Editorial Feature

Advanced Navigation: Solutions for GPS-Denied Environments

Advanced Navigation is a pioneering Australian company that has been at the forefront of developing AI-driven robotics and navigation solutions for GPS-denied environments across air, land, sea, and space. By pushing the boundaries of innovation, Advanced Navigation aims to extend human capabilities and build a more sustainable future.

Spectacular aerial top view background photo of ocean sea water white wave splashing in the deep sea.

Image Credit: Beautrium/Shutterstock.com

Advanced Navigation is the trusted choice for over 2,800 clients, including industry giants such as NASA, Boeing, Airbus, Apple, Google, Tesla, and General Motors. Operating out of its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, and supported by a substantial research facility in Perth, it successfully serves a global customer base through sales offices worldwide.

Advanced Navigation has forged impactful collaborations with leading research institutions, including Q-CTRL for quantum sensors in NASA's lunar exploration, CSIRO for revolutionary crop monitoring, and RMIT and ANU for pioneering the world's first fully digital fiber-optic gyroscope (DFOG). These collaborations drive innovation and have far-reaching industry implications.

With over 65,000 solutions in operation across 70 countries, Advanced Navigation continues to provide world-class solutions while upholding its commitment to environmental sustainability with carbon-neutral operations.

Products and Innovations of Advanced Navigation

High-Performance and Compact Inertial Sensors

Advanced Navigation is a leading manufacturer of highly accurate micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) and fiber-optic gyroscopes (FOG) inertial measurement units (IMU) and attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS) for industrial and tactical use. These systems are rigorously temperature-calibrated and offer a 1000 Hz output rate for exceptional performance.

Their FOG solutions (Boreas A70 and Boreas A90) provide even higher accuracy with bias instability as low as 0.001°/hr and roll and pitch accuracy as high as 0.005°. Advanced Navigation's Vertical integration ensures precise hardware and software control, setting a new benchmark for accuracy and reliability in motion sensing and orientation.

MEMS IMU Solutions

The MEMS-based IMU / AHRS range shares a common communication protocol, allowing customers to upgrade or downgrade their product range without costly re-engineering.

FOG IMU Solutions

The fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG) IMU/AHRS solutions offer navigation, strategic-grade accuracy, and rapid north-seeking capabilities that don't depend on GNSS.

Application: Orientus AHRS in Quix Exoskeleton

The IHMC Robotics Lab is developing the Quix, a robotic exoskeleton prototype, to empower paraplegics to stand and walk, greatly enhancing their mobility, independence, and overall well-being. However, creating a motorized exoskeleton with precise control is challenging, especially when dealing with eight powerful motors.

The Orientus AHRS offers a solution by supplying real-time data on roll, pitch, and yaw, essential for maintaining the exoskeleton's balance and direction. In addition, the Orientus's compact size facilitates seamless integration into the Quix exoskeleton's mechanical framework.

Acoustic Inertial Navigation Systems for Subsea Exploration

Advanced Navigation specializes in underwater acoustic positioning solutions, prioritizing high performance while minimizing size, weight, power consumption, and cost (SWaP-C). Their Subsonus technology offers a compact and efficient ultra-short baseline (USBL) positioning system featuring AI-based acoustic processing and a top-notch hydrophone array.

They also provide Subsonus Tag, an advanced acoustic transponder with pressure-tolerant electronics and wireless charging that can operate at 2000m without expensive pressure vessels. For enhanced performance, the USBL2 configuration offers unmatched accuracy and heading information without relying on magnetic compasses, setting Advanced Navigation apart in the field.

Acoustic Navigation Positioning Solutions:

Application: Subsonus USBL2 Technology Accelerates JM Robotics Underwater ROV Program

JM Robotics needed to design a compact ROV for precise underwater pipeline inspection in shallow and challenging conditions. They integrated Subsonus in a USBL2 configuration to obtain accurate navigation, heading, and position data in challenging environments. This solution allowed for efficient and cost-effective inspections, improved ROV piloting, and safeguarded against collisions in resource extraction applications.

AI-Driven Inertial Navigation Systems

Advanced Navigation offers MEMS and FOG-based systems for precise navigation in challenging conditions. They combine temperature-calibrated sensors, including accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors, with advanced RTK GNSS receivers and an AI-based algorithm, optimizing performance while minimizing Size, Weight, Power Consumption, and Cost (SWaP-C).

Their AI algorithm swiftly corrects sensor errors and improves accuracy through dynamic constraints and physics models, outperforming traditional Kalman filters. These systems support multiple satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BeiDou, and QZSS), operate at 1000 Hz, and cover various performance grades (industrial, tactical, navigation and strategic), simplifying client choices.

FOG GNSS/INS Solutions

The innovative DFOG INS offers strategic-grade performance with a 40% reduction in size and cost compared to similar products. These INS solutions use a common communication protocol for easy product range expansion without re-engineering.

Application: Certus Evo - A Game-Changer for Safe Drone Retrieval in Contested Environments

Precision flight control and navigational accuracy are essential in addressing the challenge of accurate and safe in-flight drone retrieval, particularly in defense applications. This is exemplified by the U.S. defense sector's active pursuit of a solution to launch and retrieve a significant quantity of small unmanned air systems (UAS) drones from combat aircraft, keeping a safe distance from adversary defenses.

For this initiative, Dynetics was selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to use drones for complex operations in contested environments. Dynetics chose the Advanced Navigation Spatial Dual (now Certus Evo), which allowed for high-accuracy position data through Kinematica post-processing. The Spatial Dual's performance and data analysis capabilities convinced Dynetics to integrate it into their final recovery system design.

"The Spatial Dual units performed nicely and provided very useful data for post-flight analysis. The Spatial Dual performance during early flight tests, combined with low power consumption and small form factor, convinced us to make the Spatial Dual part of the final recovery system design." Bill Martin, lead engineer at Dynetics.

Robotics Solutions

Hydrus: Revolutionizing Underwater Surveys with AI and Maneuverability

Hydrus, an autonomous underwater drone by Advanced Navigation, revolutionizes underwater surveying by offering advanced navigation and communication systems. It combines DVL, USBL, INS, acoustic and optical modems for reliable autonomous missions with obstacle detection and collision avoidance.

This cost-effective, flight-safe vehicle simplifies mission design with a user-friendly interface. Its open platform supports custom software integration and agile maneuverability for reef monitoring.

Hydrus captures high-quality georeferenced imagery with a 4K camera, dynamic lighting, and AI processing, enabling fast movement capture and onboard AI for tasks like environmental mapping, offshore windfarm inspection, object localization, and classification, all with rapid deployment and optimized AI operations.

Cloud Ground Control: Next-Gen Cloud-Based Drone Fleet Management

Advanced Navigation recently unveiled Cloud Ground Control, a groundbreaking SaaS platform that empowers users to connect, monitor, and manage drones via a web browser. This cloud-based solution facilitates multi-user and multi-drone connections over 4G/5G networks, achievable through a credit card-sized modem or smartphone application.

Cloud ground control boasts real-time video feed, telemetry, end-to-end encryption, compliance features, and cloud storage. It caters to enterprises employing drone fleets in diverse sectors such as emergency response, construction, asset inspections, and mining. Offering real-time situational awareness and mission control, this platform enhances decision-making and response efficiency.

Ripper Corporation has adopted this system to monitor and control over 100 drones, enhancing emergency decision-making by gaining deeper insights into beach activities.

Advanced Navigation's International Footprint

Advanced Navigation is making significant strides on a global scale with its innovative AI-driven technologies and high-tech manufacturing facilities. Their establishment of Australia's largest subsea robotics center, focusing on underwater technologies like the Hydrus autonomous robot, demonstrates their commitment to advancing ocean exploration and data accessibility worldwide.

Their involvement in lunar exploration, supported by a grant from the Australian Space Agency, positions them as a key player in NASA's mission to explore the Moon and Mars. In addition, their Light Detection, Altimetry, and Velocimetry (LiDAV) technology is set to revolutionize extraterrestrial navigation, enhancing autonomous landing and exploration beyond Earth.

Moreover, Advanced Navigation's state-of-the-art robotics manufacturing facility in New South Wales, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), showcases its leadership in precision engineering and autonomous systems. This facility addresses critical challenges and contributes to the growth of STEM fields and employment opportunities.

Advanced Navigation's global initiatives and cutting-edge technologies are internationally reshaping industries and scientific discoveries.

References and Further Reading

Advanced Navigation. (2023). About- Industry-Leading Navigation and Robotics Technologies. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/

Advanced Navigation. (2023). IMU & AHRS - High-performance and compact inertial sensors. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/imu-ahrs/

Recouvreur, S. (2023). IHMC's Robotic Exoskeleton Strides Towards the Future with Orientus AHRS. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/case-studies/robotic-exoskeleton-control-system-and-balancing-with-orientus/

Advanced Navigation. (2023). Inertial Navigation Systems- AI-driven navigation systems for GNSS and GNSS-denied environments. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/inertial-navigation-systems/

Recouvreur, S. (2023). Dynetics Selects Advanced Navigation for Gremlins X-61 UAV. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/case-studies/dynetics-selects-advanced-navigation-for-gremlins-x-61-uav/

Advanced Navigation. (2023). Acoustic Navigation-USBL and integrated inertial navigation systems for subsea navigation. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/acoustic-navigation/

Harris, S. (2023). Subsonus USBL2 Technology Accelerates JM Robotics Small-Scale ROV Program With Accurate Acoustic Heading. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/case-studies/subsea/subsonus-usbl2-technology-accelerates-jm-robotics-small-scale-rov-program-with-accurate-acoustic-heading/

Advanced Navigation. (2023). Fibre Optic Gyroscope GNSS/INS-High-performance fibre-optic gyroscope based inertial navigation systems. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/inertial-navigation-systems/fog-gnss-ins/

Recouvreur, S. (2023). Launching CGC To Monitor and Control Drone Fleets Over the Web. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/news/launching-cgc-to-monitor-and-control-drone-fleets-over-the-web/

University of Technology Sydney. (2023). Advanced Navigation opens high-tech robotics manufacturing facility. [Online]. Available at: https://techlab.uts.edu.au/advanced-navigation-manufacturing-facility/

Hayward, L. (2023). The Future of The Next Frontier with The Australian Space Agency. [Online]. Available at: https://www.advancednavigation.com/tech-articles/the-future-of-the-next-frontier-with-the-australian-space-agency/

Mignon D'Souza. (2023). Navigating the future. [Online]. Available at: https://www.manmonthly.com.au/navigating-the-future-advanced-navigation/

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Owais Ali

Written by

Owais Ali

NEBOSH certified Mechanical Engineer with 3 years of experience as a technical writer and editor. Owais is interested in occupational health and safety, computer hardware, industrial and mobile robotics. During his academic career, Owais worked on several research projects regarding mobile robots, notably the Autonomous Fire Fighting Mobile Robot. The designed mobile robot could navigate, detect and extinguish fire autonomously. Arduino Uno was used as the microcontroller to control the flame sensors' input and output of the flame extinguisher. Apart from his professional life, Owais is an avid book reader and a huge computer technology enthusiast and likes to keep himself updated regarding developments in the computer industry.


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