Modern technology has significantly increased agricultural productivity and farmers around the world are now developing new techniques to practice precision agriculture, which makes autosteering devices and RTK GPS receivers increasingly a hit. However, there is one technology that plays an essential role in precise positioning-- NTRIP Protocol. In this article, we will talk about NTRIP technology and its affordable alternative.
1.What is NTRIP?
NTRIP is a protocol used to send differential GPS data online. It was developed in Germany in the early 2000s. The invention of NTRIP changed the conundrum that GNSS data had been transmitted via radio signals. Based on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol HTTP/1.1, NTRIP can transmit both differential correction data and other types of GNSS data.
NTRIP is widely used in many areas such as geological surveying and mapping, precision agriculture, engineering, construction, etc. In precision agriculture, it is commonly used to achieve precise RTK positioning and improve land use efficiency and productivity.
2.How does NTRIP work?
The NTRIP system is comprised of three major components: the caster, the server base, and the client rover. The caster can be regarded as a communication line, whose key function is to transmit GNSS data between the NTRIP server and the NTRIP client.
Adjusted GNSS data is transferred from the NTRIP server to the NTRIP caster through the server base. Using a single reference station, the client rover makes real-time corrections based on GNSS data or RTK locations received over the Internet (also known as an RTK network).
3.Is NTRIP free?
Some NTRIP networks are managed by states thus free, while most are maintained privately and can be expensive. Fees may vary in different countries and regions. However, the fundamental logic is that the data processing center charges fees according to the login status and online duration of the rover. Therefore, users must log in with a legal username and password to facilitate data management.
4.Things you need to know when using NTRIP service:
4.1 Contact a reliable supplier before enabling NTRIP service
Having a suitable NTRIP service supplier is not easy, especially in remote or underdeveloped areas, so a reliable supplier is very important. After that, you also need to confirm with the supplier the best mount point for you.
4.2 Use legitimate information to create a NTRIP account
After getting in touch with the supplier, you need to create an account with a valid username and password, because the NTRIP client needs a legal identity to connect to the NTRIP caster to ensure network and data security.
4.3 Insert access credentials for the closest NTRIP mount point
Locate the nearest mount point and insert the network access credentials. This may take you lots of time. In the harvest season, time means money.
4.4 Manually complete NTRIP data input
Based on the supplier's service, you will also need to manually fill in the NTRIP data as well as the current information. One thing to note is that each time you log back in, you'll need to repeat this step.
4.5 Reset data and re-contact NTRIP supplier if the location is changed
Of course, NTRIP itself has some drawbacks. When you change locations, you may need to switch to a different NTRIP supplier. Therefore, data resetting and supplier investigation will be needed.
4.6 Annual service charges of NTRIP could be high
NTRIP suppliers charge for its service annually. Although the charges vary from place to place, they can always be a heavy burden.
4.7 NTRIP is unavailable without internet
NTRIP is highly dependent on the Internet. Therefore, cellular network coverage is required to enable its internet connection. That means if the surveying ground is beyond Internet coverage, NTRIP will be unavailable.
5.Is there a better choice to save money?
There'll always be a solution to things. If you find it cumbersome to switch providers or reset data, or if the subscription fee is too high, you can take a look at FJD RTK Base Station.
Used to provide radio RTK correction signal, FJD RTK Base Station can achieve centimeter-level accuracy of the positioning and navigation system. It corrects the GNSS signal to achieve 2.5 cm accuracy of positioning. You can set it up as a permanent base in a suitable mount point. Since it’s able to receive steady signals from 16 frequency bands of 5 satellite navigation systems, it’s free from geographical restrictions and available worldwide. What’s more, the cost of RTK Base Station is also very reasonable. After purchase, you’ll be entitled to lifetime usage without extra annual fees or other service charges.