An exciting update from the Swiftnav team, whose successful Kickstarter project is bringing high-precision (cm-level) RTK GPS to an affordable level (sub $1,000). First up: ArduPilot support!

From today's update:

The complete signal processing chain, from the GPS radio waves that arrive at Piksi's antenna, to the centimeter-accurate relative positions that are the system's output, has now been fully implemented and verified.

Ian says these are the covariance plots of the ambiguity resolution engine, but all I see are some cool circles.Ian says these are the covariance plots of the ambiguity resolution engine, but all I see are some cool circles.

There is still work to be done to port that code to the Piksi hardware. This is a decent chunk of software development, but we're now in the homestretch. Software development timelines are always difficult to estimate, so we want to make sure we avoid pushing the delivery date again by being too optimistic about the schedule. With this in mind, we're promising you a ship-by date of April 15th for the Production RTK Kits.

A sunny San Francisco afternoon, our dual antenna setup taking in the raysA sunny San Francisco afternoon, our dual antenna setup taking in the rays

We've added a new member to our team, one Niels Joubert of Stanford's computer science department. He's an amazing software developer and engineer, and we're very lucky to have him making contributions to the product. Some of you will be pleased to hear that his first project is adding support for Piksi to the Ardupilot system. This support is an utmost priority for us, and now we can finally give it the resources it deserves.

Niels Joubert / Piksi / 3DR PixhawkNiels Joubert / Piksi / 3DR Pixhawk

We've now finished shipping all the SUPPORT and T SHIRT rewards, so if you haven't received yours yet, it should be arriving soon.

Thank you for your continued support and patience!

Colin and Fergus

Views: 16940

Comment by Quadzimodo on February 7, 2014 at 5:24pm
Can't wait!
Comment by Jay Galleno on February 7, 2014 at 6:51pm

I want!

Comment by titeuf007 on February 7, 2014 at 10:37pm

it will be great if it will be available for arducopter...

i am happy to see this kind of improvement

Comment by Chris Leech on February 7, 2014 at 11:10pm

Breathtaking accuracy projected. Can't wait to see it in action whilst folded into the APM platform.

Comment by MarcS on February 8, 2014 at 12:46am

That would really be great value!!

Fingers crossed it works in dynamic environments on copters or even harder on planes...

There are nice things you can do then (can say this after having done some stuff with the expensive RTK systems :-)

Comment by Nicholas Witham on February 8, 2014 at 6:34am
He looks excited!!
Comment by Jesus A on February 8, 2014 at 10:00am

It is very nice! Centimeter precision is just the next step needed for APM to become a professional tool for agriculture, etc.

However. Does it improve GPS accuracy in urban canyons (mainly affected by multipath)? As far is I know about RTK, the base station measure the errors in GPS received signal by knowing a-priori it current well defined position. Those errors are broadcasted to the remote RTK GPS which uses them to correct its own observed position.

But in an urban canyon, the multipath seen by base station may be very different from that observed by the remote station due to the complicated surfaces of buildings all around...

Comment by titeuf007 on February 8, 2014 at 1:39pm

what will be the price|>:

Comment by Jack Crossfire on February 8, 2014 at 4:19pm

$1000 is the new affordable.

Comment by MarcS on February 8, 2014 at 7:02pm


you are confusing differential GPS and RTK. It has something in common, but to be general, RTK is a method to massively improve precision by measuring carrier phase signals rather then the code, which is normally done. Since the phase returns every 20cm or so (sinus wave) you have to know, "which sinus you are on". For that, you use information given by the fixed ground station. (very basic description, soryy, there was a good link here recently).

All that principle makes the whole RTK system very sensitive to movement of the receiver (phase jumps) and to bad constellations of the satellites, which I would include urban environment with...

Even with a professional, >10k$, L1/L2 system I have times in fully open environment when you can´t get a RTK solution. At least these systems tell you and you can predict by looking at the constellation.

So to sum up: RTK is nice, but you have to undestand it and know the limitations!


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