Positioning technology helps bring smarter altimeters to aerial athletes

27-10-2020 | U-Blox | Test & Measurement

U-blox has announced that its GNSS technology is being employed in a smart altimeter for paragliders, skydivers, wingsuit pilots and other aerial athletes.

Dekunu Technologies’ Dekunu One SmartAlti is a body-worn altimeter that offers a similar quality of information about a user’s altitude and position in the sky as pilots obtain in their cockpits. A large, clear display assures that skydivers can always access that information readily. This assists with their situational awareness and allows them to make smarter decisions about their own and fellow skydivers’ safety throughout freefall.

“Among the key design considerations for the SmartAlti were the ability to access multiple GNSS constellations to ensure we had access to as much positioning data as possible, and to update that data at high speed,” said Chandler, Dekunu’s founder. “We also wanted all this done at low power. Many suppliers were evaluated, and the U-blox GNSS chips came out on top.”

The device also includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB facilities. Wi-Fi is utilised to sync the device to a cloud service, through which users can log and share the data that the device has gathered throughout their freefalls. This service also incorporates mesmerising 3D visualisations of the users jump data. Wi-Fi is also employed to enable over-the-air firmware updates.

Jason Meilhon, senior business development manager at U-blox, said: “We’re delighted to be helping Dekunu Technologies make skydiving safer and more fun for all. The combination of our best-in-class GNSS technology and Dekunu’s commitment to a stable hardware platform enhanced by regular firmware updates means the SmartAlti should just keep getting better and better.”

By Natasha Shek