Hexagon’s autonomy and positioning technologies for agricultural machines are highlights at Agritechnica 2023

Solutions targeted to improve the performance and accuracy of field operations

In November, Hexagon takes customisable autonomy, positioning and precision solutions focused on manufacturers to Agritechnica, the world’s leading agricultural machinery fair, which takes place in Hanover, Germany. The event is promoted by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) and from November 12 to 18 should bring together 450,000 visitors from 135 countries and more than 2,800 exhibitors from different parts of the world, with the main innovations for the sector.

Considered a turning point for agricultural production, the use of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) enabled a leap in the development of technologies for the operation of autonomous machines – a booming market that leverages other solutions, such as robotics, different sensors and artificial intelligence. For Eric Wuestefeld, Executive VP of Agriculture at Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division, a global leader in autonomous sensor and software solutions, GNSS technology is fundamental to the operations of autonomous machines, which will play a key role in food production around the world.

Integration of reliable and robust GNSS solutions into autonomous machines for agriculture requires a new way of thinking. The heading and orientation must always be known for geofencing, to maintain position integrity and ensure machines never breach physical boundaries. Hexagon | NovAtel is at the forefront of GNSS technology and has a full selection of robust and reliable solutions that can advance agriculture robots in achieving compliance with the relevant ISO standards.

“For agricultural operations, having solutions that provide uninterrupted, high accuracy GNSS-based positioning is essential to keep machines operating, so that it does not remain idle in the field unnecessarily and does not disrespect pre-defined geographic limits. At Hexagon, we offer customisable hardware and software solutions support machine manufacturers in meeting their functional safety goals and are ready to scale from development to production for the next generation of farm machinery. “, highlights the executive.

Among the solutions, it is worth highlighting SPAN GNSS+INS technology, from the Hexagon | NovAtel portfolio, part of Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division. The technology combines precision GNSS receivers with robust inertial measurement units (IMUs) to provide reliable position, speed and attitude information, even in situations with compromised satellite reception, such as when operating near trees, power lines and orchards. A key, all-in-one NovAtel product that uses the technology is the SMART7 antenna.

Access to multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS signals for better satellite availability is incredibly important when operating in diverse environments, and is offered on both of NovAtel’s SMART7 and SMART2 products. SMART7 has variants that add features such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet, making it more versatile for different connectivity scenarios. Meanwhile, SMART2 is known for its compact size and scalable positioning modes. According to Wuestefeld, the receivers can have customised firmware, tailored to integrators positioning and interface needs.

Another highlight of Hexagon will be TerraStar Correction Services, which allows high-performance real-time positioning for applications around the world. Powered by an expansive global system, TerraStar corrections provide seamless worldwide coverage giving you the highest quality data for assured, reliable positioning anywhere, anytime. With TerraStar it is possible to improve the precision of machines, increasing operation efficiency and reducing waste.

Auto Steering improves operational accuracy and efficiency

At Agritechnica, visitors can get an up-close look at HxGN AgrOn Auto Steering. Developed to improve the performance and precision of operations, this product assists in the navigation of tractors, machinery and agricultural implements. It ensures alignment and minimises gaps or overlap during planting, optimised application of inputs and field treatments. In addition, the technology also offers benefits to manufacturers, such as adaptability to most tractors on the market, electric or hydraulic drive, compatibility with steer ready machines, easy installation and integration.

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