Until today, multiband RTK GPS/GNSS technology was expensive (~5000€ per unit) and difficult to use. Thanks to u-blox technology and Ardusimple integration, this will be a thing from the past.
simpleRTK2B is the first low-cost shield that supports a multi-constellation (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo) and multiband GNSS receiver including RTK functionality.
It's based on u-blox ZED-F9P module and is fully compatible as a shield with Arduino and STM32 Nucleo or as an external GNSS for Pixhawk autopilots.
With simpleRTK2B you can:
- Evaluate ZED-F9P in a very simple way
- Get <1cm precision(1σ) with base-rover configuration, <1cm with NTRIP corrections or <10cm with SSR corrections
- Average position convergence time <10s
- Improved cm-level position availability in difficult scenarios (forests, buildings, ...)
- Use it with your smartphone or computer (plug&play)
- Use it with your preferred prototyping boards (Arduino, STM32, ...)
- Connect it to your Pixhawk autopilot
- Radio link flexibility: use our proven radios or any of your choice
- Raw GNSS measurements: use the data from the satellites without any post-processing
- Do cool stuff like this:
To offer you the best price.
Manufacturing of any PCB has fixed and variable costs.
The fixed costs imputable to each board decrease with the number of PCBs ordered.
Variable costs are slightly lower when big orders are placed.
In the figure above you can see that by producing 250 PCBs we can decrease the overall price by 50%.
The funding goal for this project is equivalent to ~250 simpleRTK2B PCBs and the prices of the rewards are adjusted for such.
If the campaign goal is exceeded by more than 20.000€, we will be able to decrease even more the manufacture costs and we will send all backers:
- Free multiband GNSS antenna upgrade (OEM ⇒ cover)
- Free microUSB-USB female adapter to deliver RTK positioning to your smartphone
✓ 03/2018: Development starts
✓ 06/2018: Design of the first prototype sent to factory
✓ 07/2018: First proof of concept prototype of simpleRTK2B PCB running with u-blox M8P
✓ 09/2018: First functional prototype of simpleRTK2B running with u-blox ZED-F9P
✓ 09/2018: Design of the second prototype finished and sent to factory
✓ 10/2018: Pre-series prototype of simpleRTK2B received and working as expected
✓ 11/2018: Placed order for buying 300 u-blox ZED-F9P modules (+200 optional units), expected shipment of the modules: 30 November 2018
- Download the simpleRTK2B 3D models with or without headers
- Download the OEM GNSS multiband antenna 3D model (model dimensions accuracy is ±0.2mm)
- Arduino UNO form factor 69x53mm, weighing only 19.5g (without radio)
- Compatible with Arduino UNO headers (can be ordered soldered or not without extra charge)
- Supports all Xbee radio modules via 2mm 10pin headers
- External GNSS SMA connector
- External JST-GH 6 pin connector to be used with Pixhawk autopilot
- Can be powered directly from the Arduino headers or via a micro USB connector from the simpleRTK2B board
- 1.8V, 3.3V and 5V compatible (UART voltage levels are adjusted automatically based on power source voltage)
- Protected against double power source (header+USB)
- Power consumption: 204mW (without radios)
- Works as a standalone board (one board operation without radio)
- Works in base-rover/base-multi rover configuration
- Works in moving base configuration
- Runs with ZED-F9P GNSS module, check these two links for detailed information: u-blox description and u-blox product summary.
- The ZED-F9P GNSS module can be configured via simpleRTK2B USB port and u-blox u-center application
- The ZED-F9P GNSS module can be configured via Arduino headers and UBX protocol
- Xbee radio modules can be configured via simpleRTK2B USB port and Digi XCTU application
- Xbee radio modules can be configured via Arduino headers and Xbee protocol
- Radios can work either with Xbee transparent mode or Xbee API mode
- simpleRTK2B connects with Arduino/STM32 boards with 2xUART that can be configured at will
- simpleRTK2B has 2 LEDs: power status and RTK fix
simpleRTK2B supports different operating modes:
- Standalone – simplest way of reaching 1m position accuracy without range limitations. The most basic configuration is to use simpleRTK2B as a standalone GNSS application board. Connect it to your Arduino, computer or smartphone and you will get your position in seconds.
Base – rover configuration – get <3cm accuracy with a maximum range of 20km from the base station. Use two simpleRTK2B configured as base station and rover. Connect the base station and/or rover to your Arduino, computer or smartphone and you will get both positions in seconds.
- Base – multiple rovers configuration – get <3cm accuracy with a maximum range of 20km from the base station. Configure one simpleRTK2B as base and broadcast its RTK corrections to as many rovers as you want to get centimeter level accuracy. Connect it to your Arduino, computer or smartphone and you will get your position in seconds.
RTK moving base configuration – get <3cm accuracy and a complete Attitude and Heading Reference system with a maximum range of 20km from the base station. Configure one simpleRTK2B as base and two/three simpleRTK2B as rovers, mounted on a drone, car, ship, … Connect it to your Arduino, computer or smartphone and you will get your position, attitude and heading in seconds.
- Standalone with RTK/SSR corrections* – get <3cm accuracy without range limitations (subject to mobile network coverage). Use simpleRTK2B as a standalone GNSS application board combined with RTK/SSR corrections to get centimeter level accuracy. Combine it with a 3G module and you will get centimeter level accuracy without range limitations. Connect it to your Arduino, computer or smartphone and you will get your position in seconds. *Subject to 3rd party service availability.
Risks and challenges
- Raw material:
We use standard electronic components, being the u-blox ZED-F9P module the only component which can be considered state of the art.
For the moment, u-blox is sending samples for engineering purposes (we already have them) and is planning to sell by November 2018.
Any delays in the commercialization of the ZED-F9P module by u-blox will affect the delivery date.
- Running out of time or missing deadlines:
We have produced already ten prototypes of each of the three preliminary designs of the simpleRTK2B board without any issues, with fast delivery and excellent quality. Given the good results, we plan to work with the same PCB manufacturer.
- Time constraints/production delays:
Ardusimple team is focused on the design and testing of the simpleRTK2B, which has been ongoing for the last months and will be finished before the campaign ends.
The manufacturing and mounting of the PCB boards is outsourced and we don't expect problems (read above).
- Lack of technical skill:
In Ardusimple we have years of experience in electronics, wireless communications and software design.
We have proven full functionality with the prototypes and will help our backers with any technical difficulties they may encounter.
- Budget overages:
Before setting the prices of the rewards we have carefully reviewed all the costs (production, taxes, packaging, transportation, ...), even so, we have included a safety margin in the prices to overcome the unexpected.
- (60 days)