Seer Technology, a Salt Lake City based company, recently announced the development of NaviSeer at the International Defense Conference and Exhibition (IDEX). NaviSeer is a personal tracking system designed to integrate civilian and military GPS communication systems and improve navigation accuracy. NaviSeer offers a functional solution for tracking and will provide support to the military, government agencies, first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, miners, and industrial workers by offering a comprehensive solution to tracking entities in both GPS and GPS-denied areas.
NaviSeer utilizes a combination of GPS and Dead Reckoning (DR) hardware technologies with a unique set of proprietary algorithms to produce location data in real time. The device has three accelerometers -one at each axis, three gyros, and a magnetometer, as well as a baro altimeter, with all data coordinated through a Kalman filter, providing a flow of estimates on past, present, and even future positions. Use of MEMS technology in the design of NaviSeer provides integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a silicon chip with low power consumption.
The unit, using an automatic compass orientation algorithm, gives the azimuth when the user is upright or prone. NaviSeer translates body movement into latitude, longitude, and elevation digitized positions and provides a continuously updated digital feed to the command and control center. The barometric altimeter in the unit provides vertical positions accurately enough to identify which floor inside a building a user is located.
NaviSeer’s dead reckoning (DR) module is a miniature, self-contained, electronic navigation unit which provides user positions relative to a home or starting point. Unlike other inertial systems, NaviSeer’s DR error characteristics are independent of time, and depend primarily on distance traveled. DR functions are calibrated continuously during the operation of the unit, and an internal Kalman filter blends both DR and GPS data. The NaviSeer uses GPS when available, switching automatically to DR when GPS cannot be accessed.
NaviSeer offers advancements in tracking, with accurate positioning within less than one meter, a result not found in any other small scale, or portable, device. The unit, which weighs less than five ounces, fits comfortably on the wearer’s back. In addition, the NaviSeer unit does notrequire sensors on the body and was designed to be integrated with other electronics, such as military GPS receivers and radios. Kent Garland, NaviSeer Product Manager, states “With NaviSeer’s lifelike 3-D user interface, a field commander can constantly see all personnel and make educated critical decisions in harsh and GPS denied environments.” Seer Technology is currently taking orders with plans to ship NaviSeer by the second quarter of 2009.
TFOT first covered a similar story, back in 2007, on the combination of GPS and DR systems in “New Generation GPS Receivers Coming.” TFOT has covered other stories related to GPS units including “A GPS Locator for Children,” “Infineon’s XPOSYS GPS Chip,” and a GPS system for astronauts in “Moon GPS.”
For more information on NaviSeer, visit Seer Technology’s website.