935 Stewart Drive
Post Office Box 3642
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Trimble Adds Significant Upgrades to Aerial Guidance System
New AgPGS Trimflight 3 Products Increase Aerial Applicator's Productivity
SUNNYVALE, Calif., August 7, 2001 - Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) introduced today significant new capabilities to its AgGPS® TrimFlight 3 system, which provides Global Positioning System (GPS)-based guidance for aerial applicators. All the new products are designed to offer AgGPS TrimFlight 3 users tools to increase the uniformity, effectiveness and overall productivity of aerial application projects. In addition, new software includes the capabilities needed to bid on USDA-APHIS boll weevil eradication contracts.
The new capabilities include AgGPS ViewTrack software, the AgGPS Automatic Flow control option, Real-Time Weather information, and the AgGPS 23 Exterior Mount Lightbar.
The AgGPS Trimflight 3 system was first introduced to the market in 2000. It helps professional agriculture aviators increase productivity and efficiency by using GPS-based guidance for aerial applications, mapping and recordkeeping. The modular system integrates Trimble's AgGPS 132 differential GPS (DGPS) receiver with an AgGPS Lightbar and the AgGPS 170 Field Computer running software developed for the aerial agriculture market. The system records all flight and application information directly onto a CompactFlash data card using the ESRI Shapefile format. Field boundaries, mapped features, coverage logging and track plots can be quickly transferred to an office computer. The data can then be played back and used to prepare reports and plots with the AgGPS ViewTrack software or by a wide range of Geographic Information System (GIS) software.
"The AgGPS Trimflight 3 system combines positioning, guidance and field computing technology that enables aerial applicators to increase productivity and efficiency," said Ron Hyatt, senior vice president and general manager of Trimble's Agriculture Division. "The system's added capabilities can also increase the user's job scope, further increasing their profitability."
New Software Capabilities
The AgGPS ViewTrack software allows users and compliance officials to review the flight, which is a requirement to bid on boll weevil eradication contracts. The USDA contract compliance inspectors use the playback software to see that the fields have been sprayed properly. They review the flight for items such as cross track error to make sure the pilot was not leaving areas of skipped application. The AgGPS ViewTrack software has been approved by the USDA for use on the boll weevil project eradication program.
The Automatic Flow Control capability enables a constant application rate of ag materials independent of the airplane speed. As the plane speeds up and slows down, the Flow Control option increases or decreases the application rate, which provides a uniform application. In addition, the Flow Control capability enables variable-rate prescriptions and exclusion zones to be done automatically.
The Real-Time Weather information capability allows for real-time display of ground weather data transmitted by radio from a weather station, including wind direction, wind speed, temperature, pressure and relative humidity. Weather information is used by the pilot to prevent undesired spray drift. The supported aviation-grade weather station is DigiWx weather station from Belfort Instruments. This weather-recording capability is a world's first for a GPS aerial guidance system. Wind barbs, temperature and humidity can also be viewed in AgGPS Viewtrack to graphically show that the spray was applied within allowable weather conditions.
New Hardware Choice
Trimble's new AgGPS 23 Exterior Mount Lightbar now allows customers a choice between the AgGPS 21 cockpit mounted or an externally mounted lightbar. Either lightbar provides easy-to-use sub-meter accuracy guidance for pilots during aerial applications of agricultural products. The AgGPS 23 external lightbar has standard offline LEDs, as well as three Approach Zone LEDs, a 16-character text display and a heading error needle.
The AgGPS ViewTrack software, AgGPS Automatic Flow Control option, Real-Time Weather information capability and the AgGPS 23 Exterior Mount Lightbar are all available for new and existing TrimFlight 3 system customers through Trimble's Agriculture dealer network.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808