The demands for basic infrastructures in modern societies are increasing in line with the desire for increased growth and efficiency. Testbed in Aarhus for Precision Positioning and Autonomous Systems (TAPAS) is a science and research project aimed to verify to which extend an improved infrastructure can contribute to exploit the full advantage of the technical achievements of the new Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Geodetic reference systems are the fundamental infrastructure that provides the basis for precision positioning and navigation using GNSS. Available systems of today are primarily based on GPS measurements, with supplement of local Real Time Kinematic (RTK) systems.
Additional global GNSS systems are these years being implemented such as BeiDou (China) and not least Galileo (European). These systems are now forming the basis for new terrestrial networks and the basis for both faster and better position determination. TAPAS will establish a sound ground based network test bed, to support and test new advanced technological developments with a need for fast, efficient and flexible precision positioning. It will be designed as a geodetic innovation platform, in form of physical and virtual networks. The ambition is to exploit the full potential of Galileo and evaluate this system's quality in relation to GPS. Further, and in particular, it is the goal to achieve unprecedented precision positioning in real-time.
Autonomous systems within transport, agriculture or environmental monitoring, e.g. automated vehicles and machines, drones, marine units, constitute to a very large growth area within a wide range of business opportunities. Since these systems are inseparably linked to geodetic reference systems, RTK and associated communications networks (Wi-Fi, 5G etc.) it is expected that TAPAS can provide necessary technical insight in order to obtain an infrastructure where autonomous systems can be operating.
Initially, TAPAS will focus on the area around Aarhus city and harbor as a test bed for in situ trials. The location in this densely populated area also provides opportunities for observing disturbing elements of a city, such as urban-canyons/canopies.
The TAPAS network is currently being implemented in an Alpha version and at the end of 2018 the Network is available for continued research projects, open for third parties to test own ideas and innovative prototypes on the platform to gain knowledge. 11 Class B stations and one Class A GNSS station forms the network. The stations are being designed in a flexible way to use latest state of the art technologies, as well as to ensure future technical iterations and updates. Stations will be interconnected in a network to a RTK GNSS server, which calculates and stream relevant corrections and integrity information to the users.
TAPAS is being developed, to accommodate both new geodetic and autonomous reference systems, as well as current and future communication networks. I.e. this innovation research platform attempts to integrate these systems, test concrete initiatives and utilize satellite-based Earth observation data.
The network is funded by Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency and developed in close corporation with the GNSS Experts from DTU Space and Aarhus municipality.
Photo: Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency