Archives for OxTS in the Press

OxTS shortlisted for Small Company of the Year 2011

OxTS is one of only seven companies shortlisted for the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA) category “Small Company of the Year” 2011. In making their decision the BEEA judges are looking for a small company that is able to demonstrate a sound and successful business addressing a particular market need. The winning company should also be able to demonstrate an evolving product portfolio and its successful reception by end users. OxTS has been successfully designing and manufacturing GPS-aided inertial navigation systems for over 10 years. The highly accurate RT inertial and GPS systems are used by all major vehicle manufacturers in the world for testing and developing commercial and utility vehicles. By constantly listening to customer requirements and anticipating new market trends, OxTS is able to add new product features and continuously evolve its product portfolio. Today the OxTS inertial and GPS navigation systems are used for a wide range of applications. They are not only used for automotive testing and vehicle safety, where the OxTS products are leading the way, but also for other applications where accurate position and orientation information is essential. The GPS-aided inertial system are invaluable for applications such as scanning road profiles, assessing the condition of trees from the air, or navigating autonomous vehicles. OxTS has been recognised by the judges as an engineering company which can win in the global market place and succeed against competition from much larger companies. The passion and dedication for delivering world-class products to a global market-place, despite being a small company, has led the BEEA awards panel to recognise their achievements and shortlist the company for the prestigious award. The winner of the Small Company of the Year Award 2011 will be revealed on Thursday, 13th October at a ceremony to be held at the prestigious Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.    
Read More

Small research aircraft measures volcanic ash cloud

The ash cloud which travelled to Australia after the recent Chilean volcano eruption has led to hundreds of flight cancellations, 200,000 stranded passengers and cost the airlines an estimated $21 million. Jorg Hacker, OxTS customer and scientist at Airborne Research Australia, has equipped a small aircraft with high-tech measurement systems and is now able to fly through ash clouds in order to quantify the amount of ash particles in the air. This will give the airline industry more scientific information on their decision making whether to cancel flights or not. Jorg Hacker’s small motorised glider is able to fly about 20,000ft, where airlines normally fly. Pods attached to the wings contain scientific measurement instruments to measure the size and quantity of the ash particles. The OxTS RT4003 GPS-aided inertial navigation system is used to determine the exact location of the ash particles in the sky. The highly accurate RT4003 system has been fitted to Jorg’s plane since 2005 and has been a vital part of many aerial surveys. It is able to provide high precision position and orientation data in real-time, which is essential for all airborne surveys carried out by Airborne Research Australia. With the help of Jorg Hacker’s research aircraft, airlines and safety authorities can be better informed on their decision whether to fly or not in the future. The flight through the ash cloud south of Australia confirmed that the density of the ash was below the threshold where it would pose a threat to jet engines. If these safe levels of ash had been confirmed earlier, it could have prevented some flight cancellations and saved the airlines a significant amount of money. In the event of future volcanic eruptions, Airborne Research Australia’s small scientific aircraft will be able to collect information about the density of ash particles in the air and inform airline authorities about the levels of ash and the exact location of the particles during their flight.
Read More

Team AnnieWAY’s autonomous vehicle wins GCDC 2011

Congratulations Team AnnieWAY! Team AnnieWAY of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany won the first Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge (GCDC) which took place in the Netherlands from 14th – 15th May. Onboard the autonomous vehicle was the RT3003, a compact GPS-aided inertial navigation system which provides invaluable position and orientation measurements. The fully autonomous vehicle showed the best cooperative driving result in an exciting international driving challenge against ten other teams. Team AnnieWAY’s vehicle is equipped with steering, braking, accelerator and gearshift actuators. It is also equipped with a high definition laser scanner and multiple cameras on the roof of the vehicle to provide stereoscopic vision. Highly accurate position and orientation data is provided by the compact OxTS RT3003 measurement system. The GPS-aided inertial navigation system is able to output high precision position information which is invaluable for the autonomous vehicle. Position measurements are continuous and jump-free with the RT3003, even in tree obstructed or urban environments. The dual antenna GPS ensures accurate heading information even when the vehicle is driving slowly, for example when approaching an intersection. With this set-up, AnnieWAY could navigate reliably and without human intervention through a range of predetermined traffic scenarios both in urban and highway situations.  To read AnnieWAY’s Team Blog which was written during the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, click here…      
Read More

RT-Range appeared in BBC’s “Surviving a Car Crash”

On its Hällered test track in Sweden, Volvo is developing some of the most advanced collision warning and auto brake systems. In order to test and verify Volvo’s advanced driver assistance systems, the vehicles are equipped with highly accurate OxTS RT3000 and RT-Range measurement systems. How these systems work in order to avoid collisions was shown on BBC Horizon this month in an interesting documentary called “Surviving a car crash” (BBC Two, 7th February 2011, 2100 GMT). In this TV documentary, Dr. Erik Coelingh of Volvo Cars Sweden demonstrates Volvo’s auto-brake feature in a test scenario with a balloon car (inflatable rubber car to lessen the impact). He drives to an intersection and pulls out despite the approaching balloon car from the left. The car, however, stops automatically before hitting the balloon test car, even though Dr. Coelingh’s foot stays on the accelerator. Volvo, like many other leading car manufacturers, is developing collision avoidance technology to ensure that vehicles start to brake automatically when the sensors on the car detect another vehicle coming close. This is where the OxTS RT-Range comes in. With the RT-Range system, test engineers can measure the relative speed between two (or more) vehicles and the position of one car compared to the other vehicle with highest accuracy. The RT-Range ADAS development system can do a lot more than that. The RT-Range is the most comprehensive test tool for the development of ADAS technology, giving more vehicle-to-vehicle measurements and more lane positioning measurements than any other system. It is ideal for the development of many active safety features in vehicles, such as ACC, collision avoidance or blind spot detection. The RT-Range works with up to four targets, which can be other vehicles, pedestrians, balloon cars or fixed points, thus ensuring complicated traffic scenarios can be replicated on the test track. The RT-Range is also ideal for developing lane departure warning and lane keep assistance technology. The RT-Range can accurately measure a vehicle’s position within the lane, the angle of the vehicle within the lane, the distance to all the lane markings from three places in the vehicle and more on straight and even on curved roads! With outstanding test tools like the RT-Range we can bring Dr. Erik Coelingh of Volvo Cars Sweden’s vision of a future without fatal car crashes a step closer. To read more about the RT-Range, click here… or contact our OxTS Sales Team. If you want to find out how the RT-Range can work with stationary balloon cars, click here…  and if you want to read more about its ability to track moving balloon cars, read more here…  
Read More