Exact Navigation utilizing LEO Satellites


Dr. Tyler Reid, co-founder and CTO of Xona House Programs, discusses a brand new sort of world navigation satellite tv for pc system (GNSS). Xona House Programs plans to supply centimeter-level positioning accuracy and can serve the rising autonomous automobile 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 House Programs. 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 acquired his PhD (2017) and MSc (2012) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford and B.Eng. (’10) in Mechanical Engineering from McGill.






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

Tyler: Good day and thanks once more for having me on at present. So I’m Tyler Reid and I’m co-founder and CTO of Xona House Programs.

lilly: And may you inform us a little bit bit about Xona House Programs?

Tyler: Yeah, for positive. So Xona House Programs is an organization targeted on, principally constructing industrial GPS satellites.

So actually transferring away from the mannequin of, you understand, these sort of authorities operated techniques like GPS which have a sort of very particular, you understand, authorities oriented mission. Shifting in direction of a system that’s, you understand, commercially pushed round sort of wants of business customers and, you understand, 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 sort know-how?

Tyler: Yeah, for positive. So to talk a little bit 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, you understand, GPS and began actually in grad college on that aspect of issues.

And transitioned after grad college to working in sort of business analysis. So I used to be working in autonomous automobiles, working with these techniques and sort of seeing these techniques actually closely depend on, on GPS and sort of what’s on the market at present. And actually the state-of-the-art of the know-how was, you understand, having third social gathering corporations principally ship correction info for the GPS satellite tv for pc.

So the data coming from GPS straight was actually not fairly on the stage that it have to be to help these, you understand, techniques like self-driving which might be actually attempting to get right down to the centimeter stage location to, to, you understand, drive themselves on the highway. and so to get to that stage, you had sort of these corporations whose complete sort of position was to ship, you understand, higher orbit, higher clock info than what GPS provides you straight to essentially drive these errors right down to that sort of that centimeter stage.

And due to the way in which the system was architected, which actually wasn’t, you understand, meant for use this fashion, it led to. you understand, the fragilities in that sort of sign. So while you begin to drive underneath timber or in sure environments, you’ll typically lose that sort of centimeter stage location. And it simply, it kind of left some, I assume, holes to be stuffed by, by one thing else.

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

Okay, nicely, how can we modify issues on the area aspect fairly than simply attempting to make use of what we’ve from these sort of authorities techniques to, to kind of, you understand, fill the gaps, I suppose. And so from a, from a industrial perspective, you understand, what are a few of the advantages that you simply get there? Properly, actually you’re not tied to sort of the, the system that, that the federal government offers for you, which, you understand, is sort of static. It’s there for a purpose. And it, you understand, it’s actually a incredible system and it, it helps billions of customers. It has created sort of all, you understand, all these use circumstances that we, you understand, I’ve, I’ve a horrible sense of route.

So, you understand, realizing sort of the blue dot to seek out my manner house has, has been, you understand, extremely helpful. However, you understand, as we take into consideration transferring away from, you understand, people who can. use that info to kind of get near the place they should go after which sort of end the job themselves and, and going in direction of autonomous techniques that actually depend on that blue dot being, you understand, precisely proper the place it’s to, to, to essentially 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 when it comes to, you understand, The sorts of ranges of, reliability and in addition, you understand, precision that, that these techniques help. And so enthusiastic about this from sort of the industrial perspective, you understand, what are you able to present and, and changing into sort of from an aerospace background, you understand, how will you, you understand, evolve this area phase to essentially be targeted on the, on the industrial aspect.

And so. Among the advantages. There may be you, you simply, you understand, you’ve sort of a clean slate in a way. And so you can begin with, you understand, what do we actually have to help customers on the bottom? After which we are able to begin to architect the system, you understand, round a few of these, you understand, rising wants fairly than, you understand, supporting issues from in many years, up to now, I suppose.

lilly: And when it comes to like attending to that centimeter stage accuracy do you suppose that many of the technological developments are within the area aspect or like, do you intend on doing does Xona area techniques plan on doing a number of that error correction, like comparable error correction sort stuff and like the total stack?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an excellent query. And I’ll say in some sense, we’re not inventing, we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re kind of, you understand, we’re utilizing a number of the methods that’s been nicely established by the kind of excessive precision GNSS business, which has supported traditionally [00:05:00] issues like surveying issues like mapping, precision agriculture, you understand, are massive customers of, of this sort of know-how.

And so actually sort of constructing on the shoulders of giants in, in that respect. You realize, how, how are people getting excessive precision at present and sort of, you understand, evolving that to kinda the subsequent, the subsequent sort of, you understand, what would possibly the subsequent kind of, area infrastructure appear to be to, to make use of these methods and sort of make them even higher for people.

And so, you understand, while you have a look at the sort of errors that stack up in GPS, you’ve obtained. The ambiance is an enormous one, you understand, as these alerts refract via the completely different layers of the ambiance, significantly the ionosphere and troposphere, you understand, that that’s a, an error that kind of manifests itself on the person stage, but additionally simply the orbit and clock info coming from the satellite tv for pc, as a result of in the end you’re triangulating your place from, you understand, a number of completely different factors in area.

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

And so how do you try this with kind of, you understand, as we take into consideration this sort of evolving from, you understand, the sort of, the methods which were used up to now to, you understand, what is perhaps attainable, sooner or later? Properly, it seems that one of many massive sort of inputs to that system, By way of how shortly you will get from sort of meter stage place right down to sort of the centimeter stage is how shortly the satellites transfer overhead.

And it seems that in case 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 go than you’ve from these additional satellites, which historically are sort of medium earth orbit to assist that convergence get you from sort of a tens of minutes sort of place to a minute or much less sort of place. And, and naturally there are methods which might be making that all the time higher on a regular basis from a medium earth orbit perspective. You realize, while you’re utilizing sort of the standard GSS satellites to, to get to that prime precision, there are methods evolving to, to get there quicker and quicker.

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 sort of factor you are able to do from a, you understand, industrial area phase perspective to, to only kind of deliver extra functionality to, to people on the bottom.

lilly: And so in case you have, in case you get higher efficiency from having transferring automobiles, 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 complete satellites do you suppose is gonna be the correct quantity?

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

What it comes right down to is, you understand, the extra satellites, the higher , that’s sort of the straightforward query, the straightforward reply there, however mm-hmm, actually we’re, you understand, actually leveraging the same method that’s been used from, from GPS, which is named trilateration.. And what that’s, is there’s principally 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 may be that the way in which you calculate vary to the completely different satellites is that the satellite tv for pc sends a sign and the sign principally says it was this time once 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 acquired it’s the, principally 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, in case you try 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, you understand, that, that point of flight to a handful of satellites, you’ll consider, you understand, in 3d area, you want, you’ve three satellites, three unknown, you understand, XYZ place.

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

Tyler: And while you consider the sensitivity of the issue of how correct you really want to know your time to do to calculate these ranges? Properly, it seems. One nanosecond of time, uncertainty is, is a foot or 30 centimeter. And so it stacks up very, in a short time while you’re speaking about sort of nanosecond of, of time information, and it’s very onerous to, to keep up nanosecond kind of timing in your cellphone.

Your time, time in your cellphone is extra on the sort of microsecond stage. More often than not, that’s sort of the place it must be to, to do its job, which is sort of telecommunications and all these things. However in case you’re speaking about doing precision ranging. You actually need that sort of nanosecond sort of functionality.

And so fairly than, you understand, having to deliver an atomic clock with you on a regular basis to kind of hold your time at that kind of, you understand, very excessive, exact stage, you simply resolve for it as a substitute. So that you add a fourth satellite tv for pc and now, you understand, you get the three dimensions and that point dimension to, to get your place kind of right down to, you understand, our expertise at present is extra sort of at that meter stage, however you understand, that kind of handful of nanosecond sort of uncertainty sort of level. And so, you understand, going, in order that sort of minimal quantity you might want to get some sort 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 in case you simply sort of solely have your sort of GPS receiver and nothing else 4 satellites is sort of the naked quantity you might want to, to get that first place. so you understand, what number of extra do you might want to do the job? Properly, nicely, you need extra than simply 4 to sort of be strong to that. And, and the reason being, is you begin kind of transferring round on the earth.

You, you might not all the time have international view in case you sort of have, you’re assuming you’ve 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, you understand, have greater than 4 in view always that you simply had been on earth.

So that you simply’re strong and issues like buildings being in the way in which, timber being in the way in which. you understand, additionally simply, typically it’s, you understand, you’re gonna have simply one thing, that’s gonna provide you with larger precision in case you have much more satellites in view, trigger you’ve extra measurements out there to you and.

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

And so. Tenish or so satellite tv for pc is about the place you need be sort 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 system directly, I assume they don’t have protection of all over the place all of sudden for the total constructed out constellation.

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an excellent query. And so when, while you’re speaking about sort 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 attain that purpose. In order that’s about what number of satellites that while you deploy kind of on the excessive orbit that you simply want. We’re focusing on a decrease orbit than that at present, which is extra sort of within the thousand kilometer vary..

So, so being that 20 instances 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 focusing on a few 300 satellite tv for pc constellation or so.

lilly: OK. talking in regards to 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 method time of flight and having to maintain observe of all that synchronization with doing kind of a two-way ranging, the place your system is the one pinging?

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

Yeah. And a few of the benefits there, the primary one is actually that in case your system 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 a much bigger energy draw in your system as a result of your system is having to sort 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 need to, have the ability to obtain all these alerts 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 people which might be utilizing it, perhaps just a few hundred or a number of thousand individuals directly can use it, which is, it finally ends up being sort of a limiter on the variety of people who can really use that system.

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

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

lilly: Yeah, that is smart. So in case you are at this decrease orbit and GPS satellites, The standard authorities funded ones nonetheless exist above you. Can you employ them to higher observe your satellites?

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

As a result of, and people have performed a number of 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 purposes in decrease orbit. So you’ll be able to consider earth imagery, the worldwide area station, all these sorts of parents are, are utilizing that. That being mentioned, we’re designing the system to be GPS impartial.

Simply because there’s a number of curiosity from that from people to have that functionality, you’re not essentially absolutely depending on, you understand, this different system that you simply’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 smart to, to incorporate these measurements a manner of simply making the system extra strong on the finish of the day.

For a person, like for the typical individual with a cellphone, will the GPS receiver that I have already got on my cellphone work along with your system instantly? Or are there adjustments that need to be made?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s a extremely good query too. And it, there’ll seemingly need to be adjustments to, to the system in your cellphone at present, however we see that as a part of the kind of pure evolution of how the GNSS chip units are evolving and. One in all our, I assume our normal strategy 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, you understand, make it, make that kind of adoption as much like what say including a few of the new constellations which have come on-line over time is like, so, you understand, 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 attempting to kind. Proceed that evolution of together with a few of these, these new techniques into these chip units. And so working with the, the GNSS receiver producers for most probably the subsequent era of units, as a result of significantly the sort of ASIC units that you simply discover in your cellphone are, are so optimized for a particular utility that becoming in new issues is, is an enormous problem. For a few of the extra, I’ll say, this, kind of, excessive efficiency receivers which might be on the market at present which might be supporting a few of the excessive precision purposes on that aspect of issues, that there’s some, risk of, having that be extra akin to a, a software program replace than,than kind of a brand new system.

lilly: Fascinating. I wished to pivot a little bit bit and discuss extra about, a few of your work with autonomous automobiles and at like, there’s clearly a transparent, like interface between these two issues, however what are a few of the similarities and variations when it comes to like the way you really are fixing technical issues or the autonomy on the automobiles and the autonomy on the satellites or any of that sort of factor?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an excellent query. So I’ll say half, perhaps I’ll, I’ll take. Give a little bit little bit of historical past of kind of the place a few of the, I assume, kind of my time in autonomous automobile kind of led to this curiosity in kind of pursuing this sort of satellite tv for pc navigation aspect. so once I entered the sort of autonomous automobile realm and I used to be working at Ford motor firm on the time, a part of my position at that at the moment was kind of a mix of know-how scouting and elementary analysis .

In know-how scouting, it was actually working with the startups, significantly in Silicon valley, but additionally different know-how corporations as nicely, to essentially set up, you understand, what’s the state-of-the-art in, you understand, location and mapping applied sciences for. At first was, you understand, targeted on sort of these stage 4 stage 5 absolutely autonomous automobiles, nevertheless it was additionally kind of supporting a few of the stage two stage three sort of, driver help techniques as nicely.

And kind of as soon as establishing that sort of the place, what the state of they’re, the know-how was a part of that and kind of, attempting to establish which of them had been a few of the market leaders was to ascertain, you understand, what are the necessities for these techniques in the end, and which one is sort of closest to the place the necessities finally have to be.

So, you understand, what are the placement necessities for, for autonomy? And that turned out to be a, a a lot more durable query than I feel we initially thought, I feel people had been like, oh, you understand, 10 centimeters appears to be the best quantity, nevertheless it was typically sort 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 like a superb place to begin. However we wished to sort of take a step again and say, okay, basically, you understand, what do these automobiles actually need when it comes to, you understand, a bounding field, in case you wanna consider it that manner round a automobile 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 purposes the place you might want to know what highway you’re on. Some purposes you might want to know what lane you’re in. And a few purposes we actually have to know, you understand, to the centimeter, to have the ability to steer the automotive inside the lane and sort of, you understand, get to the place you’re going.

And it turned out that, you understand, seeing sort of the place, the place the necessities in the end wanted to go and sort of the place the state-of-the-art know-how was. There was at the very least in my thoughts, very a lot a niche of, you understand, the place, the place issues, kind of stood at present. And that led to the motivation, at the very least from, from my aspect to say, okay, nicely, what’s one thing we are able to do from the infrastructure aspect to assist fill that hole?

As a result of one of many tendencies that was occurring within the autonomous automobile business, at the very least within the time once I was, was there was. You realize, the, the sort of variety of sensors, the quantity of compute on the automobiles was making these automobiles in some sense, prohibitively costly. You realize, you had a lot {hardware} on the automobiles, the automobiles had been sort of these sort of million greenback, very specialised sort of automobiles.

It simply didn’t scale that nicely, whereas in case you can offload a few of that to the infrastructure aspect, to help a lot of automobiles, You realize, that appeared to make extra sense to me at the very least. And, and so this went again to, okay, nicely, what, you understand, being sort of somebody from an aerospace background, place, navigation background, considering, okay, nicely, 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 when it comes to, you understand, 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 techniques? There are, after all, 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 understand, you need these satellites while you’re deploying a big constellation to have, you understand, a excessive diploma of autonomy about themselves when it comes to fault monitoring when it comes to integrity monitoring.

As a result of in the end you’re attempting to. You realize, help these, you understand, security, important techniques within the, within the case of automotive. And so having the, you understand, a number of that sort of fault checking, kind of performed in an autonomous manner. In order that be caught in a short time, it turns into crucial, however there’s additionally simply elementary issues like, you understand, basically a automobile 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 you understand, basically the same device in, ultimately of the day. And there’s additionally some parts of, I feel, collaborative, you understand, infrastructure as nicely. So while you consider, you understand, self-driving automotive driving by itself with a complete bunch of sensors on it, nicely, that’s.

You’re sort of simply attempting to switch one human in a automotive. Possibly that’s not one of the best ways to do it. Possibly there’s some benefits to having automobiles work collectively in a collaborative manner the place, you understand, a automobile that’s maybe down the highway from you’ll be able to share sensor info or situational consciousness info with the intention to set up that situational consciousness, you understand, on the metropolis stage the place you’ll be able to see round corners, see aroundyou know, different obstacles that you could’t see to sort of get to the purpose the place you’re driving as safely, as you understand, all of the people mixed on the highway, fairly than sort 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 manner into the, the area sort of the area and sort of floor segments that help these sort of area techniques going ahead.

Y know, how can these techniques work collectively to seek out faults in one another the place you understand, these, these sorts of concepts that I feel are, are fascinating as nicely.

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

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an excellent query as nicely. There’s, I’ll say there’s quite a bit occurring in, within the area business now, I feel even in comparison with, you understand, even 5 or 10 years in the past that they actually make a number of this attainable. And you understand, one of many massive ones is simply the size of the constellations being deployed lately.

And I feel that that’s enabled by. Just a few issues just like the decrease price of entry to area, you understand, SpaceX is I feel one of many extra seen gamers there, however there are after all others and the opposite is simply, you understand, completely different satellite tv for pc manufacturing methods. So constructing satellites extra such as you would construct a automotive on an meeting line fairly than sort of these bespoke sort of one satellite tv for pc’s in a room the place you’ve a bunch of individuals sort of placing stuff on it.

It’s a reasonably, it’s only a completely different mannequin of, of assembling this stuff. And. Once we have 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, you understand, particularly while you’re speaking about meeting and, and testing, you understand, making one thing that’s, you understand, very strong in, in sort of excessive volumes that.

Form of brings this stuff collectively. I feel that, that that’s at the very least one instance of, you understand, I feel the place these two industries can study from one another, I suppose. Uh, okay. So I feel so far as, you understand, autonomy on the satellites and the power 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 discuss to one another, to start with. And so the power to kind of go info.

Between satellites is, is I feel a, an enormous 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 sort of having inter satellite tv for pc communication hyperlinks between these satellites. And there’s been a number of, I feel development of in each optical and radio, sort of,you understand, intersatellite hyperlinks between that to go that info round.

And I feel that, that, I imply step one to collaboration as it’s an automotive as nicely, it’s simply establishing I feel that that’s commonplace and in addition the kind of skill for this stuff to go 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 automobile -to-stuff, or different automobile sort of communication hyperlinks and establishing simply, you understand, what’s the spectrum that we shared? What’s the protocols for these sort of communications? And I feel it’s, it’s one factor to do it in a sort of. You realize, if one say automotive OEM decides to do it a sure manner and so they can try this between all their automobiles.

It’s one other to do it kind of throughout automobiles of all completely different producers, kind of in a standardized manner. And so I feel that that’s that’s one of many challenges is simply kind of establishing, establishing kind of the know-how and the sort of requirements for that communication throughout, throughout satellites.

And naturally, as we take into consideration deploying our system, we expect largely of kind of communication between the satellites that we’ve. But it surely’s fascinating to consider, you understand, potential, you understand, cross kind of, communication between different platforms as nicely.

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 section proper now the place we’ve 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, you understand, 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 might, it will not be required. So it’s, it’s one thing that we’re exploring and it’s one thing we’re keeping track of, however, it it’s perhaps not essentially one thing that’s basically important to the system working.

lilly: Properly, congratulations in your first launch and your upcoming second launch. I wished to pivot a little bit bit extra really, and listen to a bit about, a few of your [00:25:00] analysis again while you had been within the academia and like how that led into, each your autonomous automobile 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 pupil. So, the lab that I labored in was the GPS analysis lab at Stanford college. And it was a extremely nice surroundings for me. It was one which targeted, you understand, very a lot on that sort of place navigation downside, but additionally one which targeted a little bit bit on, you understand, operational tasks for the FAA, in addition to we had been working with the federal aviation administration.

You realize, help these sort of security, important techniques, you understand, plane utilizing GPS to land plane utilizing GPS in flight. so, you understand, enthusiastic about issues about, you understand, 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 extremely, that was a extremely fascinating surroundings for me, since you might see the work that you simply’re doing straight impacting that business. In some variety of years, it wasn’t that the grad college students had been engaged on issues, you understand, straight sort of in operation, however that it wasn’t too far-off from sort of essentially seeing the lifetime of operation.

So I feel from a, you understand, how that led into sort of the, the work that I used to be doing, sort of within the autonomous automobile world. I feel that enthusiastic about the issue of, you understand, what are the sort of ranges of situational consciousness that automobiles want when it comes to place navigation and time, you understand, what’s the stage of sort of security and integrity that these techniques want?

Actually utilizing that sort of framework in a structured strategy to develop, you understand, what would possibly that framework appear to be in automotive, which was sort of new to that concept of getting place and data as a part of that sort of security, important enter to, you understand, steering the automobile and, you understand, sort of retaining the human partially within the loop or completely within the loop, that are sort of issues that aviation had kind of labored via as a result of there are occasions the place the plane will fly itself.

There are occasions the place the plane sort of has the pilot within the. So it’s, you understand, enthusiastic about these sorts of issues in that framework. And I feel that that, that sort of aspect of issues straight led to the work that we did in kind of establishing, you understand, what is perhaps the framework and necessities for these automobiles going ahead.

You realize, enthusiastic about this in sort of a civil aviation strategy, as a result of. And while you evaluate the numbers, you understand, civil aviation actually has the most effective observe document that you could give you when it comes to security and, you understand, per miles traveled with people and sort of all these by all metrics. It’s it’s manner safer to sit down at an airplane than it’s to sit down in a automotive that that was that’s typically the, the takeaway and a part of that’s the nicely that people have quite a bit much less people in automobiles have quite a bit much less coaching than people in plane who’re working these issues.

And so it’s a. That that’s simply basically a type of variations. And, and, and a part of that’s, is that if one thing goes mistaken in an plane, such as you higher know what to do shortly, whereas one thing goes mistaken in a automotive, you’ll be able to pull off to the aspect of the highway. And so, and so simply basically some, some variations there, however I feel that that’s, that’s one of many massive ones I feel was, you understand, bringing a few of that framework from, you understand, aviation to automotive and enthusiastic about these, these issues in that manner.

And the opposite aspect of that was the sort of. You realize, the sort of industrial GPS and GNSS aspect of that. So, you understand, transitioning from, you understand, You realize, the federal government system that helps, you understand, all these billions of units and created all this sort of, you understand, financial improvement and sort of all these developments, and enthusiastic about how that may evolve sort of within the so-called sort of new area age, which is the age while you consider issues like SpaceX and, you understand, these sort of gamers which have actually challenged the kind of so-called conventional aerospace, which is, extra the sort of, you understand, while you consider that as sort of these longer timelines, very danger opposed sort of gamers. And, and, you understand, enthusiastic about how, how would possibly a few of these sort of new methods or new approaches in area, enthusiastic about these sort 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 sort of Starlink and OneWeb and you understand, all these sort of gamers, which appeared sort of like science fiction on the time, this was sort of within the 2015 sort of period earlier than a number of these things launched something or had been deployed.

These had been all sort of concepts on. you understand, a few of that work was kind of the basic, okay, nicely, what would possibly you have the ability to do with one thing like this? If, if these sort of satellites really come to exist, if the launch prices really come down, you understand, what is perhaps some functionality that you may leverage from that sort of area infrastructure?

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

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

So in some sense, you understand, there’s, I assume studying from either side and sort of linked this stuff collectively, I assume.

lilly: Yeah, that makes [00:30:00] sense. It’s very fascinating 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 attempting to get into the GNSS area?

Like, do you’ve any actual opponents proper now?

Tyler: Oh, there, positive. There’s undoubtedly people 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 normal tendencies that, that we’ve seen.

And one is that, you understand, the, the parents on the market who’re constructing these sort of mega constellations for communication functions. So, you understand, the web from the sky sort of people are undoubtedly taken with offering one thing. I feel that it, it seems to be very completely different from, from what we’re working in direction of, which is extra of a , you understand, particular excessive efficiency, you understand, GNSS, P and T sort of service, which seems to be quite a bit like what you have already got in your cellphone when it comes to chip set, when it comes to these sorts of, you understand, antenna, these sorts of things. Once you have a look at a few of the, you understand, the communication, techniques, you understand, actually they’re a very completely different frequency bands.

Their person terminals are normally fairly massive as a result of we want a reasonably large antenna to kind of, full the hyperlink price range to get the sort of information charges that they’re speaking about. It, it they’re, they’re actually enthusiastic about it, however I feel that, you understand, their major purpose is actually, you understand, communication, nevertheless it’s kind of a, oh, we are able to, you understand, we’ve this method, we are able to most likely help some sort of navigation as nicely.

No less than that’s what we’ve seen up to now. So I feel that that’s, that’s one of many opponents on the market. By way of others, we’ve seen some fascinating stuff happening from really one of many main, automotive OEMs on the market, which is a Chinese language firm known as Geely. They’re really constructing and deploying their very own constellation, which is actually to help autonomous automotive actions. It’s, you understand, communication navigation sort of multi functional package deal. And in order that’s, you understand, seems to be, you understand, one of many massive, one of many massive gamers on the market. And so there there’s actually another corporations as nicely. There are some established companies on the market at present, for instance, from Iridium, which is offering some P and T companies at present.

And there are different satellite tv for pc companies offering extra correction companies. So issues which might be correcting, offering extra info to kind of praise the GPS sign, however not an extra, you understand, 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 nicely. So I feel we’re, it seems to be that, issues are heading on this route, I assume.

lilly: Properly, yeah, it’s undoubtedly an thrilling area to be in an thrilling time.

And. A extremely fascinating concept. Thanks a lot for talking with me.

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


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Lilly Clark


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