CSI Wireless Inc has begun marketing its new “SERES” high-performance positioning product: a combined GPS/SBAS receiver and antenna system for Precision Agriculture, GIS & Mapping, and other markets. CSI Wireless also announced it has already received an $850,000 purchase order for the SERES from a U.S. firm.
The self-contained SERES receives free location-determining signals from the U.S. government’s Global Positioning System (GPS), and receives free accuracy-enhancing signals from the U.S. government’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).
SERES can also receive accuracy-enhancing signals from two WAAS-like systems — the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), and Japan’s MTSAT Satellite-based Augmentation System (MSAS) — that are under development.
WAAS, EGNOS and MSAS are compatible with each other, and collectively known as Space Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS). SERES can also receive more accuracy-enhancing data from other sources via its dual communication ports.
In the Precision Agriculture market, the most popular role for the SERES will be as the positioning tool of a larger precision guidance system, typically installed on the roof of a sprayer vehicle. In the GIS & Mapping market, the SERES will usually be mounted on a backpack equipped with an antenna pole to provide precise position data to a hand-held data collector.
The SERES — nick-named the “smart antenna” because it houses not only the antenna but the microprocessor or “brains” with which to compute positions — combines consistent high accuracy with quick start-up and signal- acquisition capabilities.
It achieves sub-meter positioning accuracy when employing SBAS corrections, and features start-up times of typically 35 seconds, or only 15 seconds if the system has been on anytime in the previous two hours.
The SERES is very easy to install and operate because it uses a single power and data cable, whereas competing products feature separate receivers and antennas, and often require three or more cables for power input, antenna signal, and data distribution signals.
SBAS includes WAAS — which is already being used for a wide range of applications, but undergoing final testing for aviation use — plus compatible services (EGNOS in Europe and MSAS in Japan).
All three broadcast signals from their proprietary satellites. The signals provide more accuracy-enhancing data than what is available via other differential services such as radiobeacon stations. SBAS can be also used over a much wider area, with more consistent performance.