Point of Beginning - April 2010 - (Page 13)
BY CHRISTINE L. GRAHL
Ashtech re-emerges as a force to be reckoned with in GNSS technology.
hen Magellan Professional announced in January 2010 that it had changed its name to Ashtech, few in the surveying and mapping professions were surprised. The Ashtech name has long been associated with high-quality GNSS equipment. It
made sense that the company would return to its roots after Magellan sold its consumer products division to MiTAC International Corp. in January 2009. What many people might not know is that the transition had been more than three years in the making. In 2007, the company was reorganized into two distinct business units−Consumer and Professional. “As part of Magellan Professional, we had our own engineering, operations and supply chain,” explains François Erceau, vice president and general manager of Ashtech. “We’ve spent the last three years laying the groundwork through extensive R&D. As Ashtech, we’re now able to build on that groundwork through new product introductions and business initiatives.” Indeed, the company launched four new products in the first two months Above: The new ProFlex Lite Duo is a dual GNSS board sensor designed for heading, relative positioning, and long-range RTK computations. Right: The new ProMark 500 V4.0 GNSS receiver is designed for high-performance RTK surveying.
alone. The January release of the ProMark 500 V4.0 GNSS receiver, which includes an RTC bridge to relay GSM/GPRS RTK network corrections to multiple rovers through license-free radios and a new entry-level configuration delivering free RTK capability within 3-kilometer baselines, was followed by the February introduction of the ProFlex Lite and ProFlex Lite Duo GNSS board sensors for complex mobile positioning and navigation. A few weeks later, Ashtech debuted a new suite of GIS and mapping software for the MobileMapper 6 professional GPS/GIS handheld receiver. (See New & Notable on page 48 for more details on the new software.) According to Erceau, that’s just the beginning. “There will be more announcements in the coming weeks and months,” he says. “With all the changes that are happening and about to happen in Glonass and Galileo, and maybe also Compass, there are a number of opportunities to innovate and create new benefits for customers.” Erceau says Ashtech will continue to focus on innovations in surveying and GIS applications while also pursuing new developments in areas such as agriculture, engineering and machine control. He believes that the continued advancement of GNSS technology will provide new opportunities as GNSS-based solutions become more precise and more productive. “We’re committed to GNSS—both at the entry-level, where we’ve been able to maintain strong relationships with our handheld receiver manufacturing partners, and at the high-end part of the spectrum, where we plan to bring engineering and design innovation to the different constellation systems,” Erceau says. “The GNSS evolution will make the coming years very interesting. “We are very happy to revert to the Ashtech brand and to introduce new products under this brand. We believe this change is positive for us as well as for the market as a whole.” For more information about Ashtech, visit www.ashtech.com. Web exclusive: A transcript of Grahl’s interview with Erceau can be found in the online version of this article at www.pobonline.com.
www.rpls.com | Point of Beginning | APRIL 2010
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Point of Beginning - April 2010
Point of Beginning - April 2010
A Grand Re-Entrance
A Model Community
Tough Work in a Tight Spot
Show Me the Data
BIM in a Box
Traversing the Law
New & Notable
Point of Beginning - April 2010