What is RTK?

More about Real-Time Kinematic

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Base station setup

To use RTK, a base station is needed plus the receiver (your GPS device). The base station is set up at a known, fixed location that has been surveyed. It has precise coordinates that are accurately measured, and is typically placed on a tripod or a permanent secure mount.

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(your GPS device)

This is the device you carry or install on a vehicle. It communicates with both the GPS satellites in the sky and the base station on the ground. The receiver and base station have a radio link to exchange data.

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GPS signals
from satellites

Both the base station and receiver get signals from the same GPS satellites orbiting Earth. The signals have information about the satellite’s location and the time it was transmitted.

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A base station calculates its position using the known coordinates as well as any differences with the GPS signals it receives. Differences can be caused by factors like atmospheric interference or signal delays. The base station sends correction data to the receiver in real-time, typically via radio or cellular signal.

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Receiver’s position

The receiver gets the corrected data from the base station and adjusts its own calculations. By comparing the data from the base station with the raw GPS signals it receives from the satellites, the receiver can determine its precise position with much higher accuracy.

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level accuracy

RTK can achieve extremely high accuracy. Precision is essential where exact positioning is crucial, like surveying land boundaries, guiding agricultural machines, ensuring construction projects are on target, or helping autonomous vehicles navigate safely.

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Real-time updates

The correction data is continuously updated and sent to the receiver as it moves. This ensures that the receiver always has the most accurate information, even if it’s on the move.

NEXT: What does RTKnet do?

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