Exact Navigation utilizing LEO Satellites



Dr. Tyler Reid, co-founder and CTO of Xona House Methods, discusses a brand new sort of worldwide navigation satellite tv for pc system (GNSS). Xona House Methods plans to offer centimeter-level positioning accuracy and can serve the rising autonomous automobile neighborhood, the place exact navigation is essential. 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 Methods. Beforehand, Tyler labored as a Analysis Engineer on the Ford Motor Firm in localization and mapping for self-driving vehicles. 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: Whats up and welcome to the Robohub podcast. Would you thoughts introducing your self?

Tyler: Whats up and thanks once more for having me on right now. So I’m Tyler Reid and I’m co-founder and CTO of Xona House Methods.

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

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

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

lilly: And what do you suppose are type of the advantages of going industrial with a GPS sort know-how?

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

And transitioned after grad faculty to working in type of business analysis. So I used to be working in autonomous automobiles, working with these techniques and type of seeing these techniques actually closely depend on, on GPS and type of what’s on the market right now. And actually the state-of-the-art of the know-how was, , having third occasion firms principally ship correction info for the GPS satellite tv for pc.

So the data coming from GPS straight was actually not fairly on the degree that it must be to assist these, , techniques like self-driving which are actually making an attempt to get right down to the centimeter degree location to, to, , drive themselves on the street. and so to get to that degree, you had type of these firms whose complete type of function was to ship, , higher orbit, higher clock info than what GPS offers you straight to actually drive these errors right down to that type of that centimeter degree.

And due to the best way the system was architected, which actually wasn’t, , meant for use this manner, it led to. , the fragilities in that type of sign. So while you begin to drive beneath timber or in sure environments, you’d usually lose that type of centimeter degree location. And it simply, it type 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 laptop imaginative and prescient answer is a type of the entire above. And, , with my background coming from, , satellite tv for pc navigation and GPS and type of seeing how these techniques have supported, , some security, important purposes like civil aviation, which is, , a part of what my type of, the thesis work was in and type of interested by how that might evolve to assist, , a few of these floor techniques like autonomous automobiles, but in addition uAVs and, and type of different type of,type of autonomous techniques going ahead, that type of actually led to this.

Okay, effectively, how can we alter issues on the house aspect somewhat than simply making an attempt to make use of what now we have from these type of authorities techniques to, to type of, , fill the gaps, I suppose. And so from a, from a industrial perspective, , what are a number of the advantages that you simply get there? Effectively, actually you’re not tied to type of the, the system that, that the federal government supplies for you, which, , is type of static. It’s there for a cause. And it, , it’s actually a unbelievable 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, , realizing type of the blue dot to search out my approach house has, has been, , extremely helpful. However, , as we take into consideration shifting away from, , people who can. use that info to type of get near the place they should go after which type of end the job themselves and, and going in direction of autonomous techniques that actually depend on that blue dot being, , precisely proper the place it’s to, to, to actually get to that time type of on their very own, with none enter from, from any people.

There actually is type of that there’s type of a leap that should occur there by way of, , The sorts of ranges of, reliability and likewise, , precision that, that these techniques assist. And so interested by 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 house section to actually be centered on the, on the industrial aspect.

And so. A few of the advantages. There’s you, you simply, , you might have type of a clean slate in a way. And so you can begin with, , what do we actually must assist customers on the bottom? After which we will begin to architect the system, , round a few of these, , rising wants somewhat 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 many of the technological developments are within the house aspect or like, do you propose on doing does Xona house techniques plan on doing a whole lot of that error correction, like comparable error correction sort stuff and like the complete stack?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an important query. And I’ll say in some sense, we’re not inventing, we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re type of, , we’re utilizing a whole lot of the methods that’s been effectively established by the type of excessive precision GNSS business, which has supported traditionally [00:05:00] issues like surveying issues like mapping, precision agriculture, , are huge customers of, of this type of know-how.

And so actually type of constructing on the shoulders of giants in, in that respect. You realize, how, how are of us getting excessive precision right now and type of, , evolving that to kinda the subsequent, the subsequent type of, , what would possibly the subsequent type of, house infrastructure seem like to, to make use of these methods and type of make them even higher for folk.

And so, , while you have a look at the type of errors that stack up in GPS, you’ve obtained. The environment is an enormous one, , as these indicators refract via the completely different layers of the environment, significantly the ionosphere and troposphere, , that that’s a, an error that type of manifests itself on the consumer degree, but in addition 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, , just a few completely different factors in house.

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

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

And it seems that for those who make it such that the satellites transfer overhead in a short time, there’s simply much more info in that type of very fast move than you might have 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 are making that at all times higher on a regular basis from a medium earth orbit perspective. You realize, while you’re utilizing type of the normal GSS satellites to, to get to that top precision, there are methods evolving to, to get there quicker and quicker.

However you probably have that very quick type of movement throughout the sky, it simply makes these methods even higher than that they’d 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 house section perspective to, to only type of convey extra functionality to, to of us on the bottom.

lilly: And so you probably have, for those who get higher efficiency from having shifting 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, , the extra satellites, the higher , that’s type of the easy query, the easy reply there, however mm-hmm, actually we’re, , actually leveraging the same approach 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 type of an uncertainty there’s that the best way 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 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, 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, for those who 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’d consider, , in 3d house, you want, you might have three satellites, three unknown, , XYZ place.

You realize, what’s the, what’s that fourth unknown, , why do you might have that additional unknown there? And that’s since you don’t know precisely what time it’s while you obtained it, you obtained it at some native time, which is, , no matter time your telephone says, however , 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? 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 while you’re speaking about type of nanosecond of, of time information, and it’s very arduous to, to keep up nanosecond type of timing in your telephone.

Your time, time in your telephone 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 things. However for those who’re speaking about doing precision ranging. You actually need that type of nanosecond type of functionality.

And so somewhat than, , having to convey an atomic clock with you on a regular basis to type of hold your time at that type of, , very excessive, exact degree, you simply remedy for it as an alternative. 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 type of right down to, , our expertise right now is extra type of at that meter degree, however , that type of handful of nanosecond type of uncertainty type of level. And so, , going, in order that type of minimal quantity it’s essential 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 for those who simply type of solely have your type of GPS receiver and nothing else 4 satellites is type of the naked quantity it’s essential to, to get that first place. so , what number of extra do it’s essential to do the job? Effectively, effectively, you need extra than simply 4 to type of be strong to that. And, and the reason being, is you begin type of shifting round on the earth.

You, you could not at all times have international view for those who type of have, you’re assuming you might have 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 simply have been on earth.

So that you simply’re strong and issues like buildings being in the best way, timber being in the best way. , additionally simply, typically it’s, , you’re gonna have simply one thing, that’s gonna provide you with greater precision you probably have much more satellites in view, trigger you might have extra measurements obtainable to you and.

The the proper of quantity that almost all, I assume I’ll say GNSS techniques have come to right now is extra at that type of 10 or 12 variety of satellites in view. And that’s what GPS has right now. That’s what the European Galileo system has right now. And so type of in addition to the, the Russian, sorry, the Russian GLONASS, and Chinese language Beidou techniques 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 important 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 directly, I assume they don’t have protection of all over the place unexpectedly for the complete constructed out constellation.

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an important query. And so when, while 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 attain that objective. In order that’s about what number of satellites that while you deploy type of on the excessive orbit that you simply want. We’re concentrating on a decrease orbit than that right now, 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 take into account and what are the benefits and downsides of, as an alternative of doing the a technique time of flight and having to maintain monitor of all that synchronization with doing type of a two-way ranging, the place your gadget is the one pinging?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an important query. And, and this was one of many authentic trades that was achieved when of us have been creating GPS. And so some individuals smarter than me had, had put a whole lot of thought into, , why you would possibly. Do this type of system over say this type of two-way time switch system.

Yeah. And a number of the benefits there, the principle one is absolutely that in case your gadget has to ping again to the satellite tv for pc, it does two issues and one in every of them is that it, it, it’s a much 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, be capable of 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 are utilizing it, perhaps only some hundred or just a few thousand individuals directly 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 for those who use this type of a technique time switch system, the place though you do want type of an additional satellite tv for pc in view to unravel the issue. You possibly can in idea type of, , assist an infinite variety of customers. And so, which is the case of GPS right now, the place we see it supporting, , billions of customers and you’ll, , add as many gadgets 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 standard authorities funded ones nonetheless exist above you. Can you employ them to raised monitor your satellites?

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

As a result of, and folk have achieved a whole lot 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 assist purposes in decrease orbit. So you may consider earth imagery, the worldwide house station, all these varieties of oldsters are, are utilizing that. That being stated, we’re designing the system to be GPS impartial.

Simply because there’s a whole lot of curiosity from that from of us to have that functionality, you’re not essentially absolutely depending on, , this different system that you simply’re augmenting having some potential to type 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 approach of simply making the system extra strong on the finish of the day.

For a consumer, like for the typical individual with a telephone, will the GPS receiver that I have already got on my telephone work along with your system instantly? Or are there modifications that must be made?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s a extremely good query too. And it, there’ll doubtless must be modifications to, to the gadget in your telephone right now, however we see that as a part of the type of pure evolution of how the GNSS chip units are evolving and. Considered one of our, I assume our common 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 gadgets.

And, and so actually working to, , make it, make that type of adoption as much like what say including a number of 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 type. 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 probably the subsequent era of gadgets, as a result of significantly the type of ASIC gadgets that you simply discover in your telephone are, are so optimized for a particular software that becoming in new issues is, is an enormous problem. For a number of the extra, I’ll say, this, type of, excessive efficiency receivers which are on the market right now which are supporting a number of the excessive precision purposes on that aspect of issues, that there’s some, chance of, having that be extra akin to a, a software program replace than,than type of a brand new system.

lilly: Fascinating. I needed to pivot a bit bit and speak 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 number of the similarities and variations by way of like the way you truly are fixing technical issues or the autonomy on the automobiles and the autonomy on the satellites or any of that type of factor?

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an important query. So I’ll say half, perhaps I’ll, I’ll take. Give a bit little bit of historical past of type of the place a number of the, I assume, type of my time in autonomous automobile type of led to this curiosity in type of pursuing this type of satellite tv for pc navigation aspect. so after I entered the type of autonomous automobile 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 type of a mixture of know-how scouting and elementary analysis .

In know-how scouting, it was actually working with the startups, significantly in Silicon valley, but in addition different know-how firms as effectively, 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 absolutely autonomous automobiles, but it surely was additionally type of supporting a number of the degree two degree three type of, driver help techniques as effectively.

And type of as soon as establishing that type of the place, what the state of they’re, the know-how was a part of that and type of, making an attempt to determine which of them have been a number of the market leaders was to determine, , what are the necessities for these techniques in the end, and which one is type of closest to the place the necessities finally must be.

So, , what are the situation necessities for, for autonomy? And that turned out to be a, a a lot more durable query than I believe we initially thought, I believe of us have been like, oh, , 10 centimeters appears to be the proper quantity, but it surely was usually type of unjustified. It was type of a ten centimeter appears to be a quantity the place the system fails the least.

In order that looks as if an excellent place to begin. However we needed to type of take a step again and say, okay, essentially, , what do these automobiles really want by way of, , a bounding field, for those who wanna consider it that approach round a automobile to say, okay, that is the situational consciousness that I want to do that, this type of household of duties or this type of household of duties.

And actually what it turns into is there’s some purposes the place it’s essential to know what street you’re on. Some purposes it’s essential to know what lane you’re in. And a few purposes we actually must know, , to the centimeter, to have the ability to steer the automotive 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 in the end wanted to go and type of the place the state-of-the-art know-how was. There was no less than in my thoughts, very a lot a spot of, , the place, the place issues, type of stood right now. And that led to the motivation, no less than from, from my aspect to say, okay, effectively, what’s one thing we will 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, no less than within the time after I was, was there was. You realize, the, the type 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 have been type of these type of million greenback, very specialised type of automobiles.

It simply didn’t scale that effectively, whereas for those who can offload a few of that to the infrastructure aspect, to assist a lot of automobiles, You realize, that appeared to make extra sense to me no less than. And, and so this went again to, okay, effectively, what, , being type of somebody from an aerospace background, place, navigation background, pondering, okay, effectively, what can we do from an area, infrastructure aspect to assist this type of place navigation and, and time drawback.

Tyler: And so I believe by way of, , the place these two issues are, are type of coming collectively is, is absolutely seeing this from a okay, how can the, this infrastructure assist the wants of these techniques? There are, in fact, some, some crossover between the 2 within the sense that there are applied sciences which are, I believe gonna be used on each within the sense that, , you need these satellites while 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 in the end you’re making an attempt to. You realize, assist these, , security, important techniques within the, within the case of automotive. And so having the, , a whole lot of that type of fault checking, type of achieved in an autonomous approach. In order that be caught in a short time, it turns into crucial, however there’s additionally simply elementary issues like, , essentially a automobile when it’s doing its navigation and positioning is working [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 working on, on the satellites for orbit dedication. So it’s a special context of drawback, however , essentially the same instrument in, ultimately of the day. And there’s additionally some parts of, I believe, collaborative, , infrastructure as effectively. So while you consider, , self-driving automotive driving by itself with a complete bunch of sensors on it, effectively, that’s.

You’re type of simply making an attempt to switch one human in a automotive. Perhaps that’s not one of the simplest ways to do it. Perhaps there’s some benefits to having automobiles work collectively in a collaborative approach the place, , a automobile that’s maybe down the street from you may share sensor info or situational consciousness info so to set up that situational consciousness, , on the metropolis degree the place you may see round corners, see aroundyou know, different obstacles you could’t see to type of get to the purpose the place you’re driving as safely, as , all of the people mixed on the street, somewhat than type of only one human can solely see one a part of the view of the world. And so I believe there’s a component of that that may discover its approach into the, the house type of the house and type of floor segments that assist these type of house techniques going ahead.

Y know, how can these techniques work collectively to search out faults in one another the place , these, these sorts of concepts that I believe are, are fascinating as effectively.

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

Tyler: Yeah, that’s an important query as effectively. There’s, I’ll say there’s lots occurring in, within the house business now, I believe even in comparison with, , even 5 or 10 years in the past that they actually make a whole lot of this doable. And , one of many huge ones is simply the dimensions of the constellations being deployed today.

And I believe that that’s enabled by. A couple of issues just like the decrease price of entry to house, , SpaceX is I believe one of many extra seen gamers there, however there are in fact others and the opposite is simply, , completely different satellite tv for pc manufacturing methods. So constructing satellites extra such as you would construct a automotive on an meeting line somewhat than type of these bespoke type of one satellite tv for pc’s in a room the place you might have a bunch of individuals type of placing stuff on it.

It’s a fairly, it’s only a completely different mannequin of, of assembling these items. And. After we have a look at the sorts of applied sciences that I believe are, are type of coming into that type of satellite tv for pc realm which are perhaps even borrowed from locations like automotive, the place, , particularly while 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 believe that, that that’s no less than one instance of, , I believe the place these two industries can study from one another, I suppose. Uh, okay. So I believe so far as, , autonomy on the satellites and the flexibility to type of collaborate with one another, I believe one of many huge, the, one of many huge elements of that’s the potential for the satellites to only speak to one another, to start with. And so the flexibility to type of move info.

Between satellites is, is I believe a, an enormous milestone type of as a part of that. And I believe one of many enabling applied sciences there that we’re, that we’ve seen type of come to gentle is the, this potential of type of having inter satellite tv for pc communication hyperlinks between these satellites. And there’s been a whole lot of, I believe development of in each optical and radio, type of,, intersatellite hyperlinks between that to move that info round.

And I believe that, that, I imply step one to collaboration as it’s an automotive as effectively, it’s simply establishing I believe that that’s customary and likewise the type of potential for these items to move info between one another. I believe 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 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 believe it’s, it’s one factor to do it in a type of. You realize, if one say automotive OEM decides to do it a sure approach and so they can do this between all their automobiles.

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

And naturally, as we take into consideration deploying our system, we expect principally of type of communication between the satellites that now we have. Nevertheless it’s fascinating to consider, , potential, , cross type of, communication between different platforms as effectively.

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

Tyler: Yeah, I believe that’s one thing that we’re exploring. So I believe it’s one thing that’s on the desk, however I believe that we’re nonetheless in, we’re on the part proper now the place now we have 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 type 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 type of earlier iterations might, it might 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 bit extra truly, and listen to a bit about, a few of your [00:25:00] analysis again while you have 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 scholar. So, the lab that I labored in was the GPS analysis lab at Stanford college. And it was a extremely nice atmosphere for me. It was one which centered, , very a lot on that type of place navigation drawback, but in addition one which centered a bit bit on, , operational initiatives for the FAA, in addition to we have been working with the federal aviation administration.

You realize, assist these type of security, important techniques, , plane utilizing GPS to land plane utilizing GPS in flight. so, , interested by 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 extremely, that was a extremely fascinating atmosphere for me, since you may 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 have been engaged on issues, , straight type of in operation, however that it wasn’t too distant from type of essentially seeing the lifetime of operation.

So I believe from a, , how that led into type of the, the work that I used to be doing, type of within the autonomous automobile world. I believe that interested by the issue of, , what are the type of ranges of situational consciousness that automobiles want by way of place navigation and time, , what’s the degree of type of security and integrity that these techniques want?

Actually utilizing that type of framework in a structured option to develop, , what would possibly that framework seem like in automotive, which was type of new to that concept of getting place and data as a part of that type of security, important enter to, , steering the automobile and, , type of conserving the human partially within the loop or completely within the loop, that are type of issues that aviation had type of labored via 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, , interested by these sorts of issues in that framework. And I believe that that, that type of aspect of issues straight led to the work that we did in type of establishing, , what may be the framework and necessities for these automobiles going ahead.

You realize, interested by this in type of a civil aviation strategy, as a result of. And while you evaluate the numbers, , civil aviation actually has the perfect monitor document you could 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 approach 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 effectively that people have lots much less people in vehicles have lots 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 unsuitable in an plane, such as you higher know what to do rapidly, whereas one thing goes unsuitable in a automotive, you may pull off to the aspect of the street. And so, and so simply essentially some, some variations there, however I believe that that’s, that’s one of many huge ones I believe was, , bringing a few of that framework from, , aviation to automotive and interested by these, these issues in that approach.

And the opposite aspect of that was the type of. You realize, the type of industrial GPS and GNSS aspect of that. So, , transitioning from, , You realize, the federal government system that helps, , all these billions of gadgets and created all this type of, , financial growth and type of all these developments, and interested by how that may evolve type of within the so-called type of new house age, which is the age while you consider issues like SpaceX and, , these type of gamers which have actually challenged the type of so-called conventional aerospace, which is, extra the type of, , while you consider that as type of these longer timelines, very threat antagonistic type of gamers. And, and, , interested by how, how would possibly a few of these type of new methods or new approaches in house, interested by these type of mega constellations which are being proposed by, on the time they have 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 a whole lot of these things launched something or had been deployed.

These have been all type of concepts on. , a few of that work was type of the basic, okay, effectively, what would possibly you be capable of do with one thing like this? If, if these type of satellites truly come to exist, if the launch prices truly come down, , what may be some functionality that you possibly can leverage from that type of house infrastructure?

So for those who may deploy one thing like that for place navigation and time, , what would possibly that seem like? What would possibly the capabilities be? However I believe at that time it was type of a okay, effectively that, that’s an fascinating drawback, however, It was in some sense, missing motivation. It was type of a, okay, effectively, who needs this?

You realize, what do we’d like this for? GPS works rather well. Each, I believe on the time it was like, effectively, we’ve achieved it. You realize, GPS is in everybody’s pocket. What else may 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 type of these dots related at no less than on my aspect to, to see, okay, effectively perhaps this type of strategy may assist this different aspect as effectively.

So in some sense, , there’s, I assume studying from each side and type of related these items 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 developing on time, however I do have one final query. which is, are there different industrial gamers making an attempt to get into the GNSS house?

Like, do you might have any actual rivals proper now?

Tyler: Oh, there, certain. There’s undoubtedly of us on the market. So we’re not the one ones doing this. I believe that they’re, I gained’t identify all of them by identify. Trigger I, I can’t communicate to everybody’s plans on the market, however I can communicate to a, just a few common tendencies 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 undoubtedly focused on offering one thing. I believe that it, it seems to be very completely 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 lots like what you have already got in your telephone by way of chip set, by way of these sorts of, , antenna, these varieties of things. Once you have a look at a number of the, , the communication, techniques, , actually they’re a totally completely different frequency bands.

Their consumer terminals are normally fairly giant as a result of we’d like a fairly large antenna to type of, full the hyperlink price range to get the type of information charges that they’re speaking about. It, it they’re, they’re actually interested by it, however I believe that, , their main objective is absolutely, , communication, but it surely’s type of a, oh, we will, , now we have this method, we will in all probability assist some type of navigation as effectively.

A minimum of that’s what we’ve seen to date. So I believe that that’s, that’s one of many rivals on the market. When it comes to others, we’ve seen some fascinating 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 absolutely to assist autonomous automotive actions. It’s, , communication navigation type of multi function bundle. And in order that’s, , seems to be, , one of many huge, one of many huge gamers on the market. And so there there’s actually another firms as effectively. There are some established providers on the market right now, for instance, from Iridium, which is offering some P and T providers right now.

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

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

lilly: Effectively, yeah, it’s undoubtedly an thrilling house to be in an thrilling time.

And. A very fascinating thought. Thanks a lot for talking with me.

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


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Lilly Clark



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