NGI offers a wide range of facilities to enable its research and teaching programmes and to facilitate external research.
This target frame enables the geometric characteristics of a camera to be determined, to allow any images captured by the camera to be used for photogrammetric purposes.
a range of distances and attitudes. From this set of images the geometric characteristics of the camera can be determined, through a so-called bundle adjustment, with added parameters (sometimes called a self-calibration method). Camera calibration is often the initial stage of any photogrammetric processing, and is a fundamental requirement to achieve high quality measurement of the object of interest using images.
This has been applied in research related to:
This six-pillar test bench allows for the design and implementation of a range of comparative equipment evaluation scenarios, and the absolute calibration of all types and classes of precision location systems.
The Punnet software was initially developed by SAR (synthetic aperture radar) processing experts at the Institute for the derivation of land deformation and other parameters, extracted from a stack of satellite SAR data. It has subsequently been spun-out into Geomatic Ventures Ltd. for commercial exploitation and further development. The NGI has access to the software for ground deformation research.
Punnet began life as a straightforward implementation of the well-known small baseline subset (SBAS) method, for processing stacks of SAR images and with particular applicability over urban areas with lots of hard targets. More recently, it has been improved to provide land deformation results over more difficult rural and vegetated areas using the novel ISBAS (Intermittent SBAS) approach. The software is now able to give a much clearer picture of deformation over a wider set of land cover classes than many other methods. It can be used for specific area surveys or for mapping regional deformation.
Satellite SAR data are available worldwide, so the applications of our SAR activities have a global reach. We have surveyed widely separated areas like Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jamaica, the Netherlands and the UK, for applications such as oil and gas exploitation and storage, climate change, sustainable agriculture and water management in urban areas. Most of this work has been sponsored by government agencies and the research councils, but we have also gained support from the commercial EO (Earth Observation) industry, oil and gas companies and other industrial players.
The Spirent GSS8000 multi-GNSS simulator has been designed for use in the most demanding applications, and is capable of simulating ultra-high dynamics with industry leading accuracy.
Example usage - the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) of the UK and Ireland are responsible for maritime aids to navigation. The US has recently raised concerns about potential degradation of the GPS service, to levels that may impact accuracy, integrity and availability at sea. This caused concern at the GLAs, who were able, using the GSS8000 and the expertise at NGI, to model future GPS constellation scenarios, in order to better understand the implications of a potential reduction in GPS level of service. GLA noted ... "this work was valuable in helping us to understand the situation, and allowed us to develop mitigation strategies in a timely and cost effective way".
This unique purpose built test facility comprises a fixed dual-rail trackway carrying an integrated positioning vehicle, capable of speeds of up to 7kph. The track is in a figure of eight, and 120m in length.
dynamic positioning system testing and R & D, carrying as standard, a navigation grade POSRS inertial unit. It provides a multi-sensor platform capable of sub-centimetre positioning accuracy, for developing and testing integrated navigation and positioning solutions. There are five surveyed antenna mounts on top, enabling simultaneous testing and analysis of GNSS equipment.
Example usage - the test track facility has been used in the cross-governmental initiative Innovation China UK (ICUK) project, to evaluate the performance of a high accuracy low-cost GPS device for intelligent transportation and location-based services. This device is capable of providing decimetre level positioning accuracy, using corrections delivered over the internet, at a fraction of the cost of current professional products. The test-track facility was able to provide a repeatable, dynamic platform, on which to test and quantify the accuracy of the new device.
The Institute operates a wide range of current hardware and software packages, for example the Leica TS30 total station, with an angular accuracy of 0.25mm at 100m, GNSS receivers and laser scanners.
This is a dedicated integrated positioning vehicle, capable of centimetre level positioning solutions in a variety of environments, with the facility to provide truth trajectories for testing other navigation sensors.
provide real-time or post-processed truth trajectories against which to evaluate other navigation sensors. These other sensors can be integrated into the main positioning solution. Integrated data logging allows other data streams, such as video imagery or laser scan point clouds, to be tagged with precise position and time metadata.
With these capabilities, the vehicle will satisfy a wide range of location-based testing applications, such as road condition monitoring, road user charging schemes, urban modelling, automated speed control, and other applications requiring a reliable and continuous, real-time centimetre-level positioning accuracy.
Example usage - the test vehicle was used as a mobile test lab on an EU project named SISTER (Satcoms in Support of Transport on European Roads). A variety of kinematic tests were carried out in the East Midlands between 2008 and 2010. Tests included testing the signal reception of the cell phone network and different communication satellites, and assessing their impact on high accuracy positioning on the road. The van was also driven to Paris to test the performance of a specific satellite, Solaris, signals from which are only available there.
We operate two portable wireless networks, Ultra Wide-band and Locata Technology. Both can be stand-alone or integrated with other systems, to create a seamless indoor-outdoor positioning capability.
form ubiquitous positioning capacity with other location sensor systems. It is also used as a viable communication tool to support V2X (wireless vehicular communication) applications in the transport sector.
Locata is an innovative positioning system transmitting GPS-like code and phase signals in the 2.4GHz licence-free ISM band. A Locata network is precisely synchronised at the nanosecond level using TimeLoc technology, and can provide un-differenced centimetre-level positioning accuracy. It is commercially used in the mining and aviation sectors.
At NGI we have developed a closely coupled integration between Locata and GPS. This novel, observation level integration, uses the LAMBDA method for ambiguity fixing, offering:
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