Low cost L1+L2 GNSS RTK receiver for Drones. North RTKite receiver.

Dear friends, I would like to introduce you the RTKite GNSS RTK L1+L2 module receiver.

http://northsurveying.com/index.php/instruments/gnss-rtk-receiver

Designed specifically for Pro and Semi-pro UAV, Robotics and Industrial applications, it connects directly to the Pixhawk and other autopilots and is specific for millimetric Photogrammetry, LIDAR Scans, Themography, etc.

The RTKite is a full Receiver (not a basic GNSS board) with an internal OS that can connect directly to standard CORS stations with its embedded GSM/GPRS cellular modem, can be configured and operated by Bluetooth, COM or TTL communications and can be set with our freeware for Android, Windows PC or WindCE or Linux, or even with text string commands.

It also can receive and transmit RTCM or CRM correction signals by UHF radio or our unique AutoCaster system that allows direct link connection by the integrated mobile modem with an stable transmission range of 75Km on Fixed position.

In is in fact a miniaturization of our professional surveying RTK receiver SmaRTK, (first generation released on 2012), and is compatible with our unique AutoCaster system for direct Base to Rover cellular data link.

Below, an Autocaster test on a modified DJI drone with Pixhawk and the RTKite GNSS with the lightweight helical antenna.

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Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on July 7, 2016 at 2:39pm

Dear Srinivasan, good day!

Actually we checked the Tersus unit side by side with one of our customers and I think they are fine receivers but not for the same type of customers we aim to, that need zero R+D and full support, including customization. FYI this same customer is on Defense market and is not integrating the RTKite.

Regarding your question on Shutter Sync, this is already included of course and quite simple to set by different means, i.e.: connecting the Hotshoe of the camera flash to the RTKite, the receivers captures Instantaneously*** the camera shutter and logs the NMEA string on that very moment, ans then is a simple correlation VS the captured pictures and the log of Trigger positions.

***Instantaneously means that the position is log at the exact moment that the shutter operates, without any delay and fully independently of the refresh rate set on the RTK (1,5,10Hz) and is equal, to put it simplistic, to 100,000Hz.

In short, there is no need to do any customization.

I would like to invite you to the new online order system for integrators at: http://www.gnssrtkmodule.com/ and also you can visit the RTKite details here: http://northsurveying.com/

Cheers!

Comment by Suhas Banshiwala on August 30, 2016 at 12:12am

Dear Bernardo,

RTKite indeed looks like a very promising commercial grade RTK solution. I have a few questions regarding it:

- The datasheet mentions sampling rate upto 10Hz and 150Hz event log. Could you explain more about what do you exactly mean by event log here and what is it's utility?

- When you mention that, 
"the position is log at the exact moment that the shutter operates, without any delay ",
as the GPS clock time(1,5,10Hz) is much lesser, is this faster logging a repetition of the last recorded GPS data? Or some kind of extrapolation or other methodology is used to estimate the position at the time of logging?

Thanks!

Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on August 31, 2016 at 4:06am

Dear Mr. Banshiwala, thank you for your comments.

Regarding your questions, please note:

- The datasheet mentions sampling rate upto 10Hz and 150Hz event log. Could you explain more about what do you exactly mean by event log here and what is it's utility?

The real time output, i.e. for navigation is selectable as 1Hz, 5Hz or 10Hz (the Pixhawk uses 5Hz).

There is also the logging for postprocessing DGPS (i.e.RINEX files) and then the logs can be 1,5,10 or 20Hz binary (saved on internal memory).

- When you mention that, 
"the position is log at the exact moment that the shutter operates, without any delay ",

These sampling rates are fine for navigation but too slow for photogrammetry as in a moving vehicle even a little offset could create a big error. So we use a trigger mode where the position is called on demand (i.e. the camera trigger) and in this case then the navigational sampling rate does not matter and the RTK gives out an instantaneous response. For this purpose, the datasheet mentions 150Hz, but it is actually unlimited.


as the GPS clock time(1,5,10Hz) is much lesser, is this faster logging a repetition of the last recorded GPS data? Or some kind of extrapolation or other methodology is used to estimate the position at the time of logging?

It is not an extrapollation or a repetition, but indeed a real-time solution computation from the internal algorithm.

Simply put, the data output is ASCII, that is very slow, so after 20Hz, it makes more sense to use binary data, so it can go way faster. And to avoid saturation, the trigger data is only output on demand, but it is the actual real time position, without any relation with the navigational ASCII output.

O hope I have made myself clear, cheers! 

Comment by Suhas Banshiwala on August 31, 2016 at 6:13am

Thanks for the clarifications. That clears my doubt.

I am in process of buying two RTKite systems and maybe more after that if we feel happy with its performance. I have to say the effort and support from your team(Luis and Juan) is really commendable. And, your insights in this blog post have really helped me to arrive at the decision of buying this RTK solution for our application. Thanks again!

Will share my feedback on the product once we test it with our UAV systems.

Cheers!

Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on August 31, 2016 at 9:23am

Thank you a lot for your comments. I really hope that you like its performance and we can help you with many more.

Here a couple of nice videos from our users that you might like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDl_o1zsRNM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhfxhNmxuco

Best!

Comment by Rami Kopelman on September 8, 2016 at 9:44pm
Looking to buy or build a module for converting the negative (and noisy) flash pulse that comes from the hot shoe to a sharp pulse for rtkite image triggering.
Any link to where to buy or detailed instructions on how to build wiuld be appreciated.
Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on September 9, 2016 at 12:26am

Dear Mr. Kopelman, I understand that you are already ordering the RTKite module. I will forward your question to our technical department to see what they comment. Best!

Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on October 31, 2016 at 10:41am

Hello Mr. Volkmann, our receivers do not need interpolation as the RTK engine can be triggered on the fly so it does not matter how many Hz are used for navigation, the geotagging is recorded delay free. Cheers!

Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on October 31, 2016 at 10:48am

Hello all, kindly note that we have ready a Photo integration kit to connect directly the RTKite to any Hotshoe equipped camera for delay-free geotagging of pictures: http://www.gnssrtkmodule.com/index.php/photo-kit

Also we are already accepting Debit and Credit cards on the website.

Cheers!

www.gnssrtkmodule.com

www.northsurveying.com

Comment by Bernardo Espinosa on Friday

Hello! We are introducing the new Heading RTKite GNSS RTK Receiver module, with all the great features of the original RTKite but adding double antenna to increase the position accuracy for the applications where directional positioning is critical, without increasing the investment!

The receiver whith these and many more options can be ordered directly from our Integrator Outlet:

if you need any customization or want to as us a question, just drop us a line: emea@northgps.com

Cheers!

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