Septentrio: Industrial and Mechanical Design for GNSS Smart Antenna Device

“Besides bringing additional capacity to the project team, which enabled us to move forward faster, Huld also infused the team with the needed expertise, coming both from internal experts and their vast partner network. Not only did we together build a product to open new market opportunities, but we have also built relationships to ensure we will remain successful in those markets.” – Wouter Franssens, R&D Manager, Septentrio 

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Septentrio designs and manufactures multi-frequency multi-constellation GNSS positioning technology for demanding applications. Septentrio products are noted for providing a consistent, accurate and reliable GPS/GNSS positioning even in the world’s remotest regions. 

To expand into new markets in GNSS solutions, Septentrio decided to develop a new GNSS smart antenna device with extensive connectivity features and high accuracy satellite-based positioning for agriculture and construction sites, allowing for example machines to operate autonomously. Septentrio chose Huld as their product development partner with strong expertise in product design. 

Iterative Industrial and Mechanical Design 

The work started with concepting the GNSS smart antenna device. While reference was taken from existing products, completely new solutions were also designed to pack the smart antenna with functions that had not been incorporated into one, single device before. 

After concepting, the collaboration continued with industrial and mechanical design to fit all the utilities into a small space functionally and aesthetically. From prototype to prototype and version to version, the work flowed iteratively in close cooperation. High-level IP rating (IP69k) and ISO 16750-3’s demanding shock and vibration requirements were carefully implemented.  

In addition to industrial and mechanical design, Huld’s specialists supported Septentrio with electronics design, technical calculation, RF design, and 3D printing. Huld’s extensive partner network proved to be important in testing the smart antenna. The collaboration was done remotely with Septentrio residing in Belgium and Huld specialists in Finland. Communication was smooth and transparent. 

Market-Ready GNSS Smart Antenna Device 

After the final acceptance tests, the GNSS smart antenna device is ready for market. With the state-of-the-art product, new market opportunities will open for Septentrio.  

Antenna devices have very strict certifications they need to pass, and different operators in different countries each have their own requirements. For example, the radio signal needs to be powerful yet not interfering with other devices. We made sure Septentrio’s smart antenna device complies with all of the requirements.” – Panu Kanniainen, Project manager, Huld. 

Check out a video of the device.