U-Blox announces concurrent support for GNSS L1 and L5

  • March 31, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Swiss firm U-Blox has announced its first multi-band high-accuracy timing products to support concurrently L1 and L5 GNSS signals.

The Zed-F9T-10B and Lea-F9T-10B timing modules and the RCB-F9T-1 timing card deliver nanosecond-level timing accuracies required to synchronise cellular network base stations and smart power grids. The Ann MB1 L1-L5 multi-band antenna completes the offering, making it easier to evaluate the performance of the timing modules and develop high precision methods for heavy machinery, ground robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The timing modules’ multi-band capability allows them to compensate the ionosphere error from all GNSS satellite constellations and reduce the timing error under clear skies to less than five nanoseconds without the need for an external GNSS correction service. To increase performance, the modules track signals from as many satellites as possible.

With satellite constellations transmitting signals on the L5 band nearing completion, the L1-L5 signal combination is becoming viable to complement existing products based on L1 and L2 signals. Modern L5 signals are expected to deliver improved performance, especially in difficult urban conditions. Because L5 signals fall within the protected ARNS (aeronautical radio navigation service) frequency band, they are also less subject to RF interference.

The Lea-F9T-10B, a module with -40 to +105˚C temperature range, should enable the development of robust, future-proof products that leverage signals in the L5 frequency band.

In addition to offering a differential timing mode for accurate local timing, the modules include a suite of security features:

  • Anti-jamming and anti-spoofing technologies detect and flag malicious RF interference;
  • Secure boot ensures the modules can only boot with authentic firmware;
  • Secure interfaces prevent intruders from tampering with the messages between the receiver and the host system; and
  • Time-receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (T-Raim) provides high-level timing integrity.

The Ann-MB1 L1-L5 multi-band antenna rounds off the offering. The antenna, which supports GPS, Glonass, Galileo and Beidou GNSS constellations for increased position availability, addresses the scarcity of options in the nascent L1 and L5 high precision antenna mass market, simplifying testing and deployment of L1-L5 multi-band GNSS products. Magnetic and fixed mounting options help meet the diverse installation needs of target applications.

In addition to tracking GNSS signals in the L1 and L5 bands, Ann-MB1 targets developers in industrial navigation and robotics that are interested in high precision positioning technology to locate UAVs, ground robots and agricultural equipment accurately and in real time.

Engineering samples of the Zed-F9T-10B, RCB-F9T-1 and Ann-MB1 will be available in May 2021, followed by the Lea-F9T.

With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, U-Blox has offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.