It is essential to acknowledge the importance of price or purchase value within the Topography and Geomatics equipment market. Therefore, this time we decided to share information about GNSS data capture using low-cost devices, as these have gained significant acceptance in the market. The demand for centimeter-level accuracy in various applications has been fueled by the increasing availability of low-cost GNSS chips in the mass geolocation market.
Autonomous vehicles are one of the most anticipated applications in the mass market, and most geolocation experts agree that for fully autonomous navigation, vehicles must achieve precise positioning within 20 to 30 cm horizontally. For many years, centimeter-level accuracy (2 to 10 cm) was exclusive to applications like Topography and Cartography. However, nowadays, the need for centimeter-level accuracy extends to applications such as Agriculture, Mining, Hydrography, GIS, Autonomous Driving, and Smartphones.
Data Capture with Low-Cost GNSS in Agriculture:
Agriculture is an application that already utilizes GNSS data, with many tractor manufacturers incorporating GNSS receivers into their models to enable tracking and, in some cases, automated control. Some precision activities within Agriculture include:
- Automated plowing, seeding, and crop dusting.
- Marking crop locations within farms.
- Potential for tracking herds and flocks.
- Use of UAV’s for monitoring and working on crop.
Data Capture with Low-Cost GNSS in Mining:
Due to the vast areas, complex terrain, and obstacles present in many mines, providing RTK correction through UHF radio can be challenging and expensive. RTK-NTRIP can offer broader coverage than UHF, allowing greater flexibility in exploration and mine development. In cases where there is no access to phone and internet networks, PPK flow could also be advantageous for low-cost GNSS data capture.
In Geographic Information Systems – GIS:
Geographic Information Systems are also used for mapping attributes and assets for insurance companies and other organizations. To achieve this, data must be collected along with precise location measurements obtained through a GNSS receiver or through PPP or RTK Signal Augmentation Services.
Some specialists argue that implementing centimeter-level accuracy in smartphones is not possible due to their low-quality and low-strength GNSS antennas. However, if the GNSS antenna issues were resolved, it is believed that computational demands, bandwidth requirements, and battery consumption of higher precision services would not act as a significant barrier to their adoption in smartphones.
But what if we add an external GNSS antenna to the smartphone?
The METATTEC X5 Mobile GNSS Receiver can be powered by the cell phone’s battery and receive differential corrections through NTRIP from a local base station provider.
In cases where there is no nearby NTRIP infrastructure, the PPK method can also be applied. With the X5 Mobile GNSS, centimeter-level accuracy is being democratized in various applications beyond Topography. We firmly believe that this device will enable more individuals and companies to access GNSS data capture due to its low cost.
In this time where it is not necessary to spend a large amount of money to have a range of high-quality equipment with excellent precision, we are introducing the X5 Mobile GNSS Receiver to the market. This device allows transforming a smartphone into a high-precision GNSS.