“What is the latest firmware?” is a refrain many in the high-precision positioning community are quite familiar with. For GNSS equipment, firmware is what keeps your equipment current with changes in constellations and orbit and clock resources, but more often it’s new developments and algorithms (you may be benefitting from developments not even dreamt of way back when you first bought the gear). Few users fully understand the work that goes into developing new firmware versions: balancing user needs with the capabilities of the hardware, adding new features, and trying to get the most out of the gear. It takes someone like Topcon’s Elena Kruzhkova to balance and direct firmware development.
After graduating from the Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics, Elena Kruzhkova worked in the development of firmware for various control and automation device developers before joining Topcon in 2005. She worked as a firmware engineer in Topcon’s development team in Moscow, moving into engineering management roles. Elena is now firmware engineering manager at Topcon’s Livermore, CA, operation, leading firmware development and various R&D projects for automation control.