Galileo/Beidou in Triumph-LS and Triumph-3 Update

Shawn Billings

Shawn Billings
First Galileo and Beidou in RTK:
For several months now, the testing versions of J-Field and GNSS firmware have supported Galileo and Beidou. The GNSS board in the Triumph-LS has always supported six engines processing GNSS data simultaneously. The strategies for how each engine processes the GNSS data has changed somewhat through the years, but the combinations were limited to only C/A and P2 (L2 and L2C) GPS and Glonass signals. The added signals to the modernized GPS and Glonass constellations as well as the added constellations from Galileo and Beidou exponentially complicate the strategy combinations. Initial releases of the testing versions required the user to select for himself which signals would be used in each engine. In a consumer environment this is simply not viable. A user could select a signal that simply has few or no signals available and then be subjected to poor performance as a result. Furthermore, each engine has a limit of 13 satellites. Putting all signals in each engine is simply not possible with our current hardware and software. This isn't necessarily a liability though. Setting different engines to different signals allows for less correlation between the engines which may ultimately prove to demonstrate more confidence in common ambiguity fixes between engines. For example, a fix from an engine that is set to GPS+GLO that agrees with a fix from an engine that is set to GAL+BDU in a high multipath environment (under canopy) may prove to be a very reliable fix without the need to wait for >180 seconds as is currently the case.

The last hurdle to releasing Galileo and Beidou to release is automating the signal criteria for the engines. @Javad has been working on a process that will be transparent to the user that will issue a value of merit to each signal from each constellation that will be used to determine what signals should be used by each of the six engines. The engines will continue to have a degree of independence from one another, using different signals in different ways, but will be optimized in real time for the current conditions (satellite/signal availability and signal quality). Once this has been finished the multi-constellation RTK engines should be ready for release.

I was able to attend Intergeo 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany, a couple of weeks ago. I was there to conduct some dealer training with the Triumph-LS. I used a Triumph-3 as a base station and really enjoyed the new receiver. The Triumph-LS is already programmed to communicate with the Triumph-3 in base/rover setup and the Triumph-3 proved to be an excellent companion to the LS. I'm as excited as anyone to get to use it for my next RTK base station. It's surprisingly small and lightweight. It has an identical footprint to the Triumph-LS and shares the same antenna. It is shorter than the Triumph-LS as it has no screen. Like the LS it has an external UHF antenna port, which will allow users to connect a high-gain antenna to it to maximize the potential of the internal 1-watt radio. The Bluetooth and WiFi antennas are external as well and while not as rugged when carried through brush, do offer improved range over internal antennas. External radio users may find a bit more freedom in how far they can put the radio from the base, although I have not tested this for myself yet. The internal battery is expected to have an 11-hour life when used as a base transmitting at 1-watt. Of course the user can also plug in an external power source to the charging port to extend the session duration if necessary. I can not give any details on pricing or availability at the moment, other than to say the current discussions I've heard regarding pricing will be attractive, in my opinion, and the release should be very soon. I am mostly sharing this to say that it does exist! Also to say that I believe it will not disappoint once it is available.
Our State RTN has GPS,GPS L5, Glonas, and Galileo. Would the Engine settings allow one to make the best fix with these available constellations, rather than using some of the slots for Beidou?

Darren Clemons

Well-Known Member
Thank you Shawn, that is the most detailed and thorough explanation we’ve had in a year! It’s obvious that “promises“ or “any day now” timelines were initially given that shouldn’t have been and that has left a very bad taste in a lot of our mouths. Once I saw, and tried, the first “release” of the Galileo engines, I realized us the users were a LONG way from being able to efficiently utilize them and that there was a LOT more work yet to be done. Hey - maybe we’ll have it by the time the snow melts in Texas NEXT spring!!