Interruptions to your RTK positioning are going to happen. How many times have you been relying on and gathering positioning data only to find you’ve lost your connection to RTK corrections? Bad weather or distance degrades the quality of your correction signal, you may experience outages from trees or moving vehicles, or sometimes you simply have a bad connection. How do you reduce the impact of these outages?
RTK, or real-time kinematic, is a positioning method providing centimeter-level solutions and a reliable choice across many industries like agriculture, marine, survey, and automotive. This positioning technique produces regional corrections transmitted over a UHF radio or cellular network.
RTK performance depends on this infrastructure – base stations need to be operational, radios require line of sight, and cell phones depend on a constant data connection. Obstructions, dead spots, and base station limitations are familiar foes of every RTK operator. The loss of line of sight or a dropped signal, even for a few seconds, degrades RTK performance and impacts your work.
Correction Services by Hexagon | NovAtel® help mitigate the risk of RTK outages by extending the availability of your centimeter-level positioning.
How RTK ASSIST Works
Subscription-based RTK extension services, like RTK ASSIST™ and RTK ASSIST PRO™, help receivers maintain centimeter-level positioning accuracy during local RTK correction outages. We provide these services through TerraStar® Corrections Services by NovAtel over Precise Point Positioning (PPP) satellite technology. Running these services through PPP allows NovAtel to extend correction services beyond what is possible with an RTK-only solution. The satellite connection runs in the background, delivering corrections over L-Band frequencies to your L-Band enabled receiver, meaning that no additional devices, antennas, cables, or communications connectivity are required. The receivers switch to using PPP corrections as soon as RTK signals are lost.
The L-Band delivered corrections continue to provide the centimeter-level accuracy your work requires until the RTK correction signal recovers, the system times out, or position accuracy degrades beyond a defined threshold. Once the system reestablishes the RTK connection, the receiver switches back to the RTK network. All of this is done seamlessly by the GNSS receiver, with no interruption to your workflow.
Powered by TerraStar PPP technology, NovAtel’s RTK ASSIST services deliver correction data obtained through our global reference station network to provide a consistent and reliable solution to users around the globe.
When Do I Need RTK ASSIST Services?
RTK ASSIST services act as a lifeline to preserve the availability of a centimeter-level position so that you can continue working through any RTK correction outages. We offer two solutions: RTK ASSIST and RTK ASSIST PRO.
- Maintains independent centimeter-level positioning for up to 20 minutes of RTK correction outages.
- Seamlessly handles short outages resulting from tree lines, buildings, low bandwidth of cellular networks, or other disruptions.
- After an initial RTK fix, activates whenever an RTK outage occurs.
RTK ASSIST PRO
- Unlocks unlimited RTK assistance, maintaining independent centimeter-level accuracy over prolonged RTK correction outages.
- Provides independent centimeter-level positioning for operation in areas with no RTK base or network coverage.
- Extends positioning availability for regions with large project areas where dropped signals or lost base station lines of sight are frequent hazards.
- Works continuously in the background of your operations, active whenever RTK is not available.
These services are possible with TerraStar PPP technology that relies on L-Band delivery of correction data instead of local networks. We can easily activate these services on your existing RTK systems; there is no additional hardware or setup required to activate and use RTK ASSIST or RTK ASSIST PRO.
Because of NovAtel’s position as a leader in GNSS and GPS technology, we have an established PPP network that we can share with RTK users through these correction services. It’s just one of many benefits of choosing NovAtel as a technology provider.
PPP versus RTK Corrections
Since PPP correction technology is different from traditional RTK, there are some considerations to keep in mind.
L-Band satellite signals that deliver PPP corrections during RTK outages can still be degraded or blocked by obstructions, such as from buildings or a row of trees. The positioning continues during these disruptions, but accuracy may degrade over time.
Your GNSS receiver must also be able to reconcile coordinate differences between your local RTK datum and the global PPP datum. Once you have an RTK fix, NovAtel receivers like OEM7® and SMART7™ resolve these differences for you.
Pushing the Limits of Accuracy and Reliability
RTK is a reliable solution providing instant, centimeter-level positioning. With applications across industries from agriculture to surveying and mapping, to unmanned vehicles and marine vessels, RTK enables the high-level accuracy required for your projects.
RTK extension services like RTK ASSIST and RTK ASSIST PRO extend the operational time of your RTK service for applications demanding continuous high accuracy and solution availability. We improve productivity by reducing the downtime caused by RTK correction signal outages. Our RTK ASSIST services empower users to have a back-up system no matter what disruptions come their way.