Finally, we can use 5 more SAT's for GNSS. Fresh news from u-blox>

Thalwil, Switzerland - January 26, 2016 - u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, announces the release of a new firmware, FW 3.01, for its u-blox M8 concurrent multi-GNSS platform.

u-blox M8 FW 3.01 now also supports Galileo, in addition to GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and SBAS. It can track up to three constellations concurrently and makes use of all SBAS and QZSS augmentation systems at the same time. With Galileo fully deployed, the European positioning system will provide access to 24 additional satellites, thereby significantly increasing availability of GNSS signals and further improving position accuracy in challenging urban environments. u-blox M8 supports Galileo-based eCall, the European emergency call system, which will be required in new vehicles starting 2018. u-blox M8 is also compliant with ERA-GLONASS, eCall's Russian equivalent.

In addition, with FW 3.01, u-blox M8 now boosts the BeiDou acquisition sensitivity and adds support to the Indian GAGAN augmentation system.

u-blox M8 chips and modules are able to operate reliably in difficult environmental conditions as well as in a security attack scenario. Because a growing number of wireless systems rely on GNSS positioning, the threat of attacks, such as diversion of drones or hijacking of car electronics, has become very real. Security mechanisms are now embedded in FW 3.01, the result of years of intense research at u-blox R&D labs. An anti-spoofing feature detects fake GNSS signals, and a message integrity protection system prevents "man-in-the-middle" attacks. Yet another security function detects and suppresses jamming. Since all this functionality is already built into u-blox M8 FW 3.01, these security mechanisms are a lot more effective than an external system implementation.

Automotive-grade u-blox M8 products benefit from an extended operating temperature of -40 to +105°C and are AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified. The extended temperature range allows more flexibility in vehicle integration, for instance by integrating a u-blox M8 GNSS receiver into a roof-top antenna where temperatures can reach 105°C.

Another welcome feature of FW 3.01 is the 10% power reduction compared to earlier firmware versions of u-blox M8.

"u-blox has reached another milestone to provide customers with performance they need for advanced applications," says Uffe Pless, Product Manager Positioning, at u-blox. "u-blox is at the forefront of ensuring GNSS security and remains the supplier of choice for professional and automotive GNSS implementations."

The u-blox M8 platform supports applications where navigation performance, reliability, and high accuracy are paramount, whereas the recently announced u-blox 8 platform addresses power sensitive applications such as wearables. u-blox M8 and u-blox 8 products are pin- and software compatible.

Firmware to upgrade existing flash-ROM based u-blox M8 products can be downloaded from the u-blox website. Products with FW 3.01 in ROM will become available in Q2' 2016.

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  • i Configured both of my whitespy aka readytofly quad M8 GPS units with the new firmware. Same results as before firmware upgrade: 16 SATs indoors, .6m HDOP and 1.1 PDOP, 10Hz refresh.

  • @Nikola, Well the NEO-M8P has finally been announced publicly, offering GNSS RTK


  • Thank's Clive, mine is for Rc Timer I'm going yo try to check after try it..

  • @Cala The 3.01 firmware works with the NEO-M8N and LEA/NEO-M8T. I've used it on several M8N modules, and on the NEO-M8T in the Drotek XXL. I've conversed and shared data with a couple of others who have M8T modules. You have to enable Galileo with CFG-GNSS, but honestly the constellation isn't complete enough to be useful right now. The RAWX measurement for GPS+GLO+GAL look to be very clean when compared against a JAVAD receiver sharing the same antenna feed.

    It will not work with the MAX, M8Q, M8M and M8F devices, the former being ROM based, and the latter one using a 30.72 MHz VCTCXO not a 26 MHz TCXO.

    Most UAV application use the UART1 connectivity, I'd recommend doing it at 9600 baud, which while slower is far less squirrelly than other speeds as it often needs to run from the ROM's safe mode and erase the SPI Flash. You also want to use uCenter 8.20 as this is most compatible with the new update commands. The old 2.01 firmware is still available, so you can flash back if required. The flash FIS data is in the Program Files directory for uCenter.

    Also watch for the fake and off-brand receivers, some have a 512KB SPI Flash that won't hold the >512K 3.01 firmware. Check the FIS numbers against know SPI Flash devices, the ones I see from u-blox typically have the 0xEF4015 2MB (16Mbit) parts.

  • Bernardo,

    I've GPS+SBAS+GALILEO+GLONASS enabled, and I can set the highest rate of 80ms/12.5 Hz in u-center.
    So it look like the measurement frequency rate is not locked to 3 Hz.

  • Two things: Has anyone read this from the release notes?:

    4.12 Navigation rate The recommended maximum navigation rate supported is 5Hz for standard multi-GNSS operation (GPS + SBAS + GLONASS + QZSS) and 10Hz for single GNSS operation, when Galileo is enabled then max NAV rate when executed from flash is 3 Hz.

    I don´t think 3hz is enough for our use.

    Second: Does the .txt configuration file work for the new version? Or maybe it is best to just let the Arducopter software configure everything?

  • @John Bond,

    could you verify higher accuracy with your RTKLib and ionospheric error offset to work properly, verified against every of 3 preset constellations of your choice ?
  • I flashed a M8N to 3.01 and it works fine ... unless you want the raw data hack which won't work anymore. Just flash back to 2.01 and that is restored as Sobido mentioned.

    I also flashed a couple of M8Ts.  They aren't officially supported, but seem to function fine.

    Some simple RTK tests with RTKLIB 2.4.3 b8 using GPS, Glonass, SBAS, and Galileo all at the same time seemed to work.  Post processing with Galileo also works, but it's a bit more complicated as with the Windows binaries you need RTKCONV 2.4.3 b8 to create a NAV file with Galileo info and the b7 version to get Galileo OBS data.

    Galileo is still in its early stages.  There only seem to be about 7 healthy sats right now with a couple more hopefully coming online soon.  The next scheduled launch (4 sats at once) is for November of 2016 - and it has been taking months to set them active after reaching orbit - so the system will be of limited use for the near future.

  • Nice catch. Thanks!

  • The 2.01 release notes [1] say that the firmware filename is UBLOX_M8_201.89cc4f1cd4312a0ac1b56c790f7c1622.bin. If you modify my 3.01 link with the new filename, you get https://www.u-blox.com/sites/default/files/UBLOX_M8_201.89cc4f1cd43...

    [1] https://www.u-blox.com/sites/default/files/GNSS-FW2.01_ReleaseNotes...

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