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GNSS Reference Stations: 10 Real-World Field Applications


A Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference station uses a network of satellite-based systems to position and navigate points anywhere, whether on the ground or orbiting in space. These systems are accurate, lightweight, mobile for use in even the worst working conditions, and can dramatically increase productivity and efficiency while saving you both time and money.

As overhead costs continue to increase and markets become more competitive, getting the most out of your equipment has never been more important. Below are 10 real-world situations where GNSS reference stations can help you get the job done right and on budget.

1. Standalone installation in remote areas for crustal deformation monitoring

Many of today’s GNSS reference stations receive power from a solar panel system or internal battery and have built-in communications. This enables you to use the system to communicate through GSM or GPRS, periodically pushing files to an FTP site.

2. Temporary base station where no RTK network exists

A GNSS reference station enables you to establish a temporary base station or semi-permanent site for several months. Rovers can communicate through both radio and GPRS, and management of the GR base station can be done remotely. The system can be easily moved and the setup repeated.

3. Shared reference station on national borders

A GNSS reference station can accommodate multiple users and file types. You can stream raw data and push different files to various FTP locations in different countries, as well as monitor who connects to the site and the amount of overall traffic.

4. Continuous data logging and streaming

With a GNSS reference station, you can maintain network RTK operation without the need for an external UPS system. This is ideal for regions with unreliable power and communications.

5. Bridge monitoring in real time

In these complex situations, a reference station provides fast communications and a high level of data monitoring and accuracy.

6. Oil platform monitoring

A GNSS reference station enables full remote management of the system, integrated communication, and can include multiple ports.

7. Monitoring tall buildings

Reference stations provide a complete monitoring system including GNSS positioning, tilt, and meteorological parameters.

8. Single base station with restricted antenna location

Because it is sometimes impossible to put the antenna/receiver near a power source, GNSS reference stations can be installed up to 60 meters from the nearest power source, with the antenna up to an additional 70 meters away.

9. Connecting to your reference station with or without cables

If you arrive at the site and there is no Ethernet available, many reference stations can be set up using a mobile internet connection.

10. Long-term remote monitoring

Long-term remote monitoring projects like seismic or glacial measurements need a high capacity and must be reliable, sometimes for many years. Many of today’s GNSS reference stations use solar panel systems for power, with internal batteries for backup, and consume very little power.

If you need assistance choosing a reference station antenna or GNSS equipment, or would like additional guidance on using GNSS reference stations, please contact us. Our knowledgeable experts would be happy to assist you.