GNSS Encoder Calibration System (GECS)

Historically modern machines have used in industrial automation have employed many different electromechanical encoder technologies to for their basic essential navigation and positioning information. These types of sensors included rotation and linear encoders, RF tags, accelerometers, inclinometers, fluxgate compasses, speedometers, resolvers, laser ranging etc. to simply name a few. Depending on specific component quality levels, all these sensors technologies work reasonable well, although, each do have unique vulnerabilities that affect their reliability and accuracy from time to time.

However, are these old positioning technologies reliable enough alone to underpin modern safety & integrity for mission critical machine optimisation projects..? (We don’t think so..!)

The aviation industry for decades has understood that the optimum way to achieve complete confidence in mission critical systems is by deploying redundant “dissimilar sensor technologies”. With the different / dissimilar technologies duplicating / emulating the traditional mechanical encoder measurements, any sensor failure modes are completely and statistically independent, thus delivering the greatest levels of fault tolerance and reliability possible for these mission critical applications.

3D-SAM’s GECs derivative does exactly this, by using GNSS dissimilar navigation technologies to duplicate / emulate the traditional mechanical encoder measurements. Delivering fully independent “absolute positioning” navigation solutions. With GECS installed, if the two independent systems (mechanical tags + encoders and GECS satellite GNSS navigation) agree on locations and orientations, then, any PLC automated control systems can be highly confident that the machine’s positional information is both true and correct. Hence with this independent duplicate validation, operational processes and controls can be further optimised to deliver both improved efficiency and operational safety. Very substantial operational efficiencies can be realised through greater confidence through improved machine navigation, these being;

  • Faster machines operational rates
  • Improved multi machine operational Anti-Collision functionality reducing minimum separations
  • Improved mission outcomes as the machine interacts with operational real world static 3D environments.

Provided below is one example, where GECS (shown in RED) has been installed by several Australian mining customers, to generate machine Long Travel, Boom Luff, and Boom Slew using dissimilar navigation technology to the original electromechanical sensors (shown in BLUE).

For more on our 3D-SAM GECS technology, please contact our sales team.


For more specific information concerning 3D-SAM and it’s future potential for your automation project please contact the engineering team.

Please watch this space for future material to be progressively added.