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Smartnet Expands through Merger with Pleiades Reference Station Network

Leica Geosystems Smartnet Expands

Merger gives GPS/GNSS users access to a broad array of tools and increased support from the industry-leading network RTK correction service.

Leica Geosystems Smartnet Expands through Merger with Pleiades Reference Station NetworkLeica Geosystems today announced that SmartNet North America (Leica Geosystems Smartnet www.smartnetna.com), the industry-leading high-precision, high-availability network RTK correction service, has merged with the Pleiades reference station network in Western Canada, operated by Pleiades Data Corp. and Spatial Technologies. The merger gives surveyors, engineers, contractors, GIS professionals and other GPS/GNSS users in the region access to the growing array of tools and enhanced support available from SmartNet North America.

The Pleiades network operates and supports more than 30 GPS reference stations throughout Alberta and British Columbia and is the trusted RTK network for professionals in Western Canada. The merger with SmartNet will strengthen the network by giving users access to a range of additional tools, including full network quality monitoring and a comprehensive user portal with live status maps and rover management. Users will also be able to take advantage of future expansions and enhancements to SmartNet. The network will continue to be supported by Spatial Technologies, the exclusive sales and authorized warranty service center for Leica Geosystems solutions in Western Canada.

“We are pleased to be able to support Pleiades network users with the SmartNet commitment to excellence,” said Wendy Watson, director of reference station operations–GNSS reference networks for Leica Geosystems. “We are working closely with Spatial Technologies to ensure that we continue to address the needs of the Alberta and British Columbia markets and will expand and enhance the network as needed to provide users with outstanding service.”

“Pleiades users will still have access to the same reliable, accurate and accessible RTK network they depend on for maximum productivity, but now they will have the added confidence of knowing that the network is supported by the industry-leading SmartNet service,” said Richard Andrews, vice president of Spatial Technologies. “The merger between Pleiades and SmartNet is a win for all professionals in Western Canada that use GNSS.”

For a map of current Pleiades stations, visit http://spatialtechnologies.ca/pleiades-reference-station-network.html. For more information about the SmartNet service, visit www.smartnetna.com or follow SmartNet on Twitter at @smartnet_na.

SmartNet North America – Any Constellation. Any Application. Open to All.
Launched in 2010, SmartNet is the first commercial GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) network to allow for a single connection point for coverages across North America. SmartNet currently contains more than 650 sites, providing both GPS only and GPS and GLONASS coverage to 26 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Built on the most advanced GNSS reference station software platform in the world, Leica Geosystems GNSS Spider, SmartNet provides high-precision, high availability network RTK corrections for any application throughout North America.

SmartNet is part of Hexagon, a leading global provider of design, measurement and visualization technologies that enable customers to design, measure and position objects, and process and present data.

Leica Geosystems – When it has to be right

Revolutionizing the world of measurement and survey for nearly 200 years, Leica Geosystems creates complete solutions for professionals across the planet. Known for premium products and innovative solution development, professionals in a diverse mix of industries, such as aerospace and defense, safety and security, construction, and manufacturing, trust Leica Geosystems for all their geospatial needs. With precise and accurate instruments, sophisticated software, and dependable services, Leica Geosystems delivers value every day to those shaping the future of our world.

Leica Geosystems is part of Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B; hexagon.com), a leading global provider of information technologies that drive quality and productivity improvements across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.

Guidelines for Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Surveying

Over the past decade Real Time Kinematic, RTK surveying  with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) has become common practice in geomatics.RTK Surveying with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

RTK surveying is a relative positioning technique which measures positions using two GNSS antennas in real time. One is setup on a static point with fixed coordinates and is known as the base station. It uses a high frequency radio to transmit its raw observations to the second unit (known as the rover) and then the rover uses both observations to compute a position relative to the base location in real-time. RTK surveying requires reliable communication between base and rover units and works best with short baselines as the precision of RTK measurements decreases as the baseline length increases.

Guidelines for Real-Time Kinematic – RTK Surveying

Real Time Networks have been developed as a method of extending range limitations between base-to-rover. RTNs make use of a several base stations together to collect GNSS observations that can be used with a rover to compute a position relative to the network solution in real-time. During the last few years more public and private RTNs have been rapidly increasing, providing larger coverage zones (mostly in higher populated regions). However due to the size of Canada and the availability and extent of RTN zones, RTK surveying remains to be the viable option in GPS surveying.RTK Surveying in Canada

Both RTK & RTN GNSS surveying can allow people to achieve relative positioning with centimetre (cm) precision, however there are several important factors that need to be considered and thus a need for a good guide of best practices (equipment calibration, errors, multipath, geometry, etc.). Therefore Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) put together a group of exports from various departments that came together to publish a new set of guidelines for RTK / RTN GNSS surveying in Canada in order to better assist the surveying community and the growing geomatics industry in Canada. Their goal was to provide the industry with a set of concise and easy to follow best practice guidelines that when followed can help users achieve centimetre level RTK/RTN survey accuracy.

You can download the 29 page PDF document with this link

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/earthsciences/pdf/Canada-RTK-UserGuide-v1_1-EN.pdf

Public Real Time Networks in Canada for RTK Surveying

[Article original published: Aug. 2013]



Post Update:
Since publishing this info last year, I have come across some other similar documents about RTK GNSS surveying from various other sources and have included the links to them below.


Top viewed GNSS Receivers

GNSS Receivers

Most viewed GNSS Receivers

Top 5 GNSS receivers on Geo-matching .com (based on user views)

Geo-matching provides a variety of the latest geospatial technical equipment used by professionals in the geomatics sector such as GNSS receivers.

Kronos GNSS systemsThis free online comparison service allows users to compare different geomatics equipment that has been peer reviewed from others in the Geospatial sector, and is a great way to help people decide what hardware they should consider purchasing.

Geo-matching is a product comparison style website for geomatics related devices and provides users with good overviews of total stations, UAVs, GNSS receivers, and other hardware used in the industry. K9-T GNSS

The GNSS category offers a variety of hardware including a variety of models such as the ProPak 6 by NovAtel, T300 by ComNav), APS-NR2 by Altus Positioning, UB370 High Precision, GR-5 by Topcon and the LT400HS by CHC Navigation.

If you have any experience with geomatics related GNSS hardware then you should consider visiting the site and sharing your experiences, so others in the geomatics community can benefit from your input.

The top GNSS receivers based on views from the geospatial community on Geo-matching.com were:

  1.  X91 GNSS – CHC Navigation
  2. V30 – Hi-Target
  3. A30 – FOIF
  4. Zenith 25 – Geomax
  5. R10 – Trimble

However we think that you should keep in mind this top 5 list is based on website views and you should really go to Geo-matching.com yourself, read the available material and user reviews; then decide for yourself which total station is best for you.

Check out some more top 5 lists from Geo-matching.com that feature geospatial technical equipment:

Top 5 Total Stations 

Top 5 UAVs for Mapping and 3D Modelling

Gamma Spectrometers


Geomares PublishingGeo-matching.com is part of Geomares Publishing, a publisher of books, magazines, websites, in topics related to Geomatics & Hydrography.

Geomares Publishing, Nieuwedijk 43, 8531 HK Lemmer, The Netherlands, Phone +31 (0)514 561854, email: info@geomares.nl

New Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum

Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum Diagram

New Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum

Geodetic reference systems stem from the need to have a consistent integrated reference surface for data analysis in applications such as surveying, cartography, navigation, remote sensing and mineral exploration. National Resources Canada (NRCan) maintains the Canadian Spatial Reference System (CSRS), through the use of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83CSRS) and has been an adopted standard in Canada.

NRCan has recently made a new Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum available: CGVD2013, which is now the new reference standard for Canadian reference heights. This new height reference system replaces the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1928 (CGVD28), which was adopted officially by an Order in Council in 1935 and has been used by organizations and individuals coast to coast for the past few decades.

“CGVD2013 is defined by the equipotential surface ( W0=62636856,0m2s?2 ), which represents by convention the coastal mean sea level for North America. This definition comes from an agreement between the United States of America and Canada. This new vertical datum is realized by the geoid model CGG2013, which provides the separation between the GRS80 ellipsoid and the above described surface in NAD83(CSRS) reference frame, making it compatible with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS.

The height of the benchmarks is also available in CGVD2013. These heights come from a readjustment of the entire federal first-order levelling network. However, CGVD2013 heights obtained from GNSS and geoid model CGG2013 prevail over the published elevations because NRCan cannot confirm the accuracy of the heights and stability of the benchmarks derived from the aging levelling network.

NRCan is continuing the publication of heights at benchmarks in CGVD28 and hybrid geoid model HTv2.0 to assure a smooth and gradual transition period to the new height reference system.”

CGG2013 is the Canadian gravimetric geoid model of 2013 realizing the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 (CGVD2013). The model comes with an accuracy model for the geoid heights. CGG2013 can be downloaded through the NRCan Geoid Models page. (User account required, but it is free to signup for one)

[image source: nrcan.gc.ca]