Position is a navigation fundamental and we’ve all become increasingly reliant on GPS. The new GPS150 DualNav positioning sensor from Digital Yacht combines a 50 channel GPS with GLONASS, the Russian funded satellite positioning system that is now online and providing a back up or alternative to GPS. The “smart” sensor will automatically switch between the systems or the the user can manually select the most appropriate for their activity. The GPS150 will also be able to utilize the European-funded Galileo positioning system when it comes on line (IOC – Initial Operation Capability in 2018.)
The implementation of GLONASS as an additional satellite positioning system is probably the biggest step change in maritime navigation since GPS was fully augmented in the mid 90s. Digital Yacht’s GPS150 utilises the industry standard NMEA data format allowing older chart plotters as well as current generation products to take advantage of this new technology.
The GPS150 also allows the user to select a variety of different NMEA baud rates (4800, 38400 and 115200) to allow interfacing with legacy and current systems. It also supports a new TurboNavTM mode which will appeal to racing yachtsmen and performance users where GPS/GLONASS data is output at 10Hz (10 x faster update than normal) and with an interface speed of 115200 baud which is 24x the speed of normal NMEA data. This massively improves slow speed navigation data as well as providing the best course and speed data in a dynamic situation.
The GPS150 houses all the electronics in its compact 3” antenna and has a single multi core cable for power and data. Power consumption is just 30mA at 12V. It can be used as a simple positioning sensor for plotter or VHF DSC systems as well as a precsion, high speed sensor for performance sailing or super yachts. Setup is easy with a block of simple internal switches setting the characteristics of the unit. This allows the device to be programmed in the field without specialist software or programming tools.
Digital Yacht have also developed a range of external interfaces for the GPS150 including a wireless adaptor to allow data to be sent to mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Tablets as well as a USB interface for PC and MAC users. An NMEA 2000 interface will be available in 2014 allowing multiple sensors to be connected to a NMEA2000 backbone so the user can have alternative positioning inputs on complex systems.
The GPS150 is priced at $189.95.