Fugro launches G4 positioning system

Mon, 02 March 2015

Fugro claims to be the world's largest integrated supplier of survey and geotechnical related services. This encompasses every aspect of both the offshore and onshore construction sectors with Fugro supplying the vital services that ensure the reliable and effective construction and installation of a wide variety of structures. Based in Holland but operating worldwide, one of Fugro's specialities is highly accurate positioning.

In the offshore sector the accurate positioning demanded for both installation and connection are achieved mainly by satellite positioning, using systems such as GPS as the basis for the determination of positions. Fugro has established a technology leadership in this field with the development of augmentation systems for offshore positioning applications. Now it has launched its G4 service which is claimed to significantly improve position accuracy and reliability. By taking the basic satellite positioning systems and applying differential corrections the position accuracy can be refined to produce centimetre accuracy.

This new G4 satellite correction service is the first to take advantage of all four GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). These four systems are the American GPS, the Russian GLONASS, the Chinese BeiDou and the European Galileo systems. Fugro claims that their GNSS augmentation services significantly improve position accuracy compared to unaided GNSS receivers, which are commonly used in the consumer sector.

By using all available GNSS satellites from the four systems, Fugro's G4 service is designed to improve availability and reliability of offshore positioning and will thus enhance the safety and productivity of a wide range of survey and other activities offshore. G4 represents a significant advancement compared to augmentation systems which are based on GPS only or GPS combined with its Russian equivalent, GLONASS, the two current systems that offer worldwide coverage.

The BeiDou system operated by China currently provides coverage in the Asia-Pacific region. Fugro's G4 service already utilises the first BeiDou satellites and is ready to start using the Galileo satellites as soon the EU announces Initial Operational Capability (IOC) status for this system. Galileo and future BeiDou satellites will be automatically included in the G4 system as they come online, steadily increasing availability and robustness of this integrated augmentation service.

The new G4 service will be particularly beneficial when the line of sight to certain satellites is obstructed by offshore structures which can be a key consideration during critical positioning operations. It will also help to alleviate the situation when one of the systems goes down as happened with the GLONASS system recently. The G4 augmentation signals which are transmitted via seven high powered communication satellites are aimed to provide at least two independent broadcast channels anywhere in the world and they will offer Fugro's customers unrivalled coverage and availability.

Source: Dag Pike

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