Helix’s Zenzic-funded Autonomous Vehicle test programme is gathering pace, accomplishing key milestones in demonstrating the efficacy of its super-accurate, resilient GNSS antennas for safe situational awareness in Level 5 autonomy.
Working with the team at SMLL (Smart Mobility Living Labs: London) the Helix team has installed its GNSS antennas on their test vehicle and run a series of tests at the Millbrook Proving Ground. Helix antennas were utilised on RTK base stations in order to evaluate the accuracy capability of RTK options in a dynamic environment. Initial results show that latency in the delivery of RTK via ground-based infrastructure (internet and wireless) is likely to be a significant barrier to its dependability for safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on our road networks, with SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation Services) offering a more reliable alternative.
Helix’s antenna technology eliminates multi-path effects on GNSS accuracy, and is immune to RF and electrical interference as well as common-mode noise and near-field effects, making it ideal for autonomous vehicle applications. The next phase of the Zenzic CAM Scale-up programme will see Helix conducting driving tests in London, including utilising the SMLL telemetry routes around Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Park areas.
Oliver Leisten, Helix CTO comments,
“This will reveal the challenges of using infrastructure-based augmentation services in real-world environments, where it’s not just buildings that reflect satellite signals, but buses, vans and trucks that create a complex dynamic ‘signal soup’. It needs a sophisticated antenna like ours to discriminate clear primary signals.”
About Helix Technologies:
Helix is a UK-based privately funded start-up located at the Harwell Campus near Oxford, noted for its cluster of space-tech businesses. The company is developing antennas for high accuracy GNSS location and high-bandwidth datacomms, and the precision manufacturing processes necessary for their manufacture.
About the Technology:
With variants for GPS and Galileo GNSS constellations (BeiDou and GLONASS versions are in development), Helix antennas are multi-frequency resonant devices with tightly targeted frequency discrimination. They utilise multiple helical conductor filaments on a high dielectric constant ceramic core. The selective nature of the design assures integrity of data delivered to the receiver enabling positional accuracy to 10cm to be computed, which out-performs the industry demanded 30cm accuracy. Moreover, the helical antenna pattern’s resonance means that troublesome reflected signals, typical of modern cities’ ‘urban canyons’ are ignored, while the on-frequency accuracy makes the system resilient to ‘noisy neighbour’ spectrum interference and deliberate jamming. All this comes in a compact and robust form factor light enough for drones and small enough for vehicle aesthetics.