u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, launched today the NEO-M8P GNSS receiver modules, which are compatible with both the GPS and GLONASS satellite-based navigation systems and deliver high performance down to centimeter-level accuracy.

Measuring merely 12.2 x 16 x 2.4 mm3, NEO-M8P is the smallest high precision GNSS RTK (real time kinematic) module available on the market. The u-blox rover (NEO-M8P-0) receives corrections from the u-blox base receiver (NEO-M8P-2) via a communication link that uses the RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) protocol, enabling centimeter-level positioning accuracy. The RTK algorithms are pre-integrated into the module. As a result, the size and weight are significantly reduced, and power consumption is five times lower than existing solutions, thus cutting costs and improving usability dramatically. Customers can further reduce their R&D efforts, as they do not have to spend significant resources and time to develop an in-house host-based RTK solution.

RTK technologies have been used for some time in low-volume niche markets, such as surveying and construction. Due to high costs and complexity, this enhanced positioning technology has been inaccessible for most other uses. Emerging high volume markets, such as unmanned vehicles, require high precision performance that is energy-efficient and low in costs. Other application areas include agriculture and robotic guidance systems, such as robotic lawnmowers. The u-blox NEO-M8P answers these demands for a small-sized, highly cost-effective, and very precise RTK-based module solution.

Full release here 

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Comment by Darius Jack on February 15, 2016 at 6:50pm

Really excellent news, all-in-one RTK GPS from Ublox.

I expect the price of RTK GPS to fall to $200 by the end of 2016 (ground station + rover kit) since Ublox has many competitors interested to buy raw data Ublox GPS chips

and offer RTKLib add-on on their own.

I am still awating research paper on claimed accuracy of RTK GPS supported by long-term live tests.

Comment by Pascal P. on February 16, 2016 at 1:57am

Very good news, the RTK issue is really coming to masses. At least massive cost reduction for centimetric accuracy. Amazing step forward if you only look two years ago. 

With such cost cut, and probable success for RTK, I am sure differential signal sources will spread widely.

Comment by dionh on February 16, 2016 at 2:39am
Comment by Darius Jack on February 16, 2016 at 5:28am

@dionh,

DGPS technology, described by you, is 10+ years old technology
and has been tested more than 10 years ago in New York, Manhattan
to work on no-GPS signal streets.
Accuracy of IMU + GPS is not great since geolocalization error calculated with IMU increases the longer you drive with no GPS signal.

Comment by dionh on February 16, 2016 at 10:13am

@Darius

Its not DGPS  technology, read the article.

Comment by Darius Jack on February 16, 2016 at 10:22am

@dionh

"

A recent technique, called Differential GPS (DGPS), improves the GPS system by referencing a network of ground-based stations – increasing accuracy to within 3 feet. But this still isn’t precise enough for many modern technologies."

10 years ago I have experimented with IMU + GPS integrated car navigation system

in poor GPS signal/no GPS signal environments.

DGPS should be named D1GPS  D2GPS D3GPS to denote specific referrential technology solution ( Internet based, GCS, IMU ...)

Comment by dionh on February 16, 2016 at 10:55am

@Daruis

According to the article  researchers have now found a way to make GPS technology accurate down to an inch, thanks to a new set of algorithms

Comment by Darius Jack on February 16, 2016 at 11:04am

@dionh,

Exactly,

there is no need to invent 10 year old technology again.

IMU + GPS navigation is 10 years old technology, called inertial GPS navigation.

from Wikipedia

--

Inertial navigation systems were originally developed for rockets. American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard experimented with rudimentary gyroscopic systems. Dr. Goddard's systems were of great interest to contemporary German pioneers including Wernher von Braun. The systems entered more widespread use with the advent of spacecraft, guided missiles, and commercial airliners.

Early German World War II V2 guidance systems combined two gyroscopes and a lateral accelerometer with a simple analog computer to adjust the azimuth for the rocket in flight. Analog computer signals were used to drive four graphite rudders in the rocket exhaust for flight control. The GN&C (Guidance, Navigation, and Control) system for V2 provided many innovations as an integrated platform with closed loop guidance. At the end of the war Von Braun engineered the surrender of 500 of his top rocket scientists, along with plans and test vehicles, to the Americans. They arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1945 under the provisions of Operation Paperclip and were subsequently moved to Huntsville, Alabama, in 1950 [2] where they worked for U.S. Army rocket research programs.

In the early 1950s, the US government wanted to insulate itself against over dependency on the German team for military applications, including the development of a fully domestic missile guidance program. The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory (later to become the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.) was chosen by the Air Force Western Development Division to provide a self-contained guidance system backup to Convair in San Diego for the new Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile [3][4][5][6] (Construction and testing were completed by Arma Division of AmBosch Arma). The technical monitor for the MIT task was a young engineer named Jim Fletcher who later served as the NASA Administrator. The Atlas guidance system was to be a combination of an on-board autonomous system, and a ground-based tracking and command system. The self-contained system finally prevailed in ballistic missile applications for obvious reasons. In space exploration, a mixture of the two remains.

In the summer of 1952, Dr. Richard Battin and Dr. J. Halcombe "Hal" Laning, Jr., researched computational based solutions to guidance, and undertook the initial analytical work on the Atlas inertial guidance in 1954. Other key figures at Convair were Charlie Bossart, the Chief Engineer, and Walter Schweidetzky, head of the guidance group. Schweidetzky had worked with Wernher von Braun at Peenemuende during World War II.

The initial Delta guidance system assessed the difference in position from a reference trajectory. A velocity to be gained (VGO) calculation is made to correct the current trajectory with the objective of driving VGO to zero. The mathematics of this approach were fundamentally valid, but dropped because of the challenges in accurate inertial guidance and analog computing power. The challenges faced by the Delta efforts were overcome by the Q system (see Q-guidance) of guidance. The Q system's revolution was to bind the challenges of missile guidance (and associated equations of motion) in the matrix Q. The Q matrix represents the partial derivatives of the velocity with respect to the position vector. A key feature of this approach allowed for the components of the vector cross product (v, xdv, /dt) to be used as the basic autopilot rate signals—a technique that became known as cross-product steering. The Q-system was presented at the first Technical Symposium on Ballistic Missiles held at the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation in Los Angeles on June 21 and 22, 1956. The Q system was classified information through the 1960s. Derivations of this guidance are used for today's missiles.

"

Comment by Jack Crossfire on February 16, 2016 at 4:35pm

The uBloxes always supported RTK, but required a $300 module with unlocked firmware to generate RTCM messages.  It's the same price, but repackaged from the source so you don't have to track down rtklib.

Comment by John Bond on February 16, 2016 at 8:39pm

Off the top of my head I can think of six other ~ $1000 US or less - some much less - RTK systems:

NVS        - http://www.nvs-gnss.com/products/receivers/item/39-nv08c-rtk.html
Emlid      - http://www.emlid.com/reach/
NavSpark - http://navspark.mybigcommerce.com/ns-hp-rtk-capable-gps-receiver/
               - http://navspark.mybigcommerce.com/s2525f8-bd-rtk-25mm-x-25mm-rtk-re...
Drotek     - http://www.drotek.com/shop/en/home/762-l1-rtk-gnss.html
SwiftNav - http://swiftnav.com/piksi.html
Tersus   - http://www.tersus-gnss.com/collections/all

They all have their strengths and weaknesses.  While the really inexpensive systems are going
to be L1 only for the near future, in the next year or so I expect we will see some ~ $1000 dual
frequency systems.  I believe NavSpark has said they want to create one.  Perhaps some of the
Chinese OEM boards like from Unicore and ComNav will make it into lower cost products.  Tersus
seems to have done this with their (Unicore) $800 L1/L2 RTK board.  They now offer a dual
frequency (GPS only) RTK system for $2000.

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