Exact Navigation utilizing LEO Satellites


Dr. Tyler Reid, co-founder and CTO of Xona Area Methods, discusses a brand new kind of worldwide navigation satellite tv for pc system (GNSS). Xona Area Methods plans to supply centimeter-level positioning accuracy and can serve the rising autonomous car neighborhood, the place exact navigation is vital. Reid discusses the benefits and technical challenges of a low Earth orbit (LEO) answer.

Tyler Reid

Tyler Reid is co-founder and CTO of Xona Area Methods. Beforehand, Tyler labored as a Analysis Engineer on the Ford Motor Firm in localization and mapping for self-driving automobiles. He has additionally labored as an engineer at Google and as a lecturer at Stanford College, the place he co-taught the GPS course. Tyler obtained his PhD (2017) and MSc (2012) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford and B.Eng. (’10) in Mechanical Engineering from McGill.






lilly: Hiya and welcome to the Robohub podcast. Would you thoughts introducing your self?

Tyler: Hiya and thanks once more for having me on at this time. So I’m Tyler Reid and I’m co-founder and CTO of Xona Area Methods.

lilly: And might you inform us a bit of bit about Xona Area Methods?

Tyler: Yeah, for certain. So Xona Area Methods is an organization centered on, mainly constructing industrial GPS satellites.

So actually shifting away from the mannequin of, , these type of authorities operated programs like GPS which have a type of very particular, , authorities oriented mission. Shifting in direction of a system that’s, , commercially pushed round type of wants of economic customers and, , going extra in that route to kind of help these customers going ahead.

lilly: And what do you suppose are kind of the advantages of going industrial with a GPS kind expertise?

Tyler: Yeah, for certain. So to talk a bit of bit about my background and kind of the place a few of that is coming from. So, so I kind of got here from the world of, , GPS and began actually in grad college on that aspect of issues.

And transitioned after grad college to working in type of trade analysis. So I used to be working in autonomous autos, working with these programs and type of seeing these programs actually closely depend on, on GPS and type of what’s on the market at this time. And actually the state-of-the-art of the expertise was, , having third celebration corporations mainly ship correction info for the GPS satellite tv for pc.

So the data coming from GPS immediately was actually not fairly on the degree that it must be to help these, , programs like self-driving which might be actually making an attempt to get right down to the centimeter degree location to, to, , drive themselves on the highway. and so to get to that degree, you had type of these corporations whose entire type of function was to ship, , higher orbit, higher clock info than what GPS provides you immediately to actually drive these errors right down to that type of that centimeter degree.

And due to the way in which the system was architected, which actually wasn’t, , meant for use this manner, it led to. , the fragilities in that type of sign. So if you begin to drive below bushes or in sure environments, you’ll typically lose that type of centimeter degree location. And it simply, it kind of left some, I assume, holes to be crammed by, by one thing else.

And what that’s one thing else was was, was a part of my job to determine, okay. You understand, was it perhaps terrestrial based mostly answer? Is it pc imaginative and prescient answer is a type of all the above. And, , with my background coming from, , satellite tv for pc navigation and GPS and type of seeing how these programs have supported, , some security, important functions like civil aviation, which is, , a part of what my type of, the thesis work was in and type of serious about how that might evolve to help, , a few of these floor programs like autonomous autos, but additionally uAVs and, and type of different kind of,kind of autonomous programs going ahead, that kind of actually led to this.

Okay, properly, how can we modify issues on the area aspect fairly than simply making an attempt to make use of what we’ve got from these type of authorities programs to, to kind of, , fill the gaps, I suppose. And so from a, from a industrial perspective, , what are among the advantages that you just get there? Effectively, actually you’re not tied to type of the, the system that, that the federal government offers for you, which, , is type of static. It’s there for a cause. And it, , it’s actually a improbable system and it, it helps billions of customers. It has created type of all, , all these use circumstances that we, , I’ve, I’ve a horrible sense of route.

So, , understanding type of the blue dot to seek out my means dwelling has, has been, , extremely helpful. However, , as we take into consideration shifting away from, , people who can. use that info to kind of get near the place they should go after which type of end the job themselves and, and going in direction of autonomous programs that basically depend on that blue dot being, , precisely proper the place it’s to, to, to actually get to that time kind of on their very own, with none enter from, from any people.

There actually is kind of that there’s kind of a leap that should occur there by way of, , The sorts of ranges of, reliability and likewise, , precision that, that these programs help. And so serious about this from type of the industrial perspective, , what are you able to present and, and changing into type of from an aerospace background, , how are you going to, , evolve this area section to actually be centered on the, on the industrial aspect.

And so. A few of the advantages. There’s you, you simply, , you’ve got type of a clean slate in a way. And so you can begin with, , what do we actually must help customers on the bottom? After which we will begin to architect the system, , round a few of these, , rising wants fairly than, , supporting issues from in a long time, prior to now, I suppose.

lilly: And by way of like attending to that centimeter degree accuracy do you suppose that a lot of the technological developments are within the area aspect or like, do you intend on doing does Xona area programs plan on doing numerous that error correction, like comparable error correction kind stuff and like the complete stack?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an awesome query. And I’ll say in some sense, we’re not inventing, we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re kind of, , we’re utilizing numerous the methods that’s been properly established by the kind of excessive precision GNSS trade, which has supported traditionally [00:05:00] issues like surveying issues like mapping, precision agriculture, , are massive customers of, of this sort of expertise.

And so actually type of constructing on the shoulders of giants in, in that respect. You understand, how, how are of us getting excessive precision at this time and type of, , evolving that to kinda the subsequent, the subsequent type of, , what would possibly the subsequent kind of, area infrastructure appear like to, to make use of these methods and type of make them even higher for folk.

And so, , if you take a look at the type of errors that stack up in GPS, you’ve obtained. The environment is a giant one, , as these indicators refract by means of the totally different layers of the environment, notably the ionosphere and troposphere, , that that’s a, an error that kind of manifests itself on the consumer degree, but additionally simply the orbit and clock info coming from the satellite tv for pc, as a result of finally you’re triangulating your place from, , a number of totally different factors in area.

You higher know very properly what these factors had been, cuz in any other case you’re not gonna know very properly. What, what your place is on the finish of the day. So it’s a must to determine a solution to get, , centimeter degree, , orbital info of the GPS satellite tv for pc, so to in flip kind of get your place to the kind of centimeter degree as properly.

And so how do you do this with kind of, , as we take into consideration this sort of evolving from, , the type of, the methods which were used prior to now to, , what could be potential, sooner or later? Effectively, it seems that one of many massive type of inputs to that system, When it comes to how shortly you may get from type of meter degree place right down to type of the centimeter degree is how shortly the satellites transfer overhead.

And it seems that when you make it such that the satellites transfer overhead in a short time, there’s simply much more info in that kind of very fast move than you’ve got from these additional satellites, which historically are type of medium earth orbit to assist that convergence get you from type of a tens of minutes type of place to a minute or much less type of place. And, and naturally there are methods which might be making that at all times higher on a regular basis from a medium earth orbit perspective. You understand, if you’re utilizing type of the standard GSS satellites to, to get to that prime precision, there are methods evolving to, to get there sooner and sooner.

However in case you have that very quick kind of movement throughout the sky, it simply makes these methods even higher than that they might be in any other case. And in order that’s, that’s, that’s an instance of the type of factor you are able to do from a, , industrial area section perspective to, to only kind of convey extra functionality to, to of us on the bottom.

lilly: And so in case you have, when you get higher efficiency from having shifting autos, and so that you’re having them at decrease orbits, you additionally want like three or so to get your place does having greater than that assist? And what number of, like what number of whole satellites do you suppose is gonna be the correct quantity?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s a very good query.

What it comes right down to is, , the extra satellites, the higher , that’s type of the easy query, the easy reply there, however mm-hmm, actually we’re, , actually leveraging an identical method that’s been used from, from GPS, which is called trilateration.. And what that’s, is there’s mainly 4 unknowns in that system and the 4 unknowns or your X, Y, Zed (or sorry, that’s Canadian – XYZ) and, and time, and, and the rationale time is kind of an uncertainty there’s that the way in which you calculate vary to the totally different satellites is that the satellite tv for pc sends a sign and the sign mainly says it was this time after I despatched it, the sign takes a while for it to journey to you. You obtain it a while later.

And so the distinction between the time it was despatched and the time you obtained it’s the, mainly the time of flight of the sign. And, and that point multiplied by the velocity of sunshine is, is the vary to the satellite tv for pc. So, when you do this to a number of satellites, now you’ve calculated one thing that appears like a variety to you as a result of it’s, , that, that point of flight to a handful of satellites, you’ll consider, , in 3d area, you want, you’ve got three satellites, three unknown, , XYZ place.

You understand, what’s the, what’s that fourth unknown, , why do you’ve got that further unknown there? And that’s since you don’t know precisely what time it’s if you obtained it, you obtained it at some native time, which is, , no matter time your cellphone says, however , how, how correct is that on the finish of the.

Tyler: And if you consider the sensitivity of the issue of how correct you actually need to know your time to do to calculate these ranges? Effectively, it seems. One nanosecond of time, uncertainty is, is a foot or 30 centimeter. And so it stacks up very, in a short time if you’re speaking about type of nanosecond of, of time information, and it’s very exhausting to, to take care of nanosecond kind of timing in your cellphone.

Your time, time in your cellphone is extra on the type of microsecond degree. More often than not, that’s type of the place it must be to, to do its job, which is type of telecommunications and all these items. However when you’re speaking about doing precision ranging. You really want that type of nanosecond type of functionality.

And so fairly than, , having to convey an atomic clock with you on a regular basis to kind of maintain your time at that kind of, , very excessive, exact degree, you simply remedy for it as a substitute. So that you add a fourth satellite tv for pc and now, , you get the three dimensions and that point dimension to, to get your place kind of right down to, , our expertise at this time is extra type of at that meter degree, however , that kind of handful of nanosecond type of uncertainty type of level. And so, , going, in order that type of minimal quantity it is advisable to get some type of place info is, is 4. It does assume you haven’t any different [00:10:00] sensors or, or nothing else like that.

So when you simply type of solely have your type of GPS receiver and nothing else 4 satellites is type of the naked quantity it is advisable to, to get that first place. so , what number of extra do it is advisable to do the job? Effectively, properly, you need extra than simply 4 to type of be strong to that. And, and the reason being, is you begin kind of shifting round on this planet.

You, you could not at all times have overseas view when you type of have, you’re assuming you’ve got full view of the sky, all it takes is a constructing to dam one a part of the sky and also you solely have three. So you actually wanna design that system to, , have greater than 4 in view always that you just had been on earth.

So that you just’re strong and issues like buildings being in the way in which, bushes being in the way in which. , additionally simply, typically it’s, , you’re gonna have simply one thing, that’s gonna provide you with greater precision in case you have much more satellites in view, trigger you’ve got extra measurements obtainable to you and.

The the correct of quantity that almost all, I assume I’ll say GNSS programs have come to at this time is extra at that type of 10 or 12 variety of satellites in view. And that’s what GPS has at this time. That’s what the European Galileo system has at this time. And so type of in addition to the, the Russian, sorry, the Russian GLONASS, and Chinese language Beidou programs are, are type of in that comparable variety of satellites.

And so. Tenish or so satellite tv for pc is about the place you need be type of at minimal and the extra satellites it’s a must to simply higher, it’s gonna work in additional locations, I assume.

lilly: Mm-hmm if it’s 10 or 12, like seen out of your gadget without delay, I assume they don’t have protection of all over the place suddenly for the complete constructed out constellation.

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an awesome query. And so when, if you’re speaking about type of the GPS system, which is deployed in a medium Earth orbit, which is about 20,000 kilometer altitudeor so. That system has about 30 satellites to realize that objective. In order that’s about what number of satellites that if you deploy kind of on the excessive orbit that you just want. We’re concentrating on a decrease orbit than that at this time, which is extra type of within the thousand kilometer vary..

So, so being that 20 occasions nearer to earth, it seems that satellite tv for pc footprint simply shrinks and shrinks and shrinks. Trigger you’re simply a lot nearer to, to earth. And so that you want extra satellites to get the identical quantity of protection. So we’re concentrating on a few 300 satellite tv for pc constellation or so.

lilly: OK. talking concerning the time of flight measurements, is there any, like, would you contemplate and what are the benefits and downsides of, as a substitute of doing the a technique time of flight and having to maintain observe of all that synchronization with doing kind of a two-way ranging, the place your gadget is the one pinging?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an awesome query. And, and this was one of many authentic trades that was carried out when of us had been creating GPS. And so some individuals smarter than me had, had put numerous thought into, , why you would possibly. Do this sort of system over say this sort of two-way time switch system.

Yeah. And among the benefits there, the principle one is actually that in case your gadget has to ping again to the satellite tv for pc, it does two issues and considered one of them is that it, it, it’s an even bigger energy draw in your gadget as a result of your gadget is having to type of ship a radio sign {that a} satellite tv for pc has to obtain.

And in order that that’s one piece. And the opposite piece of it’s that the satellites then additionally must, have the ability to obtain all these indicators from a number of customers. And so you find yourself placing a constraint on the capability of the satellite tv for pc within the sense that now that satellite tv for pc has to get pings again from all these of us which might be utilizing it, perhaps only some hundred or a number of thousand individuals without delay can use it, which is, it finally ends up being type of a limiter on the variety of of us who can truly use that system.

Whereas when you use this sort of a technique time switch system, the place though you do want kind of an additional satellite tv for pc in view to unravel the issue. You may in idea kind of, , help an infinite variety of customers. And so, which is the case of GPS at this time, the place we see it supporting, , billions of customers and you’ll, , add as many units as you need with out having that constraint.

In order that, that that’s the massive one.

lilly: Yeah, that is sensible. So if you’re at this decrease orbit and GPS satellites, The normal authorities funded ones nonetheless exist above you. Can you employ them to raised observe your satellites?

Tyler: Yeah. completely. And that turns into one of many inputs, to the system, for certain.

As a result of, and people have carried out numerous stuff in, in low Earth orbit, supported by GPS as a result of a part of the service quantity of, of these GPS is to help functions in decrease orbit. So you possibly can consider earth imagery, the worldwide area station, all these sorts of parents are, are utilizing that. That being stated, we’re designing the system to be GPS impartial.

Simply because there’s numerous curiosity from that from of us to have that functionality, you’re not essentially totally depending on, , this different system that you just’re augmenting having some skill to kind of function, with out enter from that system is, is advantageous in some methods, however it’s there and it’s a nice enter to the system that, that we’re placing collectively.

Tyler: And so it is sensible to, to incorporate these measurements a means of simply making the system extra strong on the finish of the day.

For a consumer, like for the common individual with a cellphone, will the GPS receiver that I have already got on my cellphone work together with your system instantly? Or are there adjustments that must be made?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s a very good query too. And it, there’ll possible must be adjustments to, to the gadget in your cellphone at this time, however we see that as a part of the kind of pure evolution of how the GNSS chip units are evolving and. Certainly one of our, I assume our basic method to this isn’t to compete with the GNSS receiver producers it’s to work with them, to include [00:15:00] our service into their units.

And, and so actually working to, , make it, make that kind of adoption as much like what say including among the new constellations which have come on-line over time is like, so, , initially there was solely GPS chips after which there was GPS plus BLONASS chips, after which there GPS plus Galileo plus BLONASS plus Beidou chips.

And so actually making an attempt to kind. Proceed that evolution of together with a few of these, these new programs into these chip units. And so working with the, the GNSS receiver producers for almost certainly the subsequent era of units, as a result of notably the type of ASIC units that you just discover in your cellphone are, are so optimized for a particular software that becoming in new issues is, is a giant problem. For among the extra, I’ll say, this, kind of, excessive efficiency receivers which might be on the market at this time which might be supporting among the excessive precision functions on that aspect of issues, that there’s some, chance of, having that be extra akin to a, a software program replace than,than kind of a brand new system.

lilly: Attention-grabbing. I needed to pivot a bit of bit and speak extra about, a few of your work with autonomous autos and at like, there’s clearly a transparent, like interface between these two issues, however what are among the similarities and variations by way of like the way you truly are fixing technical issues or the autonomy on the autos and the autonomy on the satellites or any of that type of factor?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an awesome query. So I’ll say half, perhaps I’ll, I’ll take. Give a bit of little bit of historical past of kind of the place among the, I assume, kind of my time in autonomous car kind of led to this curiosity in kind of pursuing this sort of satellite tv for pc navigation aspect. so after I entered the type of autonomous car realm and I used to be working at Ford motor firm on the time, a part of my function at that at the moment was kind of a mixture of expertise scouting and basic analysis .

In expertise scouting, it was actually working with the startups, notably in Silicon valley, but additionally different expertise corporations as properly, to actually set up, , what’s the state-of-the-art in, , location and mapping applied sciences for. At first was, , centered on type of these degree 4 degree 5 totally autonomous autos, however it was additionally kind of supporting among the degree two degree three type of, driver help programs as properly.

And kind of as soon as establishing that type of the place, what the state of they’re, the expertise was a part of that and kind of, making an attempt to determine which of them had been among the market leaders was to determine, , what are the necessities for these programs finally, and which one is type of closest to the place the necessities ultimately must be.

So, , what are the placement necessities for, for autonomy? And that turned out to be a, a a lot tougher query than I feel we initially thought, I feel of us had been like, oh, , 10 centimeters appears to be the fitting quantity, however it was typically type of unjustified. It was kind of a ten centimeter appears to be a quantity the place the system fails the least.

In order that looks as if a great place to begin. However we needed to type of take a step again and say, okay, essentially, , what do these autos really want by way of, , a bounding field, when you wanna consider it that means round a car to say, okay, that is the situational consciousness that I want to do that, this sort of household of duties or this sort of household of duties.

And actually what it turns into is there’s some functions the place it is advisable to know what highway you’re on. Some functions it is advisable to know what lane you’re in. And a few functions we actually must know, , to the centimeter, to have the ability to steer the automobile inside the lane and type of, , get to the place you’re going.

And it turned out that, , seeing type of the place, the place the necessities finally wanted to go and type of the place the state-of-the-art expertise was. There was a minimum of in my thoughts, very a lot a spot of, , the place, the place issues, kind of stood at this time. And that led to the motivation, a minimum of from, from my aspect to say, okay, properly, what’s one thing we will do from the infrastructure aspect to assist fill that hole?

As a result of one of many developments that was occurring within the autonomous car trade, a minimum of within the time after I was, was there was. You understand, the, the type of variety of sensors, the quantity of compute on the autos was making these autos in some sense, prohibitively costly. You understand, you had a lot {hardware} on the autos, the autos had been type of these type of million greenback, very specialised type of autos.

It simply didn’t scale that properly, whereas when you can offload a few of that to the infrastructure aspect, to help a lot of autos, You understand, that appeared to make extra sense to me a minimum of. And, and so this went again to, okay, properly, what, , being type of somebody from an aerospace background, place, navigation background, considering, okay, properly, what can we do from an area, infrastructure aspect to help this sort of place navigation and, and time downside.

Tyler: And so I feel by way of, , the place these two issues are, are kind of coming collectively is, is actually seeing this from a okay, how can the, this infrastructure help the wants of these programs? There are, in fact, some, some crossover between the 2 within the sense that there are applied sciences which might be, I feel gonna be used on each within the sense that, , you need these satellites if you’re deploying a big constellation to have, , a excessive diploma of autonomy about themselves by way of fault monitoring by way of integrity monitoring.

As a result of finally you’re making an attempt to. You understand, help these, , security, important programs within the, within the case of automotive. And so having the, , numerous that type of fault checking, kind of carried out in an autonomous means. In order that be caught in a short time, it turns into essential, however there’s additionally simply basic issues like, , essentially a car when it’s doing its navigation and positioning is operating [00:20:00] one thing like a Kalman filter or some one thing that’s combining these measurements.

These sorts of issues are gonna be operating on, on the satellites for orbit willpower. So it’s a distinct context of downside, however , essentially an identical device in, in the long run of the day. And there’s additionally some parts of, I feel, collaborative, , infrastructure as properly. So if you consider, , self-driving automobile driving by itself with a complete bunch of sensors on it, properly, that’s.

You’re type of simply making an attempt to switch one human in a automobile. Perhaps that’s not one of the best ways to do it. Perhaps there’s some benefits to having autos work collectively in a collaborative means the place, , a car that’s maybe down the highway from you possibly can share sensor info or situational consciousness info so to set up that situational consciousness, , on the metropolis degree the place you possibly can see round corners, see aroundyou know, different obstacles which you can’t see to type of get to the purpose the place you’re driving as safely, as , all of the people mixed on the highway, fairly than type of only one human can solely see one a part of the view of the world. And so I feel there’s a component of that that may discover its means into the, the area type of the area and type of floor segments that help these type of area programs going ahead.

Y know, how can these programs work collectively to seek out faults in one another the place , these, these sorts of concepts that I feel are, are attention-grabbing as properly.

lilly: Yeah. that’s a very good level. And I’m a bit of in listening to extra about this concept of getting the satellites collaborate and kind of what are probably the most technically difficult or technically promising parts of that.

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an awesome query as properly. There’s, I’ll say there’s so much occurring in, within the area trade now, I feel even in comparison with, , even 5 or 10 years in the past that they actually make numerous this potential. And , one of many massive ones is simply the dimensions of the constellations being deployed nowadays.

And I feel that that’s enabled by. A number of issues just like the decrease value of entry to area, , SpaceX is I feel one of many extra seen gamers there, however there are in fact others and the opposite is simply, , totally different satellite tv for pc manufacturing methods. So constructing satellites extra such as you would construct a automobile on an meeting line fairly than type of these bespoke type of one satellite tv for pc’s in a room the place you’ve got a bunch of individuals type of placing stuff on it.

It’s a reasonably, it’s only a totally different mannequin of, of assembling these items. And. After we take a look at the sorts of applied sciences that I feel are, are kind of coming into that kind of satellite tv for pc realm which might be perhaps even borrowed from locations like automotive, the place, , particularly if you’re speaking about meeting and, and testing, , making one thing that’s, , very strong in, in type of excessive volumes that.

Type of brings these items collectively. I feel that, that that’s a minimum of one instance of, , I feel the place these two industries can be taught from one another, I suppose. Uh, okay. So I feel so far as, , autonomy on the satellites and the flexibility to kind of collaborate with one another, I feel one of many massive, the, one of many massive elements of that’s the skill for the satellites to only speak to one another, to start with. And so the flexibility to kind of move info.

Between satellites is, is I feel a, a giant milestone kind of as a part of that. And I feel one of many enabling applied sciences there that we’re, that we’ve seen kind of come to mild is the, this skill of type of having inter satellite tv for pc communication hyperlinks between these satellites. And there’s been numerous, I feel development of in each optical and radio, type of,, intersatellite hyperlinks between that to move that info round.

And I feel that, that, I imply step one to collaboration as it’s an automotive as properly, it’s simply establishing I feel that that’s normal and likewise the kind of skill for these items to move info between one another. I feel there’s actually been challenges in automotive on that aspect with, with establishing requirements, with issues like vehicle-to-things, so V2 V to X, so car -to-stuff, or different car type of communication hyperlinks and establishing simply, , what’s the spectrum that we shared? What’s the protocols for these type of communications? And I feel it’s, it’s one factor to do it in a type of. You understand, if one say automotive OEM decides to do it a sure means and so they can do this between all their autos.

It’s one other to do it kind of throughout autos of all totally different producers, kind of in a standardized means. And so I feel that that’s that’s one of many challenges is simply kind of establishing, establishing kind of the expertise and the type of requirements for that communication throughout, throughout satellites.

And naturally, as we take into consideration deploying our system, we predict principally of kind of communication between the satellites that we’ve got. But it surely’s attention-grabbing to consider, , potential, , cross kind of, communication between different platforms as properly.

lilly: Yeah. And do you intend on, do you anticipate having optical or RF cross hyperlinks or each in your system?

Tyler: Yeah, I feel that’s one thing that we’re exploring. So I feel it’s one thing that’s on the desk, however I feel that we’re nonetheless in, we’re on the part proper now the place we’ve got deployed our first demonstration satellite tv for pc. And so for the demonstration satellite tv for pc, it has, I’ll say one thing that’s akin to, , inter satellite tv for pc hyperlink, which we’re exploring between this, our kind of second launch that’s coming, subsequent yr.

And so. That’s one thing that we’re exploring as a part of the long run deployment of the system, however the kind of earlier iterations could, it will not be required. So it’s, it’s one thing that we’re exploring and it’s one thing we’re maintaining a tally of, however, it it’s perhaps not essentially one thing that’s essentially important to the system working.

lilly: Effectively, congratulations in your first launch and your upcoming second launch. I needed to pivot a bit of bit extra truly, and listen to a bit about, a few of your [00:25:00] analysis again if you had been within the academia and like how that led into, each your autonomous car and your present jobs.

Tyler: Yeah, that’s a, yeah, that brings me again

So to return to, I assume my days as a grad scholar. So, the lab that I labored in was the GPS analysis lab at Stanford college. And it was a very nice surroundings for me. It was one which centered, , very a lot on that type of place navigation downside, but additionally one which centered a bit of bit on, , operational tasks for the FAA, in addition to we had been working with the federal aviation administration.

You understand, help these type of security, important programs, , plane utilizing GPS to land plane utilizing GPS in flight. so, , serious about issues about, , what are security important use circumstances of place navigation and time particularly in transportation. And on this case, it was supporting civil aviation.

And in order that was a very, that was a very attention-grabbing surroundings for me, since you might see the work that you just’re doing immediately impacting that trade. In some variety of years, it wasn’t that the grad college students had been engaged on issues, , immediately type of in operation, however that it wasn’t too far-off from type of essentially seeing the lifetime of operation.

So I feel from a, , how that led into type of the, the work that I used to be doing, type of within the autonomous car world. I feel that serious about the issue of, , what are the type of ranges of situational consciousness that autos want by way of place navigation and time, , what’s the degree of type of security and integrity that these programs want?

Actually utilizing that type of framework in a structured solution to develop, , what would possibly that framework appear like in automotive, which was type of new to that concept of getting place and knowledge as a part of that type of security, important enter to, , steering the car and, , type of protecting the human partially within the loop or completely within the loop, that are type of issues that aviation had kind of labored by means of as a result of there are occasions the place the plane will fly itself.

There are occasions the place the plane type of has the pilot within the. So it’s, , serious about these sorts of issues in that framework. And I feel that that, that type of aspect of issues immediately led to the work that we did in kind of establishing, , what could be the framework and necessities for these autos going ahead.

You understand, serious about this in type of a civil aviation method, as a result of. And if you examine the numbers, , civil aviation actually has one of the best observe report which you can provide you with by way of security and, , per miles traveled with people and type of all these by all metrics. It’s it’s means safer to sit down at an airplane than it’s to sit down in a automobile that that was that’s typically the, the takeaway and a part of that’s the properly that people have so much much less people in automobiles have so much much less coaching than people in plane who’re working these issues.

And so it’s a. That that’s simply essentially a type of variations. And, and, and a part of that’s, is that if one thing goes improper in an plane, such as you higher know what to do shortly, whereas one thing goes improper in a automobile, you possibly can pull off to the aspect of the highway. And so, and so simply essentially some, some variations there, however I feel that that’s, that’s one of many massive ones I feel was, , bringing a few of that framework from, , aviation to automotive and serious about these, these issues in that means.

And the opposite aspect of that was the type of. You understand, the type of industrial GPS and GNSS aspect of that. So, , transitioning from, , You understand, the federal government system that helps, , all these billions of units and created all this sort of, , financial improvement and type of all these developments, and serious about how that may evolve type of within the so-called type of new area age, which is the age if you consider issues like SpaceX and, , these type of gamers which have actually challenged the kind of so-called conventional aerospace, which is, extra the type of, , if you consider that as type of these longer timelines, very danger adversarial type of gamers. And, and, , serious about how, how would possibly a few of these type of new methods or new approaches in area, serious about these type of mega constellations which might be being proposed by, on the time they had been being proposed, it didn’t but exist. So we’re speaking about type of Starlink and OneWeb and , all these type of gamers, which appeared type of like science fiction on the time, this was type of within the 2015 type of period earlier than numerous these items launched something or had been deployed.

These had been all type of concepts on. , a few of that work was kind of the basic, okay, properly, what would possibly you have the ability to do with one thing like this? If, if these type of satellites truly come to exist, if the launch prices truly come down, , what could be some functionality that you might leverage from that type of area infrastructure?

So when you might deploy one thing like that for place navigation and time, , what would possibly that appear like? What would possibly the capabilities be? However I feel at that time it was type of a okay, properly that, that’s an attention-grabbing downside, however, It was in some sense, missing motivation. It was kind of a, okay, properly, who needs this?

You understand, what do we want this for? GPS works rather well. Each, I feel on the time it was like, properly, we’ve carried out it. You understand, GPS is in everybody’s pocket. What else might you need? And, and it wasn’t till I, I labored in an trade the place GPS, because it stood, wasn’t fairly sufficient for, for what they wanted that I kind of these dots linked at a minimum of on my aspect to, to see, okay, properly perhaps this sort of method might help this different aspect as properly.

So in some sense, , there’s, I assume studying from either side and type of linked these items collectively, I assume.

lilly: Yeah, that makes [00:30:00] sense. It’s very attention-grabbing to listen to the way it all connects. we’re arising on time, however I do have one final query. which is, are there different industrial gamers making an attempt to get into the GNSS area?

Like, do you’ve got any actual rivals proper now?

Tyler: Oh, there, certain. There’s positively of us on the market. So we’re not the one ones doing this. I feel that they’re, I gained’t identify all of them by identify. Trigger I, I can’t converse to everybody’s plans on the market, however I can converse to a, a number of basic developments that, that we’ve seen.

And one is that, , the, the oldsters on the market who’re constructing these type of mega constellations for communication functions. So, , the web from the sky type of of us are positively curious about offering one thing. I feel that it, it seems to be very totally different from, from what we’re working in direction of, which is extra of a , , particular excessive efficiency, , GNSS, P and T type of service, which seems to be so much like what you have already got in your cellphone by way of chip set, by way of these sorts of, , antenna, these sorts of things. While you take a look at among the, , the communication, programs, , actually they’re a totally totally different frequency bands.

Their consumer terminals are often fairly massive as a result of we want a reasonably large antenna to kind of, full the hyperlink price range to get the type of knowledge charges that they’re speaking about. It, it they’re, they’re actually serious about it, however I feel that, , their major objective is actually, , communication, however it’s kind of a, oh, we will, , we’ve got this method, we will in all probability help some type of navigation as properly.

No less than that’s what we’ve seen up to now. So I feel that that’s, that’s one of many rivals on the market. When it comes to others, we’ve seen some attention-grabbing stuff happening from truly one of many main, automotive OEMs on the market, which is a Chinese language firm known as Geely. They’re truly constructing and deploying their very own constellation, which is actually to help autonomous automotive actions. It’s, , communication navigation type of multi function package deal. And in order that’s, , seems to be, , one of many massive, one of many massive gamers on the market. And so there there’s actually another corporations as properly. There are some established providers on the market at this time, for instance, from Iridium, which is offering some P and T providers at this time.

And there are different satellite tv for pc providers offering extra correction providers. So issues which might be correcting, offering further info to kind of praise the GPS sign, however not an extra, , kind of ranging or GPS sign itself. In order that’s, I feel one of many, one of many main variations there.

Tyler: So, and we, we, and I feel since we’ve been doing this, we’ve seen some others, another corporations kind of suggest some comparable issues as properly. So I feel we’re, it seems to be that, issues are heading on this route, I assume.

lilly: Effectively, yeah, it’s positively an thrilling area to be in an thrilling time.

And. A extremely attention-grabbing concept. Thanks a lot for talking with me.

Tyler: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks once more for, for the invitation to talk right here at this time. And, yeah, this was nice dialogue.


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Lilly Clark


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