Hexagon | NovAtel announces 7.09.01 and 7.09.02 firmware to defend against ionospheric scintillation

11 April 2024

Hexagon | NovAtel is pleased to announce the release of 7.09.01 and 7.09.02 firmware providing substantial enhancements to precise point positioning (PPP) accuracy and availability for ionospheric scintillation on all OEM7 receiver boards, enclosures and SMART Antennas.

Ionospheric scintillation refers to rapid fluctuations in GNSS signal strength and phase due to localised irregularities in the electron density of the ionosphere resulting from solar activity. Scintillation adversely affects GNSS positioning, particularly around the geomagnetic equator after local sunset. 

We are currently experiencing increased ionospheric activity as we climb toward the peak of Solar Cycle 25. To mitigate these effects, 7.09.01 and 7.09.02 firmware provides substantial enhancements to the accuracy and availability of high-precision positioning during ionospheric scintillation.  

Version 7.09.01 is available for agriculture applications replacing Version 7.08.15 and Version 7.09.02 is available for all other markets replacing Version 7.09.00

Data comparing the performance of 7.09.01 and 7.09.02 to previous firmware versions showed: 

  • 60% improved TerraStar-C PRO PPP accuracy during periods of ionospheric scintillation* 
  • >90% uptime with TerraStar-C PRO PPP in scintillation regions** 

In addition, 7.09.01 for agriculture includes the following features previously released in Version 7.09.00

  • Precision time protocol (PTP) available on SMART7-I and SMART7-SI for synchronising accurate GNSS time with other devices on a shared network 
  • Improvements to the Time to First Fix (TTFF) so users can start work faster after restarting their GNSS receiver 
  • SPAN GNSS+INS technology updates (general improvements and new secondary SPAN solution) 

A complete listing of all changes is available in the “What’s New” document included with the firmware download.  

To download the firmware update for your specific platform, please visit: https://novatel.com/support/support-materials/firmware-download  

Please contact your local sales representative for more information on NovAtel products and the latest firmware. A complete list of NovAtel dealers is available at https://novatel.com/contactus/dealer-network  

*Improvement in average horizontal error during scintillation period. Performance varies and is subject to the local environment, and the duration and magnitude of scintillation. 

**Uptime represents percentage of a 24-hour period operating in a scintillation-prone region, where TerraStar-C PRO solution accuracy is ≤5 cm. Performance varies and is subject to the local environment, and the duration and magnitude of scintillation.