Leica Geosystems and NovAtel Inc. have entered an agreement to develop new technologies for global positioning systems (GPS). This is particularly relevant for equipment that will be based on the new upcoming Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
In the mid-eighties Leica Geosystems was one of the first companies to develop and market GPS surveying systems. NovAtel, founded in 1978, also has the reputation of being one of the most successful innovators of advanced concepts in GPS technologies. These include significant contributions to the development of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) such as WAAS, MSAS and EGNOS. Future advancements in GNSS technologies will introduce new signal structures to be transmitted by the GPS satellites (L2C, L5) and will offer additional benefits for customers. The co-operation agreement allows both companies to focus their complimentary resources for the development of future GPS and GNSS products and to therefore launch them faster and with lower costs.
NovAtel will begin immediate development of a custom version of existing GPS engines and other GPS components for Leica Geosystems. Leica Geosystems will further concentrate on developing products and integrated solutions for surveying, monitoring and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) using high accuracy GPS and GNSS. This includes the further development of positioning algorithms for high accuracy, for real-time kinetic (RTK) data capturing and its conversion of RTK into real-time applications, for the long-baseline processing, the creation of reference station networks, and for the data collection for GIS and machine control applications. Hans Hess,
President and CEO of Leica Geosystems stated, "NovAtel brings a part of technology that we can reliably use together with our own concepts, and also has interesting strategic alliances in other GPS application areas. This will allow us to take profit from economies-of-scale, and focus our resources on retaining and strengthening our competitive advantage in our areas and markets, especially as the new GNSS technologies begin to apply. Significant research and development investment is planned to take advantage of the new GNSS technologies and make them readily available to our customers. This new focus optimizes the use of resources by both companies and can now be realized by co-operating with NovAtel who have a leading edge in present and future GNSS components."