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Case Studies

ARRB Systems’ road surveying becomes more accurate with Spatial Dual

Stephane RecouvreurBy January 20th, 2022No Comments

Key Points

  • Spatial Dual keeps ARRB Systems on track even in GPS-denied environments.
  • ARRB Systems’ survey solution remained commercially viable thanks to Spatial Dual’s affordability.

ARRB Systems, Australia

ARRB Systems is an Australian surveying company funded in the ’80s specialising in the development of road condition assessment equipment. A spin-off operation from the Australian Road Research Board, the company has developed a suite of surveying vehicles and software used by government agencies across the world. In 2004, they launch their flagship product, the Hawkeye platform, designed to collect road assets and pavement features data using their fleet of intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVe).

At the core of ARRB Systems’ offering is the Hawkeye Survey Solution, one of the most complete and advanced data collection systems in the industry today. The modular solution enables complete scalability and customized functionality whilst still delivering consistent and integrated data outputs. This data allows ARRB Systems clients to better understand the structural and functional conditions of pavement and establish optimal maintenance strategies.

ARRB Systems Gipsi-Trac2 forms part of the Hawkeye Survey Solution and is crucial to its accurate and effective collection of road condition data. The System gives ARRB Systems equipment high levels of control over the sampling and interpretation of the outputs for full synchronization and integration of spatial data into other comprehensive data sets, such as roughness and pavement strength. It also provides road geometry and positional data that can be used for complex 3D highway mapping, location of potential sites for hazardous road surface rainfall ponding, and can be used to estimate curve advisory speeds and highway travel times.

An ARRB Systems surveying vehicle

The Challenge: Maintaining accurate positioning in GNSS-denied environments

The Hawkeye Survey Solution incorporates a unique Heartbeat Module which provides high accuracy time stamping to lock all data parameters together. All data streams and reference measurements are aligned through the high-precision Heartbeat. This enables the system to synchronize the output data to a specific road location at the desired reference intervals.

Talking about the gap in their technology, Michael Henson, Hardware Design Engineer at ARRB Systems said, “Even with this very precise synchronization of the various data streams, positioning this data precisely in the real-world requires a very accurate positioning system”. The solution also had to be reliable and cost-effective to make sure the Hawkeye remained commercially viable.

As surveys are made along road networks, we have a particular interest in the location, grade, and cross-slope data. The Spatial Dual provides an accurate fusion of its sensor data to fulfill these requirements

Michael HensonHardware Design Engineer, ARRB Systems

The Outcome: A high-performance INS with improved dead reckoning

Advanced Navigation provided an accurate spatial solution that could be seamlessly integrated into the Hawkeye system”, said Michael. Spatial Dual, a dual antenna GNSS-aided inertial navigation system (INS), was able to provide ARRB Systems with the precise time, reliable navigation, and accurate orientation needed to deliver optimal project outcomes at maximum efficiency.

Michael also noted that whilst they had an existing INS which had been used extensively, they required improved dead-reckoning. Integrating Spatial Dual into the Gipsi-Trac2 dead-reckoning system, allowed ARRB to navigate consistently through challenging environments where GNSS signals are degraded or interrupted entirely, therefore bridging the gap with seamless and accurate navigation data.

Advanced Navigation was able to provide a high-quality solution that could meet the required specifications at a competitive price. “The quality of the data and the value proposition compared with alternatives were key to the decision to go with Advanced Navigation,” said Michael. While the product was core to the partnership, ARRB Systems was also impressed with Advanced Navigation’s ongoing technical support throughout the whole process. “There has been much communication between our teams, both during the initial development period and afterward.”

Certus Evo

Replacing the Spatial Dual, Certus Evo is a groundbreaking dual antenna GNSS aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) that provides extremely accurate position, velocity, acceleration, and orientation. It offers near FOG performance combined with the reliability of MEMS sensors. Low SWaP-C (Size, Weight, Power, and Cost) and multiple communication interfaces make for easy integration. It is available in both OEM and rugged packages.