Problems of Localizing Navigation-communication Equipment. State of Aff airs in the Development of Domestic Receivers and Local Navigation Units
For comparing domestic and foreign products, quality tests of receivers on compliance with ERA-GLONASS system requirements at training grounds of FSUE CNIImash and FSUE “NAMI” have been conducted. The paper presents the results obtained in the tests: out of 6 receivers 4 receivers successfully passed the tests — 2 domestic and 2 foreign.
Today Russian components production is mainly presented by small series of military and special purpose products, which determines their high manufacture cost.
To ensure informational and technological safety of the State, it is essential who developed electronic component, and whether Russia provides control over the processes of its development and updating. If all design documentation, as well as corresponding software, are developed in Russia, then respective electronic component may be considered as domestic, irrespective of where a factory where it was manufactured is — within the Russian Federation or abroad. Of course, in case when this component was manufactured at a Russian factory, the degree of corresponding domestic equipment localization increases.
None of the countries in the world can do without importing electronic components, i.e. leading positions in different technological directions are occupied by companies from different countries, and refusal to use imported components results in considerable derating of manufactured equipment. As long as there is no mass end production for civil purposes in Russia, Russian electronic components manufacturers have no stimulus for their sustainable development. Even in the case of strict restrictions on electronic components import (today it is simply impossible to do), the volume of internal Russian components market, as a rule, cannot provide the return on investments into the development of their production in Russia (especially it concerns microcircuits production).
Entrance to the mass market of products for civil purpose could be promoted by the State forming an approach for implementing State support measures, which in general are common knowledge:
• practice of price and other preferences for domestic manufacturers of equipment while conducting central and local procurements, as well as procurement of corporations with State participation, which need to be improved and expanded;
• introduction of import quotas and import customs (including antidumping ones) for the import of target equipment species;
• provision stimulation and support for domestic electronic industry in large public and public-private infrastructural projects implementation;
• granting tax concessions for enterprises of industrial branch investing in production modernization;
• subsidization of costs connected with Russian electronic industry products promotion in Russian and world market.
In 2016 about 600 thousand navigation modules and 1 million digital circuits were officially delivered in Russia through customs.
The most mass-produced navigation-communication instrument is the terminal of emergency call system used in emergencies (ERA-GLONASS), its market estimated at 3 million units per year. Though ERA-GLONASS system is considered as state-owned, today there is not a single item from domestic electronic component base at its domestic terminals. This is a sad state of affairs, and on behalf of Russia’s vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin, the work on planning electronic components import substitution in these products has been performed. Working groups dealing with localization problems solution have been organized. Besides navigation equipment, it concerns computing tools and wider — telecommunication equipment. It has been shown that while domestic navigation receivers of new generation can guarantee corresponding quality, they fail to eliminate difference in price as compared to foreign receivers.
This paper provides analysis of domestic and import navigation equipment prices: prices of domestic devices are almost competitive, but they need government support for promoting domestic products, particularly, into Unified State Automated Information System ERA-GLONASS, where today there are no domestic electronic components at all. As off today Russian government has already accepted a number of decisions, imposing prohibitions and restrictions on foreign goods access to the system of public procurements of goods, works (services) not only for needs of defence and state security, but also in the civil area.
Regulations № 968 and № 925 were accepted in September 2016, concerning restrictions on import products access for procurements in the interests of state and municipal needs and priority of goods of Russian origin over import goods in performing these procurements. Criteria for attributing electronic products to the category of manufactured on the territory of the Russian Federation have been introduced by government regulation № 719 of the Russian Federation. Amendments to this regulation have been issued in the form of Government regulation № 734, which specifies restrictions on the application of import electronic components in navigation-communication equipment:
• navigational receiver module;
• modem GSM/GPRS/UMTS;
• non-volatile flash-memory;
• power control integrated microcircuits;
• printed-circuit board;
• GLONASS/GPS antennas.
The communication modem 3G (GSM/GPRS/UMTS) is a very important component. For various reasons the works on the development of modems for cellular systems in Russia were stopped, while world leaders for over 25–30 years have been conducting fruitful investigations and development in this direction. In these conditions the shortest way for creating domestic 3G modem is licensing foreign IP and modem development starting from application of import chips and later of domestic chips on the base of licensed IP. This is the way by which NIIMA “Progress” is planning to follow.
Another important terminal component is micro-controller of CORTEX M4 level. Such development is now being conducted in Russia, as well as the development of domestic SIM-chip. It is planned that all these components would be competitive by their quality and by price as well.
Experience of other terminal components development, such as accelerometer, non-volatile memory, interfaces and power supply units are also available in Russia, but there are still no competitive instruments. Two years are necessary for their development, as well as investments that could be gained only with a full confidence in competitive results. This is the gist of the problem. The introduced criteria aimed at providing protection of operating enterprises, which perform a large volume of development and production for enterprises implementing CKD assembly (or packaging) products on the territory of Eurasian Union. Here the criterion of localization degree should be used. Table 1 presents the essence of the approach for determining the localization degree.
In the course of navigation-communication equipment localization distinct priorities must be set:
First priority — governmental support of domestic navigation equipment sales.
All the following stages of creating and implementing navigation equipment directly depend on this clause. Even if modern factories producing semiconductors are built, they will not survive, if their production volume is less than several tens of thousands wafers per month. That is millions of chips. If products sales are not guaranteed, then there will be no need in chips and modules development as well as in their mass production.
Second priority — organization of chips assembly into plastic packages.
Today in Russia chips assembly is carried out only into metal-ceramic packages costing up to 6–8 thousand roubles. But if there is no cheap packages, then no one will need cheap domestic chips as well. The problem of assembly into plastic packages in Russia is solved only at General Satellite private factory. They have purchased turnkey assembly plant.
Third priority — support of domestic mass chips production by 40–65nm technology.
Without solving previous two problems it is useless to try to solve this problem. But even if all these problems are solved, there will remain the problem to ensure VLSI prices and quality the same as in South-Eastern Asia. The competitive price of digital receiver on SoC in plastic package constitutes $2.5.
Fourth priority — chips design.
Today about 7 million design-centres are dealing with or can deal with designing chips for navigation equipment. The main problem is gaining investments in development.
Fifth priority — manufacturing modules for navigation equipment.
The problem disappears, if governmental support for domestic navigation equipment sales is provided and floating assets are available (inexpensive credits).
Sixth priority — designing modules for navigation equipment.
The problem disappears, if the 1st problem is solved. The price of navigation equipment will be competitive. The navigation equipment designers’ qualification corresponds to international standards.
Another important direction of the research is creating domestic high precision navigation equipment. Mass domestic receivers Geos-3 and NV-08 that have successfully passed comparative tests enable providing high precision navigation in RTK mode (real time kinematic), because they support phase measurements of navigation signal, which is provided by far from each foreign receiver. RTK mode is popular, particularly, in precision agriculture systems, which essentially consists in treating the soil, sowing, applying fertilizers with high accuracy (up to 5–10cm) into the same furrows, but not over the whole field. In this case it is possible to save seeds, fertilizers, time and fuel. The efficiency of precise agriculture application constitutes 20 %.
The problem lies in that in Russia tractors and navigation equipment installed on them are imported. Respectively, sales profits of this expensive equipment stay in foreign companies. But it is quite possible to organize the production of this equipment in Russia using GLONASS system facilities.
Another example of applying highly precision navigation is robotics systems, such as pilotless automobile in KAMAZ project “Autonet”. In this project navigation equipment is required to provide the accuracy of positioning up to 10cm. Using RTK mode it is possible to attain the required accuracy, but the question is in conditions of the automobile movement, and if it moves on open territory, then the required accuracy is attained, but in conditions of dense urban development or in a forest the signal phase “breaks down” and the receiver stops operating, which is conditioned by drawbacks of global navigation satellite systems application (GNSS).
GNSS posseses a number of unquestionable advantages, such as full Earth and near-earth space coverage, free system use for coordinates and time determination, equipment unification for all users etc. Experience of GNSS and GPS operation, as well as theoretical and experimental investigations made in Russia and abroad have shown that alongside with obvious advantages, GNSS has a number of significant drawbacks, such as:
• poor signal reception in wooded and mountain terrain, in conditions of dense urban highrise development, as well as inside buildings;
• GNSS characteristics of accuracy, integrity and availability do not fully comply with requirements of some users;
• insufficient fault resistance: local low power interference may impede or make impossible navigation by GNSS signals.
Besides, during conflicts, the suppression of global navigation satellite systems is possible by means of direct impact on satellites or by barrage jamming or simulated radio countermeasures for GNSS signals. In such a situation high precision positioning and topographical objects control at terrain using GNSS becomes impossible and there arises a need to use local navigation systems (LNS), which are independent of satellites signals and which possess fault resistance by several orders of magnitude higher as compared with GNSS systems. About two tens of local navigation systems have been developed in various countries since 1958. The most perfect of them is Australian system LocataNets developed by Locata company in 2014.
Currently JSC “NIIMA “Progress” is designing modern domestic LNS that is able to implement all the advantages of navigation signals with higher protection from interference than that provided by LocataNets system. The system being developed supplements GNSS and has over dozen advantages over them and a number of advantages over the Locata system.
The problem of interference suppression in the proposed LNS is solved due to the following:
• the distance between subscriber’s and reference stations is less by a factor of 1000, than the distance from the Earth to the satellite;
• imitation of LNS signal (“spoofing”) is practically impossible due to a complex rule of PRS sequence transition;
• operating frequencies of LNS are not fixed and may alter in the range from 100MHz to 2500MHz.
Localization error depends on accuracy of reference stations synchronization and may be within 1–10cm at horizontal plane, and within 15cm by altitude.
As is known, the problem of accurate localization in conditions of dense urban development, for example, on insurance companies demand, is impossible to solve using GNSS in RTK mode. But this problem may be solved using LNS that is being developed by JSC “NIIMA “Progress”. At present special purpose VLSIs for LNS RF and digital links have been developed, as well as unified receiving/transmitting modules on the base of these VLSIs, which can be used both in reference and in subscriber’s stations. Currently the system mock-up is being developed and tested.
The report provides preliminary results of the LNS mock-up tests performed at the field of K. A. Temiryazev Agricultural Academy. High precision navigation (accuracy of 2–4cm) on open territory is conducted by means of GNSS in RTK mode. In urban conditions to attain the accuracy of 0.1–0.5m (requirements of insurance companies) local navigation system is used. Main LNS stations are located on cell phone towers.
So, a number of domestic developments of high precision navigation equipment of GNSS and LNS systems may make a worthy competition to foreign products on mass domestic market. But this domestic market has to be protected.
1. Nemudrov V., Korneev I. Opyt razrabotki elektronno-komponentnoi bazy apparatury dlya lokal'nykh sistem navigatsii // Mezhdunarodnaya konferentsiya “Mikroelektronika-2015”. Integral'nye mikroskhemy i mikroelektronnye moduli: proektirovanie, proizvodstvo i primenenie. Sbornik dokladov. Moskva: Tekhnosfera, 2016. P. 13–20. (In Russian).
2. Korneev I., Egorov V. Opyt razrabotki elektronno-komponentnoi bazy apparatury dlya lokal'nykh sistem navigatsii // Mezhdunarodnaya konferentsiya “Mikroelektronika-2015”. Integral'nye mikroskhemy i mikro-elektronnye moduli: proektirovanie, proizvodstvo i primenenie. Sbornik dokladov. Moskva: Tekhnosfera, 2016. P. 76–83. (In Russian).
3. Korneev I., Egorov V. Preimushchestva razrabatyvaemoi otechestvennoi lokal'noi sistemy navigatsii // Mezhdunarodnyi forum “Mikroelektronika-2016”. 2-ya nauchnaya konferentsiya “Integral'nye skhemy i mikroelektronnye moduli”. Sbornik dokladov. Moskva: Tekhnosfera, 2017. P. 60–62. (In Russian).