Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

U-Blox and Sapcorda partner on Spartn correction interface

Steve Rogerson
May 27, 2020

Swiss firm U-Blox is working with German GNSS augmentation company Sapcorda Services to implement the newly established Spartn format correction interface.
This paves the way to bringing the Sapcorda Sapa GNSS augmentation services to the U-Box F9 platform. Industrial and automotive markets will be among those to benefit from these scalable GNSS augmentation services.
The Sapa Premium GNSS augmentation service, commercially available since January 2020, sets itself apart from other GNSS correction services by combining the best of both worlds: global PPP-services and local RTK-services. Its distinguishing features include fast convergence times, performance homogeneity over continental coverage areas, bandwidth efficiency, and a dedicated, purpose-built GNSS network. Sapa services are broadcast in the Spartn format via cellular communication, with geostationary satellite communication on the L band to follow shortly.
Spartn stands for “safe position augmentation for real-time navigation”. This industry-driven, open and free-to-use format has been designed for broadcast distribution of modern SSR (state space representation) GNSS corrections targeting mass-market applications.
“Our coming solution, based on the Spartn open correction interface, will effectively unleash the growth potential of a new mass market for high precision positioning technology,” said Thomas Seiler, CEO of U-Blox.
Contrary to legacy OSR (observation space representation) correction services, which require two-way communication between GNSS receivers and correction service providers, Sapcorda’s SSR correction service can be broadcast to receivers continent-wide. This allows it to deliver high precision GNSS positioning efficiently to any number of end users, resulting in unlimited scalability and protection of private data.
The Sapa Premium service is available in continental USA and EU, with plans to enhance it as Sapa Premium Plus, offering integrity and functional safety compliance for safety-critical applications.
Such mass market-compatible, high precision GNSS positioning meets growing demand for seamless, accurate position and navigation and is considered a prerequisite for a broad range of emerging applications. These include autonomous vehicles, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles, machine automation, and other navigation applications. Emerging automotive applications include automated driving, lane-accurate navigation, telematics and vehicle-to-everything communications.
 “By adopting the Spartn interface, we ensure interoperability between our respective services and products, so that customers who use Sapcorda’s Sapa Premium GNSS augmentation technology on their U-Blox F9 GNSS receivers will have 100 per cent confidence that the service and the hardware work together seamlessly and meet their performance expectations, both during evaluation and in operation,” adds Vladimir Stoyanov, product strategy manager for high precision GNSS at U-Blox.
Botho zu Eulenburg, CEO of Sapcorda, added: “Entering into this partnership, we were in perfect alignment with U-Blox in terms of our strategic vision to develop scalable high precision GNSS for the mass market and enable emerging applications and use cases that are far beyond the capabilities of classic GNSS correction services. With this collaboration with one of the first receiver manufacturers to support the open Spartn format, we are offering our customers seamless integration and a future-proof solution.”
With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, U-Blox is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.
Sapcorda was founded as a joint venture in 2017 by Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and U-Blox. It operates in Europe and in the USA with offices in Berlin, Hanover and Arizona.