OxTS has a lot to offer – whether you need precision measurement systems used by the world’s leading automotive manufacturers and test facilities; enhanced OEM products with our core expertise of sensor fusion with inertial technology to power new product developments; or accurate and reliable georeferencing solutions for land, air and marine applications. Excellent engineering enables OxTS to continue to innovate and improve solutions for all of our customers. Here, OxTS Senior Navigation Engineer, Stan McCarthy tells us about a ‘day in his life’:
1. How long have you worked at OxTS, and what do you like most about the Company?
I’ve been at OxTS for about three and a half years now. Having started in the Application Engineering team, I moved to our Navigation Team in my first year (something the Company was very supportive of). Working at OxTS, there are always new and exciting projects to get involved in as well as opportunities to get out of the office, be it testing out in the car or visiting customers to share new upcoming developments and understand their requirements from our products. We provide our products to a wide range of customers across automotive, survey, and other applications so it is always interesting to see how our INS is used by people in the field.
2. What does a typical day involve, in your role as OxTS Senior Navigation Engineer?
Most of my time is spent finding ways to keep improving our INS through sensor fusion. We have a real focus at the moment on improving performance in GNSS-denied or difficult environments by integrating new sensors such as Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and LiDAR-based navigation to enable our customers to use our products in an ever-expanding number of environments.
Other than sensor fusion work, I’ve been known to work on tools to help users integrate our system into their robotic applications, such as the ROS2 Driver, which lets users consume our navigation output in ROS2. I also spend a lot of time training graduates and other newer members of our engineering team.
3. What’s the most satisfying thing about your job, and why?
What I’ve always enjoyed the most is getting to work in small teams to find new and interesting ways to improve our navigation solution. We work with a lot of exciting technology, evaluating and then integrating into our software and firmware be it GNSS receivers, LiDARs, or any other sensor. It’s always a challenge but there are few things more rewarding than getting something working and seeing the improvements you’ve been a part of come into effect.
4. What’s been your greatest challenge so far at OxTS, and how have you overcome this?
Something I worked on early in my career at OxTS was the LiDAR boresight calibration algorithm in our Georeferencer software, which calculates the alignment between a LiDAR and INS, improving pointcloud accuracy. It was a particularly in-depth piece of work – a lot to take on when I was a graduate – but with guidance from other experienced members of the team, we were able to get it done and deliver the first version of OxTS Georeferencer. Customer feedback has been very positive.
5. How would you describe the OxTS team?
The main word I would use is flexible. Having joined OxTS in Applications Engineering, moved to Navigation, and now recently been promoted to a senior position, I can definitely say that there is a lot of support for engineers to progress their careers and find a role that suits them. On top of that there is a lot of support for engineers to collaborate between teams, which makes sure you can always find a project to be a part of that interests you. Personally, I’m currently working on one project around LiDAR-based navigation with members of our Software team and another project on UWB with our Applications team, all of which keeps me nice and busy!
6. What would we most likely find you doing at the weekend?
I’m one of those people who got into paddleboarding in lockdown so you can often find me pootling about on some body of water around Oxfordshire, weather permitting of course! Other than that I’m a big fan of living up to stereotypes of engineers by enjoying games of both the video and board varieties.
7. What are your goals for the next 12 months at OxTS?
I mentioned it in another question, but we are doing a lot of work right now to develop our offering in GNSS-denied spaces, and I hope we will be able to start rolling some of these out to early-release customers for evaluation in the not-too-distant future. It’s an exciting time for us to be in the position to offer real step changes in performance to customers in these environments.
- What is ROS? Read our article on robot operating systems.
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- See how we can help you navigate the path to autonomy.