Inside GNSS: ION GNSS+ 2023 Brings PNT Community Together in Denver

Inside GNSS recently published an excellent article on this years ION GNSS+ Summit. Last month Denver played host to an assembly of PNT (Positioning, Navigation, and Timing) leaders, researchers, and students at the Hyatt Regency Denver for the conference. This annual event provides a platform for professionals to delve into technical sessions, connect with exhibitors to explore cutting-edge technologies, and network with peers.

One of the standout presentations was delivered by Brian “Bam” McClendon, the leader of ArGeo at Niantic. In his talk, titled “Where Pokémon GO: Building a Dynamic 3D AR Map of the World,” McClendon took the audience on a journey back to the Pokémon GO craze of 2016, highlighting the fascinating mapping story behind it.

McClendon traced the history of mapping technology, beginning with the launch of Google Maps in 2005. The early days of GPS and Street View data collection posed challenges for map accuracy. These challenges led to the inception of the Ground Truth Project, which aimed to improve map quality using machine learning algorithms to enhance precision.

Following McClendon’s presentation, John Raquet discussed “UAV vs. Natural Autonomous Vehicles (NAVs)—Are We Closing the Gap?” Raquet’s comparison of UAVs to natural birds emphasized the existing gap between these technologies, offering inspiration for continued development in the field.

The conference continued with a series of technical sessions focusing on critical topics, including a presentation by NextNav, presenting Pinnacle and TerraPoiNT. Pinnacle offers precise vertical positioning for 911 calls and other applications, while TerraPoiNT is a resilient PNT system that complements GPS. Together, they create a 3D PNT solution that can be deployed in urban areas with high precision and resiliency.

“The company demonstrated a new dedicated system at the conference that Pattabiraman said is the answer for scaling high-precision applications like autonomous vehicles and drones, as well as electrical grids, timing centers, infrastructure and public safety. It’s a solution that can be quickly and easily integrated in both urban and more rural areas, providing a resilient, precise alternative solution that can be scaled without having to put a transmitter “in every nook and cranny.”

“Many customers were using us for vertical and WiFi and GPS, which are both vulnerable, for horizontal. So there’s a gap,” Pattabiraman said. “To address this, we needed a solution that’s more scalable.”

Earlier this year, NextNav tested its assured PNT TerraPoiNT system with LTE and 5G signals, demonstrating the solution is a viable alternative to conventional GPS and GNSS. With these initial tests, TerraPoiNT delivered accurate 3D positioning and timing information after being integrated with existing cellular signals.”

Beyond the technical sessions and exhibitions, attendees enjoyed social events, including the Rocky Mountain Jam, sponsored by GPS Networking and Inside GNSS. Musicians from the GNSS community entertained a packed house of industry peers.

For a more detailed account of the ION GNSS+ 2023 event, read the full article on Inside GNSS’s website.