u-blox’s F9 multi-band GNSS module with RTK delivers centimeter-level accuracy in seconds

u-blox’s F9 multi-band GNSS module with RTK delivers centimeter-level accuracy in seconds

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A little while ago, we covered a positioning receiver IC that enhanced positioning accuracy to centimeters due mostly to its cutting-edge capability of concurrent reception of multiple constellation data (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and QZSSl, to be precise). Its name is the Teseo-LIV3F, from ST Microelectronics, and you can check the article link below, which I recommend if you are on the market for an above-average positioning module. Today, we will take a look at the new ZED-09P precision GNSS module, from U-Blox, that has some similarities, including, most notably, pinpoint accuracy.

So, let us take a step back. The ZED-09P from U-Blox is a precision GNSS module, featuring the F9 receiver platform from the same manufacturer, that provides multi-band RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) technology for industrial applications with centimeter-level accuracy, in a small form factor. The module allows for precise navigation and automation of moving machinery and also consumer-grade products. Another very important feature is moving base support, which allows for the base and rover to move while calculating their positioning accurately, making this a great candidate for UAV applications where the UAV has to follow a target or go to a moving platform and in cases where the relative position between both of them is relevant.

Just like the Teseo-LIV3F, it can receive and track multiple GNSS constellations, including the four major (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou), plus SBAS and QZSS satellites. All of them can be processed to provide an RTK navigation solution when used with correction data. Lastly, you can configure just a small subset of them, if power consumption is a concern in your project. Of course, before jumping right in you should take a look at the very well-documented integration manual, where the major concerns you should have in the design stage are set.

Block diagram of the U-Blox ZED-09P precision GNSS module
Block diagram of the U-Blox ZED-09P precision GNSS module

By diving deeper into it, you can see that a project with it takes a lot into consideration, and the features you get to come at the cost of a longer design stage, but on the other hand, the accuracy is insane. When you compare it with the Teseo-LIV3F, this module clearly brings more to the table, and it’s well expressed on its pricing, $199. You can also get an evaluation kit for $249. It clearly is tailored for professional-grade projects and can perform more expert tasks than the former. But is it worth the price tag, when you have a module built upon the same principle for a fraction of the price? I will leave that for your thoughts. 

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