Thoughts on Subscription GPS

Q. What improvements have been made recently in the signal technology?

A. One of the things that they used to talk about in the early days was how long it would take a high accuracy satellite signal to converge. It used to be that when you turned on a unit, you could expect it to take a half hour to 40 minutes before you could achieve maximum accuracy. That could be a major problem if your signal got blocked, and you had to wait that same amount of time to retrieve the signal again.

We made some modifications, and the latest firmware we are bringing out gets the convergence down to where 10 minutes is a relatively long time. We have discovered, however, that over the last year, this has become less of an issue as users have gained familiarity with these systems and are more comfortable and practiced at handling them. That said, we feel it’s a significant improvement to the system that makes it easier for everyone. GPS manufacturers are still working to implement this change into their products, so while we’ve made it available, it will be a few months or more before the end user experiences the improvements.

Q. What are end users looking for in accuracy?

A. What they are looking for is sufficient accuracy to do planting and strip-till with automatic steering systems. That has been the holy grail for some time, and really when these dual frequency solutions were introduced that was the necessary leap from sub-meter to just a few inches. Now, the accuracy requirements are being fulfilled.

Q. What about repeatability?

A. People talk about repeatability, and with an RTK system properly set up you can achieve it to within an inch. But those people who are receiving a signal 14 miles away from an RTK base station are getting accuracy that is really no better than what we can provide, maybe even less accurate.

With an RTK system properly set up and operating close to the base station, you should be able to come back to within an inch of where you were. Whereas with HP or XP, you can come back the next year and be 3 inches or 4 inches off — but normally, you can see it. In agriculture we don’t operate in a featureless environment — there are guides. I might be off 2 inches, which might not be a big deal anyway because I can adjust to that 2 inches with a nudge, then away I go.

Q. Any changes to the service available?

A. We recently introduced partial-year subscriptions, so if you know you will only be using the signal for part of the year you can order it that way.

Q. Anything new with satellites or satellite coverage?

A. A lot of that is longer term. GLONASS just put up three more satellites that are not operational yet, and they are planning to put up another six in 2008. So looking forward, GLONASS-capable receivers will mean that satellite availability will become less of an issue. Blockage from trees and obstacles will not be as big a problem because you will have additional satellites. We are generating GLONASS corrections and putting them over our satellites, so that is, in one sense, becoming available. It’s there and it’s being used for specialized applications, but the necessary receivers are unlikely to be widely available for agriculture. It will be another year or two down the road before GLONASS-capable ag receivers are common.

Q. Any observations on manufacturers and receiver quality?

A. Each new model that comes out from all the manufacturers has more capabilities — the capacity to track more satellites, lower noise, better accuracy, and more features. I was at a Trimble event recently, and its latest technology is really impressive. But other manufacturers such as Leica and Topcon have terrific new technology, and Hemisphere is just coming out this year with a dual frequency receiver.

Q. Why is dual frequency important?

A. Dual frequency receivers use two of the GPS frequencies, L1 and L2. Up until a few years ago those were exclusively used by surveyors who wanted high accuracy, and because of cost the ag market used only single frequency L1 only. With L1, you really cannot get better than submeter accuracy. People who are serious about automatic steering and planting and strip-till being within an inch or two, need a dual frequency receiver. Dual frequency permits better compensation for atmospheric errors and helps with the complex calculations required for high accuracy (carrier phase) positioning. This is really where the growth is in the market today.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trends Stories
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Education and Big Data
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
BusinessGMO Aphids to Battle Weeds? It’s Not as Far Fetched as You Think…
September 21, 2016
No, I am not talking about optimizing aphids for a global agricultural armageddon. That would be silly. I’m talking about Read More
Best PracticesPrecision Ag’s Role in Getting Nitrogen Right For a Better Environment
September 2, 2016
Scientists can be forgiven for thinking that when they come up with optimized methods for accomplishing some task, end-users will Read More
Drone Technology in UK
BusinessFire Up Those Drones! FAA Part 107 is Live
August 29, 2016
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Today is a day that many in this industry have been awaiting for quite some time. With today’s Read More
Trending Articles
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA President
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Education and Big Data
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
Robotics AGCO Fendt Guide Connect
Market ImpactReport: Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billion Market By 2022
September 7, 2016
Robots and drones have begun to quietly transform many aspects of agriculture. In fact, the IDTechEx Research report on Agricultural Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
BusinessMZB Technologies, Climate FieldView Announce Data Integration for 2017 Season
September 6, 2016
MZB Technologies announces a data connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., providing increased precision agriculture Read More
Deere R4023 cab
BusinessReport: Smart Agriculture Market Worth $19 Billion By 2021
September 6, 2016
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Smart Agriculture Market – With Forecast (2016-2021)” report to their offering. Read More
Latest News
BusinessFarm Bureau Insurance Services, Granular Announce Partn…
September 29, 2016
American Farm Bureau Insurance Services (AFBIS Inc.), a Managing General Agent (MGA) for Approved Insurance Providers (AIP’s), has partnered with Read More
Sentera Rise Above
BusinessRise Above Selected To Resell Sentera Solutions Through…
September 28, 2016
Sentera, LLC, a global provider of remote sensing hardware and data management solutions signs a reseller agreement with Rise Above Read More
Western Canada Wheat field
DataFarmers Edge Partners With New Holland Dealer
September 28, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Mazergroup, North America’s largest Read More
A Satshot NDVIR analysis running on an iPad.
BusinessSatshot’s Landscout IOS Now API Linked With John …
September 28, 2016
Satshot’s Landscout IOS mobile software is now connected with the John Deere Operations Center through John Deere’s API services. Landscout Read More
Ag Drone
BusinessDroneDeploy Launches Turbo Uploader
September 27, 2016
DroneDeploy today announced a new solution that addresses drone data portability challenges in remote areas that have Internet bandwidth constraints. Read More
FUSE Farm Graphic
DataAGCO Is Founding Member Of The DKE Data-Hub Initiative
September 26, 2016
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced its participation as a founding member of the DKE Read More
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA Preside…
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
BusinessADAPT Conversion Toolkit Making In Roads With Equipment…
September 22, 2016
A leading group of equipment manufacturers will soon release products that greatly enhance a grower’s ability to manage data across Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Educati…
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge Awarded $6.1M Investment From Sustainable …
September 21, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has announced that it will receive $6,107,563 Read More
BusinessGMO Aphids to Battle Weeds? It’s Not as Far Fetch…
September 21, 2016
No, I am not talking about optimizing aphids for a global agricultural armageddon. That would be silly. I’m talking about Read More
Young Corn Field
Best PracticesNitrogen: The Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
September 20, 2016
Precision ag can play a key role in reducing agriculture’s impact on greenhouse gases by limiting the nitrogen rate. Read More
W. Wade Robey, Raven
Industry NewsRaven Adds New Director Of Engineering
September 19, 2016
W. Wade Robey, Ph.D., joined Raven Applied Technology in August 2016 as Director of Engineering. In this role, he leads Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
BusinessOPINION: Climate Corp. is the Jewel in Bayer’s Monsanto…
September 15, 2016
PERSPECTIVE: Over the next few days and weeks in the ag media space the major players will examine this latest Read More
Sugarcane India
Market ImpactPlantations International Brings Precision Farming Tech…
September 14, 2016
Hong Kong-based plantation and farm management company Plantations International has announced it is moving its contact centre from the Indian Read More
Corn close up
Start-UpsLewis & Clark Ventures Raises $20 Million For Agric…
September 13, 2016
Lewis & Clark Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Series A and B stage investments, has announced $20 million Read More
BusinessSentera Joins Forces With Another Drone Distributor
September 13, 2016
Sentera has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dynamic UAV Solutions North America, LLC, a new distributor in the commercial Read More