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Fulfilling enhanced Location Accuracy in the Mass-market through Initial GalileO services

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FLAMINGO (Fulfilling enhanced Location Accuracy in the Mass-market through Initial GalileO services)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-01-31

FLAMINGO is a European initiative, part funded through the European GNSS Agency (GSA), that will provide a high accuracy positioning service to be used by mass market devices and applications within smart-city environments.

FLAMINGO will enable and demonstrate the future of high accuracy positioning and navigation information on mass-market devices such as smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices by producing a service delivering accuracies of 50cm (at 95%) and better, employing multi-constellation, PPP and RTK mechanisms, power consumption optimisation techniques as well as the GNSS raw measurements availability. FLAMINGO will deliver hardware and software that utilise the service to its full potential.
Overall, FLAMINGO is proposed as a direct response to the emerging trend for higher accuracy positioning on mass-market devices. By enabling high accuracy positioning on these devices FLAMINGO has direct benefit to environmental and social applications providing a low-cost approach for the implementation of added capabilities and improved features without the need for additional hardware. By targeting accuracies of a few decimetres, a range of improved and new applications in diverse market sectors are introduced. These sectors include, but are not limited to, mapping and GIS, eHealth, AR environments, mobile-location based gaming and lifestyle applications.
Presently, Satellite Navigation GNSS positioning on available smartphones is, at very best, to an accuracy of 5-10 m, depending on the surrounding environment. Whilst mass-market receivers are yet to achieve accuracies below a few metres for standard positioning, a number of technology triggers have been facilitating the opportunity over the past few years. These include the Google raw GNSS measurements API and associated toolsets, the GSA Whitepaper providing guidance on using the raw measurements, and the commercialisation of several dual frequency Smartphone handsets as the early adopters of the API.

It is important to note that high accuracy positioning for mass market devices is still in its early days. The aforementioned technology triggers have led to academic R&D with experimental solutions that demonstrate the potential of all these newly available tools. To become mass market, handset manufacturers need to integrate the new GNSS chipsets with raw measurements into their devices and subsequently there will be a period of device churn before they become common place in the market. Service providers need to establish infrastructure, develop positioning services and solutions, and developers need to integrate this into their applications.

The purpose of FLAMINGO is to develop these first-generation services and solutions and to demonstrate to key stakeholders with the intention that they become early adopters. Demonstrations to stakeholders will be in the form of long duration showcase events in three Smart Cities locations across Europe (Barcelona, Toulouse and the Gdansk), and developer engagement will be through participation in, and theme sponsorship of, technology hackathons aimed at developers of recreational activity, logistics, gaming, professional and lifestyle applications.
The project started on 1/11/2017 and will have a duration of 30 months.

Under WP1- User, Application & Market Analysis, ongoing throughout the project, the consortium has undertaken a first in-depth analysis of the user segment and target markets in order to capture the market and user needs for the FLAMINGO service. The main results of this activities are three folded. First, with regards to the market analysis task, the consortium has identified 13 GNSS applications as core target applications for FLAMINGO, requiring horizontal accuracy between 10cm and 50cm and having a large user base/number of downloads. There are: Mapping & GIS, Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), Mobile games including augmented and virtual reality games, Applications for drones, Infrastructure monitoring, Smart Parking, Equipment Tracking, Location-based billing applications, Inspection of public places and utility networks, People tracking, ADAS applications and Smart Parking.
Secondly, based on the prioritisation of the target applications, the project has performed a first state-of-the-art review of key enabler technology for FLAMINGO: PPP, RTK, Assisted GNSS, Radio-Frequency technologies: Cellular network, Wi-Fi, UWB, SBAS and Signal authentication.
The third result was the first iteration of high-level issues and potential barriers to the market entry of FLAMINGO such as Privacy and Data protection implications, security and robustness of GNSS-based solutions or LBS-specific standards.

Based on the findings from WP1, the project has defined the high-level architecture and carried out a series of in-depth technological analysis of each FLAMINGO component to determine the system requirements and to explore, determine, trade-off and justify the project recommended approach (WP2- Requirements Definition).
Under the activities of WP3, the project has consolidated the FLAMINGO architectural and detailed design and generated the documentation that will guide the technical development throughout the remaining of the project.
At the time of this report, the consortium is mid-way through WP4- Prototype Development, which aims to implement the FLAMINGO design and develop all the prototype subsystems. The subsystems are being individually developed, integrated and tested before being brought together for a final integration activity in WP5. This includes component part selection, procurement and acceptance, development, coding and testing, component level assembly, integration and tests.
FLAMINGO is developing data and positioning services for high accuracy positioning and navigation on Smartphones, IoT and wearables. Whereas these services do exist for professional and transport-related users, there is nothing available that targets the mass market consumer. This has been identified within our Business Case activities as FLAMINGO’s unique selling point and makes FLAMINGO the state-of-the-art system. This is further substantiated by the fact that the project is closely followed by Google, the company that has facilitated the developments through the release of the raw measurements API. Developments within the remainder of the project will push the accuracy limits that will be available for integration into Smartphone Apps and IoT platforms.

The performances achievable from FLAMINGO along with the actual service can provide future researchers with a standard reference from which to improve, for instance with improved multipath detection and mitigation, noise elimination, GNSS processing, and sensor integration.
FLAMINGO provides a low cost positioning solution, something that is traditionally comes with a relatively high cost. Through the implementation of FLAMINGO into Apps that address different markets, it is foreseen that the project could have a direct socio-economic impact. Example Apps along with their socio-economic impact and have been identified within FLAMINGO are listed below.
• Health and well-being – mHealth and fitness Apps
• Sustainable land use – low cost Mapping and GIS
• Protecting heritage and cultural resources – Tourist and Mapping Apps
• Business opportunities, services and infrastructure – Apps to be used within Smartcity environments and for transport