Time Sync Solutions

Crucial Mission of Sensor Fusion – Time Sync Technology

Autonomous vehicles and robotics have become a growing trend in various industries, including construction, agriculture, mining, and heavy machinery robotics. These machines are designed to operate independently without human intervention, which can help increase efficiency, reduce labor costs, and improve safety. Time synchronization technologies can help improve sensor synchronization by providing more accurate and detailed information about the environment. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the outdoor robotics market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 27.4% during the forecast period from 2021 to 2026, driven by the increasing demand for automation, advancements in sensor technologies, and the growing adoption of UAVs.

We understand the challenges associated with multi-sensor synchronization and focuses on five key areas to address these challenges: Mapping, Sensor Fusion, Localization, Navigation, and Calibration are indeed critical areas for ensuring accurate and reliable operation of autonomous vehicles and robotics. Using a combination of 3D LiDARs, cameras, IMU, GNSS, and Radar sensors to create a 3D point cloud of the environment is a common approach in the industry. Combining the data from these sensors into a single, comprehensive model of the environment through sensor fusion algorithms is also critical for tasks such as mapping, localization, obstacle detection, path planning, and more. Calibration is equally important to ensure that the data from each sensor is accurately synchronized and aligned, leading to reliable and precise operation of autonomous systems.

The solution offers three key technologies for time synchronization: Time Winding, Time Stamping, and Time Keeping. These technologies will improve multi-sensor synchronization, perception, precision, and positioning capabilities. The solution also provides a multi-channel Time of Day (ToD) and Pulse Per Second (PPS) output for external multi-sensors, a PTP/gPTP Gigabit Ethernet port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port for ROS 2/DDS pub/sub output. It includes a dual GNSS antenna for robot heading and integrates Movella MTi-670 high-precision 9-axis IMU. The software features include a daisy chain function that enables the expansion of synchronization channels for sensor nodes and controllers. The solution has already integrated the dual GNSS antenna and IMU yaw fusion algorithm and provides reliable information output through the Ethernet port. We also offer a user-friendly Python tool for easy configuration of synchronization protocols and frequency based on sensor requirements. The platform is based on Xilinx's Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, known for its high accuracy and reliability in synchronizing time-sensitive data across industrial networks.


Key Features


Time Winding

  • Align GNSS with sensor internal clock
  • Continuous PPS trigger to all nodes
  • Guarantee all sensor as same baseline

Time Stamping

  • Push time protocol to all nodes
  • Ensure all sensors are synced
  • Supports various frequency

Time Keeping

  • Time pulse and protocol keeping
  • High precision local time data
  • Anti-jamming


Software Features

Daisy Chain

  • Sensor node to sensor node sync
  • Controller to Controller sync
  • Auto calibration of latency
  • Expand the sync channels

Sensor Fusion

  • Dual GNSS and IMU yaw fusion
  • Integrated EKF algorithm
  • Allow custom sensor fusion algorithm

Python Tool

  • Friendly command line
  • Meet various sensors requirement
  • Support x86 and Arm-based system

To learn more about Vecow Time Sync Solutions, please contact info@vecow.com for more details.