New adapter board enables centimetre-precise positioning in real-time

19-03-2024 | Rutronik | Industrial

Precise positioning has become increasingly important in many areas and applications. RTK provides significantly greater accuracy than conventional multi-GNSS systems and continues to grow in cost-effectiveness. Together with the Rutronik Wireless Competence Center, the companies have developed the Adapter Board RAB4, which facilitates testing the performance of RTK without designing any hardware. By accelerating the pre-development phase and lowering costs, the board helps to bring applications to market faster.

Autonomous vehicles, drones, and also agricultural machines rely on accurate positioning in real-time. RTK increases the precision of satellite system positions using a base station that sends correction data to a moving receiver. That allows an accuracy of 1cm to 2cm, even with fast-moving objects.

"RTK is not a new technology and has been used in some areas for a long time. However, the costs were very high until now. Nowadays, cheaper but nevertheless powerful modules are available. That makes the technology and its advantages interesting for other areas of application. With our RAB4, we offer a modern hardware solution to test RTK quickly and cost-effectively for various applications," notes Stephan Menze, head of Global Innovation Management at Rutronik.

The board features high-performance components, all available on the company linecard. The high-precision UM980 RTK positioning module from Unicore Communications employs the latest generation of the NebulasIV GNSS SoC, offering a high positioning rate and supporting all available GNSS frequencies. It is ideal for navigation and positioning applications.

"We are among the top suppliers in the high-precision positioning modules industry and have established a robust partnership with Rutronik. We are thrilled to see the release of RAB4. We believe that integrating our high-performance UM980 module into the Adapter Board will significantly enhance awareness of RTK technology and demonstrate the capabilities of our module to developers," stated Zhang Bing, vice president of Marketing of Unicore.

For absolute positioning, the adapter board integrates a 4G LTE module with an integrated standard multi-GNSS receiver from Telit Cinterion's LE910 series. Another advantage is that the integration of a GNSS and RTK receiver makes it possible to compare the outputs directly without having to use several development kits from different suppliers. The board also includes a 100MB prepaid SIM card. Thanks to this combination, NTRIP correction data can be downloaded from the Internet. It is not necessary to operate your own reference station.

Thanks to the Arduino interface, the board can be easily combined with other boards like the RDK3, a base board that enables wireless connections to be realised using BLE. The company's application example demonstrates how the connection works. Using this example, a rover was developed in-house that can be controlled with centimetre precision via an app.

embedded world 2024, Hall 2, Booth 248 from 9 to 11 April 2024.


By Seb Springall

Seb Springall is a seasoned editor at Electropages, specialising in the product news sections. With a keen eye for the latest advancements in the tech industry, Seb curates and oversees content that highlights cutting-edge technologies and market trends.