – Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller Up to 1 Kbps data rate, up to 912 bytes packet size Frequency 137-138 MHz (downlink) 148-150 MHz (uplink) Dimensions – 51.0 x 30.0 x 5.3 mm Weight – 9.6 grams Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C […]

Low-power satellite IoT SoC works with Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network

Orca Systems ORC3990 is a low-power satellite Internet of Things (IoT) SoC that works with Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network of satellites and targets outdoor and indoor tracking and monitoring applications. It’s not the first time we read about satellites being used for LPWAN networks, as Sigfox launched LEO satellites a few years ago to provide worldwide coverage even in remote locations like the Sahara desert, the two poles, and oceans. But I had never heard of Totum or Orca Systems before, so let’s have a closer look. Orca Systems ORC3990 ORC3990 specifications: Unnamed Arm cores Integrated RF Transceiver Low Power Sensor-to-Satellite (LP-S2S) connectivity in the 2.4 GHz ISM band Totum DMSS modem for improved doppler performance Link budget enables indoor signal coverage Support location fixes with 20m accuracy Low power – 10+ year battery life Package – 7x7mm QFN chip Temperature Range – -40 – +85°C Process – […]

Skytraq PX1122R Tiny Multi-Band RTK GNSS Module Offers Centimeter Accuracy

Several years ago Skytraq introduced NavSpark mini, a tiny (17x17mm) GPS module, that sold for $6. I got one and wrote a post explaining how to get started with the GPS module using GNSS viewer program. The company contacted me again today, as they’ve now launched an even smaller module Skytraq PX1122R measuring just 16x12mm, supporting GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou signals, as well as Real-time Kinematic (RTK) relative positioning technique that allows for 1-3cm positioning accuracy. Skytraq PX1122R RTK GNSS module key features & specifications: Chipset – SkyTraq PX100 Phoenix GNSS chipset Supported GNSS standards & bands – GPS L1/L2C, Galileo E1/E5b, Beidou  B1I/B2I, GLONASS L1/L2, QZSS L1/L2C Integrated RTK with 1cm + 1ppm RTK accuracy in seconds (under 10 seconds) Up to 10Hz quad-GNSS RTK update rate Base or rover mode configurable Serial Interface – 3V LVTTL level 24x castellated holes with UART, RF input, 1PPS, Reset, 3.3V, […]

Broadcom BCM7218X STB SoC Comes with AV1 Hardware Decoding, WiFi 6

CNX Software first covered AV1 open-source, royalty-free video codec aiming to compete against H.265 and succeed VP9 in 2016. I also tried the reference implementation and both encoding and decoding were really slow at that time and an AMD FX8350 powered computer would only achieve 0.36 fps encoding on a 352 x 288 video, while decoding was much faster at over 1,000 fps. This was really early work, and the final AV1 specifications were only released in March 2018, before companies like YouTube and Netflix started to publish AV1 video samples, and now I’ve noticed the former is sometimes streaming videos using AV1 codec on desktop computers and laptops. This still relies on software decoding, and most Arm platforms and entry-level level Intel computer may not be able to handle AV1 decoding, so hardware decoding will eventually be required, especially on battery-operated devices since it will consume much less power. […]

Xilinx Arm FPGA, Snapdragon SoM’s, and Wandboard SBC Field Trip to Space

Most embedded systems are used here on planet earth, but some do take off heading for space, and this week I come accross two separate projects leveraging Arm processors and FPGAs, as well as Ubuntu/ROS and Android operating systems: SpaceX Starlink communication satellites and Astrobee robots roaming in the international space station (ISS) SpaceX Starlink Satellites with Xilinx Ultrascale+ Arm + FPGA SoC SpaceX is about to launch a cloud of 60 Starlink communication satellites that aims to provide internet communication anywhere in the world. That’s just a start as eventually the plan is to get up to 12,000 of those satellites. Usually, we would not know many technical details about the satellites, but as one reader pointed out (Thanks Lawrence!), a Reddit thread about the launch, also pointed to a NASA document revealing the satellites are powered by Xilinx Ultrascale+ quad core Cortex-A53 processor with FPGA fabric. Milestone 2 […]

Gateworks GW16130 Mini PCIe Satellite Modem Targets IoT Applications

Some IoT applications may require 24/7 worldwide coverage, and cellular networks are suitable since they may not provide coverage in remote locations, at sea, or at altitude. The only solution in that case is to go with satellite communication through thank to networks such as the ones provided by Iridium Communications. Gateworks GW16130 makes it easy to add a satellite modem card to your projects thanks to it’s mini PCIe form factor and USB 2.0 interface. Gateworks GW16130 mini PCIe card key features & specifications: Iridium 9603N SBD (Short Burst Data) Satellite Transceiver Max Message payload – 340 bytes upload, 270 bytes download Automatic message notification on incomming messages Operates anywhere on earth including North & South Poles Supports E-mail messages or HTTP POST UART AT command interface Operating frequency – 1616MHz to 1626.5MHz 1.6W Average transmit power -117dBm Receiver sensitivity Onboard u.Fl antenna port for antenna connection Host Interface […]