In 2000, following deep R&D, OxTS launched the world’s first combined GPS inertial navigation system for automotive testing applications. OxTS has since become known as the inertial navigation expert for the automotive industry. Our team are driven to continually develop technologies and innovations to support our customers, and this led to our first, highly accurate, INS survey solution in 2008. For many survey and mapping professionals, OxTS has become their preferred partner for integrators and products such as the xNAV miniature INS for UAV mapping, and Survey+ INS for land-based mobile mapping and manned aircraft mapping. Product Engineer, Jacob Amacker, is one of our experts in the survey and mapping space, and he shares insights into his work in this post.
1. What attracted you to your role as an OxTS Product Engineer, and what’s the best thing about your job?
I graduated university with a very technical and analytical physics degree and I wanted to progress and expand on this. I thought this OxTS product engineer role would give me ample opportunity to expand my technical knowledge and also to learn about business, product management and working with people in all different ways from all around the world – and I’m pleased to say that’s exactly what this role has offered me. I was particularly drawn to my role within the survey and mapping team, as we’re working on a lot of exciting development and innovative solutions.
2. What does a ‘usual’ working day look like for you?
In the morning, between 9 and 11 I have catch-up sessions with the engineers of projects I’m involved with and also sessions with those of the commercial department and the survey and mapping team. This gets me up to speed with where the business, market and our projects are at. Following this, my work is a blend of commercial and engineering activities. About half the time I am planning for projects or helping engineers by testing or getting resources and information they need. The other half I work on a wide variety of commercial activities such as helping customers with technical questions, presenting webinars and writing support materials such as my latest article on What are Pointclouds.
3. You often present training webinars for survey and mapping professionals; can you tell us more about this please?
In response to the global Covid-19 situation, this year OxTS have made a huge effort to deliver more digital content as we’re currently unable to deliver as much face-to-face support as we usually would do. For survey and mapping we have delivered many webinars covering all levels, and technical details of what our xNAV and Survey+ (INS Survey devices) really are and how they’re used. Also our OxTS Georeferencer software, in particular, the boresight calibration feature where we demonstrate the substantial improvements to LiDAR data that it can make. For example, Sam Souliman is presenting several webinars supporting advanced users, such as Advanced setup for LiDAR surveying, using drones and How to avoid or mitigate error factors to improve Pointcloud accuracy. I have presented several webinars on How to get the best from your data, including a boresight calibration demo which show the substantial improvements that boresighting can deliver. This subject has proven popular with survey and mapping professionals, so much so that I will be running this session again on Tuesday 28th July at 14:15 hrs. You can register for free, or view the recording afterwards, by following this link.
4. What are the most interesting projects you’re currently working on, and why are they your current favourites?
For me, the most interesting project I’m working on is our next release of OxTS Georeferencer. Later this year we will be bringing out an improved version of the software that will provide customers with a more convenient user experience and enable them to get the best Pointclouds out of their LiDAR surveying. I’m currently testing improved features and new functionality for our market favourite, boresight calibration. We’re exploring the possibility of expanding the range of LiDAR that customers can use with our software.
5. What are you looking forward to most in your future as an OxTS Product Engineer?
A lot of exciting work is already planned for the next year or so and we’re currently laying some groundwork for this. I’m expecting to play a pivotal role in driving what we want to deliver. Over time I hope to expand my skillset into engineering more so that I can work more closely with the development teams. And working for OxTS gives me great opportunity to do this.
- What is a Pointcloud? Click here to read our article.
- Why does LiDAR (Light detection and ranging technology) need inertial navigation? Click here to read our article.
- To register to participate in forthcoming OxTS support and training webinars, or to view recordings of sessions we’ve already presented, please follow this link.