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3 Aug

Workshop "GNSS for new precision applications"

On Friday, June 14, 2019, the GNSS Symposium for new precision applications was organized at the Technical University in Delft. Around 110 interested people attended the event organized by the Netherlands Institute for Navigation (NIN), Geo-Information Netherlands (GIN) and the Hydrographic Society Benelux (HSB).

Almost everything one does is location related and GNSS help us to determine where that is. Precision and reliability are increasingly required. New hardware and software developments for mass markets make more and more possible in this: small and affordable, yet also advanced GNSS chips and antennas, which offer almost the same observations and quality as geodetic GNSS receivers, make a massive deployment for new applications possible. Seven speakers from different disciplines discussed this during the symposium.

Small is beautiful

Chris Lowet, Product Manager at Septentrio NV in Leuven, Belgium, spoke first about the newly developed GNSS module for mass applications, called "Mosaic". Despite its small size (3x3 cm) and low power consumption, this module can use all available GNSS signals and arrive at a centimeter-accurate position determination. The "Mosaic" can be used in, among other things, self-driving robots and cars, drones and agricultural machines. The module distinguishes itself on the market by working well even with many obstacles and the anti-interference and jamming technology that Septentrio is known for.

New player on the RTK market

The second speaker, Tommy van der Heijden, founder of MarXact, presented the UNI-GR1 universal RTK GNSS receiver. This receiver is assembled in the Netherlands and supports all modern GNSS signals. The GNSS board comes from the Chinese supplier Unicore. With the help of UNI-Cloud, UNI-RTK premium and various APIs, this is a ready-made, open receiver that communicates with many software packages.

Automatic and affordable geo-monitoring

J├╝rgen Alberding, director of Alberding GmbH from Wildau in Germany, took the audience to the new world of automated geo-monitoring. Alberding offers tailor-made services for deformation measurements of, among other things, soil and engineering structures. Components include Web-based server software and integrated GNSS and telemetry sensors. The GNSS sensors are low-cost modules that can collect both code and phase observations.

"Crowd Sourced Bathymetry"

After the coffee break, Chief of Hydrography and Captain of the Sea Marc van der Donck of the Ministry of Defense picked up the thread firmly. He showed those present that the seabed is clearly the worst part of the earth. It is striking that this applies especially to the shallower areas at sea. Under the slogan "Map the Gaps" a campaign has been launched to close the gaps in the sea charts. By collaborating and sharing data from many other parties who perform depth measurements at sea, such as survey companies, fishing vessels and cruise ships, the aim is to speed up the measurement process.

Customized GNSS in developing countries

The fifth speaker, Ernst Peter Oosterbroek, Senior Land Administration Advisor at Kadaster International, spoke about the need for good land registration in poor countries. Security of ownership is a basic condition for a growing economy. In various countries in Africa, South America and Asia, Kadaster International helps with projects for acquisition and registration of property. A combination of aerial photos and affordable GNSS makes this possible.

Farmers measure Water

A completely different deployment of new GNSS was proposed by Jouke Velstra, director of Acacia Water BV, in Gouda. Together with LTO Noord, water boards, provinces and farmers, Acacia Water strives to realize a joint monitoring network for surface water and groundwater and soil water.

Salinisation along the coast is, partly due to subsidence, rising sea levels and periods of major drought, an increasing problem in agriculture. Farmers and water boards should work together in this and an extensive monitoring network is essential for making the right decisions.

Use of GNSS in Drones

Finally, Pieter Franken from Terradrone Europe (formerly Skeye BV) gave a presentation about the importance of GNSS in the worldwide deployment of drones for measurements and inspections. Applications of GNSS range from the automatic flying of flight patterns, measuring of pass and check points, precise location of recordings to the replacement of expensive IMU equipment (inertial navigation). Pieter emphasized that only a combination of technology and geodetic knowledge leads to reliable results.

After the symposium, all speakers were thanked with a Delft blue storm umbrella developed at TU Delft and they were able to talk afterwards during a drink offered by the associations.

The symposium was organized on behalf of the VPN GIN / NIN Working Group by:

Sandra Verhagen, TU Delft ; Hans Visser, Fugro ; Lennard Huisman, GRC / Geopinie ; 
Jean-Paul Henry, 06-GPS

11 Jul

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From now on we will place here regularly news items and reports of our workshops.

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