935 Stewart Drive
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Trimble Continues to Add Value to Precision Farming
New Field Computer and GPS Receiver Round Out AgGPS Product Line
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 11, 1999 -- Continuing to build on its commitment to the precision agriculture market, Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) introduced today its AgGPS™ 170 Field Computer and AgGPS 124 Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) receiver. As part of a field management system, these products allow farmers to utilize precise GPS data, guidance and computing technology to strategically map, measure and manage crop performance to improve productivity.
Trimble's agricultural products have been designed with flexibility in mind. Precision farmers can choose a Trimble receiver such as the AgGPS 122, 124 or 132, the AgGPS 170 Field Computer and the AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option (PSO) to build a field management system. This modular set of components allows existing AgGPS users to expand their hardware investment and add Trimble precision agricultural software applications, as they are needed.
AgGPS 170 Field Computer
Trimble's AgGPS 170 Field Computer was designed for the custom applicator, farmer and agribusiness consultant who want to add enhanced guidance, data logging and field mapping capabilities to their existing agriculture equipment. Compatible with Trimble's agriculture product line, the field computer is a rugged, top-of-the-line computing solution that was built to operate in extreme agriculture conditions. The computer can operate in temperatures ranging from -22 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or -30 to 60 degrees Celsius. A sunlight-readable, color display provides a clear view while mapping fields, applying ag materials or planting, day or night. The field computer utilizes Microsoft® Windows™ CE operating system for mobile applications, providing users a graphical interface while running Trimble precision agricultural software.
The AgGPS 170 provides enhanced field guidance when used with the Parallel Swathing Option, an economical, plug-and-play lightbar that visually helps farm vehicle operators minimize skip and overlap between field rows. The field computer's graphical display allows the operator to utilize multiple guidance patterns as well as view sprayed and unsprayed areas in different colors. Optional text read-outs can give the operator his/her position, speed, accumulated area sprayed, start and end times for spraying, average distance offline as well as other important data. The computer's software also allows the operator to store field and guidance information for reuse. The operator can easily move from one field to another and back to resume operations.
In addition to enhanced guidance, the AgGPS 170's software enables data logging and field mapping. Features of interest such as weeds, plant varieties or hazards in the field can be marked on-the-go as the operator plants or applies ag materials. All data is stored in Shape (*.SHP) and Dbase (*.DBF) file formats for easy integration with existing and new agriculture data. For easy file transfer, data is stored on a removable CompactFlash™ memory card. The system also provides sophisticated automated record keeping for geographic information system (GIS) analysis and customer billing.
AgGPS 124 Differential GPS Receiver
The AgGPS 124 is the latest addition to Trimble's line of high performance differential GPS receivers for precision farming. It combines state-of-the-art GPS positioning technology with a differential correction receiver in a single package. As a part of a precision agriculture system, the AgGPS 124 outputs sub-meter GPS position information to a variety of farming equipment, including Trimble's AgGPS 170 Field Computer and Parallel Swathing Option, or other equipment including yield monitors, planters and soil sampling controllers.
The receiver was designed with a built-in display and keypad for easy installation and set up. The AgGPS 124 receives free GPS satellite signals and free differential correction broadcasts from government-established navigation beacon reference stations around the world. The beacon differential correction receiver is a Trimble proprietary, all-digital design allowing it to receive corrections at distances of hundreds of miles from the reference stations. These beacon stations provide differential correction information that enables the AgGPS 124 to output repeatable position information, without the requirement of setting up and managing a reference station on the farm.
The GPS receiver includes a high accuracy, 12-channel engine. It provides sub-meter differential accurate positions and offers differential speed accuracy of better than 0.1 mile per hour (0.16 kph). The positions are computed using robust differential processing techniques, allowing the user to begin operation a few seconds after the receiver is switched on. To ensure that the AgGPS 124 can be powered by the machine's system, it has been designed to operate from a wide range of input voltages, from 10 to 32 volts. The AgGPS 124 receiver also includes the Controller Area Network (CAN/J1939) interface protocol, a multiplexed network used in agriculture, construction and automotive industries for controlling and monitoring electronic subsystems.
The AgGPS 170 Field Computer is expected to be available in June and the AgGPS 124 DGPS receiver is anticipated to be available in Feb.; both products are available through Trimble's Precision Agricultural Systems Dealers.
Trimble is a world leader in designing and developing innovative products enabled by GPS technology. The company provides end-user and OEM solutions for diverse applications including surveying, mapping/GIS, agriculture, mining, military, commercial aviation, automotive, vehicle tracking and timing. Founded in 1978, Trimble now holds more than 200 U.S. patents on GPS and related technology, with over 180 additional patents pending. Located in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has been adding value to GPS since 1984.