In 2021, with all the modern construction techniques we have at our disposal, how important is it to accurately survey the land now? Believe it or not, it’s more important than ever that the land built upon is accurately surveyed and accounted for. Because we have so many different construction techniques and systems put in place to create large-scale infrastructure, it’s more important than ever that the area is mapped out and planned out beforehand, so that things do not have to stop and adjust in real-time when projects are being constructed. This is why the surveying equipment one can use is getting better and a lot more accurate.
One of the most accurate pieces of the surveying equipment that you’re ever going to find is the RTK GPS device. RTK systems stand for Real-Time Kinematics, and these systems can tap into the satellites in space used for the GPS network yet hone in so incredibly accurately on that signal that surveyors can get their measurements within centimeters of distance. Imagine taking a picture from outer space and pinpointing a location within that tight of a space. It’s a really amazing system and why everyone in the surveying industry should be using one. But how does one use an RTK system? Here is a brief guide on how to do that.
A Brief Guide on Using RTK GPS Surveying Devices
1: Read the Manual and Get Some Practice
The first thing we want to stress is that this is an abbreviated guide. There are a lot of steps and a whole lot of information that you will have to get elsewhere, like from an instruction manual or from a physical instructor. So, we think it would be best if the first thing you did was to carefully read the instruction manual and to work with someone to use this RTK GPS system so that you can get the hang of using things and learn how to set one better up.
2: Start with Updating the Firmware
Before you use your RTK systems for any actual job-site work, you want to make sure that you’re running the latest firmware. The last thing you want is for your system to receive old images. The whole premise of RTK is that it operates in real-time, but it can only do this with properly updated firmware. Again, this is where that manual comes in, as you will want to ensure that both the base and the rover receivers have the latest firmware installed on them.
3: Set Up Your Base
Next up is setting up your base to actually get ready to survey the area. Choose between a temporary base and a static base. The static base is more accurate and permanent but takes longer to set up. So, decide which sort of base you will need. You could get your data from a public feed, but it’s not nearly as reliable as your own base. You will need your receiver, u-blox, GPS antenna, ground plate, and a lot of other stuff that we simply cannot cover here. So, of course, let’s refer back to that manual and physical training with someone to set these systems up.
4: Set Up Your Rover
After your base is set up and ready to go, it’s time to get your rover connected. This is likely the easiest step here, as your rover is just going to be connected so that it can communicate with the receiver. However, this is actual software here, and there are plenty of options from which to choose. There is no way we can tell you which ones to select, as we have no idea what sort of job you will be doing. At the risk of beating that poor horse, you’re going to have to practice the setup or get into that manual to find out the exact settings that you need.
5: Test and Calibrate
After everything is set up and operational, you definitely want to toy around with your system a little bit to measure its accuracy. The first few times you set your system up, you will have to calibrate it and really dial it in. After you’ve been using the system for a while, things are going to get easier for you, and you will be able to just plug and play.
It will require patience and practice to set these systems up. The best thing you can do is ensure that the RTK equipment you have is high-end so that everything is easier and more accurate for you.
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