Accurate and reliable GPS positioning is crucial for a range of industries. Such as precision agriculture, surveying, and construction. Two popular technologies that offer centimeter-level accuracy are the RTK base station and NTRIP service. While both technologies have their strengths, choosing the right one for your specific needs can be challenging. Such as for a tractor autosteer system.
In this blog, we'll explore the differences between the RTK base station and NTRIP service, including their advantages and limitations. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of which technology is right for your tractor GPS guidance system.
Must-know of RTK Base Station
1. What Does RTK Stand For?
The very first thing you should know is to figure out what does RTK stand for? It is short for Real-Time Kinematic. An RTK base station is a piece of hardware that receives signals from GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) satellites and provides highly accurate positioning information with centimeter-level accuracy. RTK base station is typically set up on a fixed location on the farm and provides corrections to the auto steer system via UHF radio. RTK base stations are suitable for farms with poor network coverage, no NTRIP service available or high subscription fees for NTRIP service.
2. How Does RTK Work
It is easy to explain what does RTK stand for. But it takes some time to make people understand how does RTK work.
There are three steps to explain how does RTK work.
First, one GPS receiver is placed in a known location with its position precisely determined. Second, another GPS receiver, called the rover or mobile unit, is placed in an unknown location where its position needs to be determined. Then, the base station continuously receives signals from GPS satellites and sends correction signals to the rover unit, which corrects its measurements and determines its precise location with centimeter-level accuracy.
Based on the high-accuracy positioning of RTK technology, it is now commonly used in areas like precision agriculture, surveying, construction, mapping and so on.
3. Find an RTK Base Station Near Me
You probably wonder if there is any RTK base station near me. The answer is positive. FJD RTK Base Station is an excellent example. Generally speaking, it covers a radius of 5km, receiving signals from 16 frequency bands of 5 satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GALILEO, QZSS) for maximum accuracy and dependability no matter where you are. Designed with convenience in mind, the FJD RTK Base Station comes equipped with a built-in anti-interference, high-gain antenna, and a high-performance receiver to receive more satellite signals. The automated channel detection minimizes user operations. Additionally, it also boasts an IP65 industrial protection rating, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor operating environments. The dual-battery provides a 12-hour duration and the AC power supply supports hot plugging. Thus it can be replaced without powering off. Continuous outdoor farming operation is guaranteed.
Where to find an RTK base station near me? This a question that FJD RTK Base Station will fix for you for good.
Must-know of NTRIP Service
1. What is NTRIP Service?
Similarly, figuring out what is NTRIP service will help you make a more informed choice between RTK and NTRIP. NTRIP (Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol) streams correction data from a base station to a rover via the Internet. Then users achieve centimeter-level accuracy positioning based on this data. Therefore, when the operation area has good network coverage and an NTRIP service provider is available nearby, the NTRIP service will be a better choice.
2. How Does NTRIP Work
It works by establishing a network connection between a GNSS rover and a base station, which provides correction data, typically in RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) format.
It consists of three main parts: The NTRIP caster, The NTRIP server base, and the NTRIP client rover
- The NTRIP caster: an HTTP Internet service, acting as a line of communication between the NTRIP server and NTRIP clients.
- The NTRIP server base: transfers GNSS data corrections from the NTRIP server to the NTRIP caster.
- The NTRIP client rover: accesses GNSS data from the NTRIP caster for RTK positioning using single reference stations or RTK networks. Additionally, it sends request messages to the caster in order to receive data.
3. List of Free NTRIP Service
Not all NTRIP services are free. Some service providers charge for access to their NTRIP caster network, while others offer a limited amount of free data or a free trial period. The cost of NTRIP services depends on factors such as the level of accuracy required, the type of correction data provided, and the amount of traffic on the network.
However, there are some free NTRIP services available. We have collected them and made them a list. Check it below to find the free NTRIP service in your area:
3.1 Providers in America
3.2 Providers in Europe
Click here to check providers in Europe
3.3 Providers in other countries
RTK Base Station vs NTRIP Service, Which One to Choose?
When it comes to choosing the right system for your farm, several factors should be considered, including the cost, the network conditions and movable convenience. Let's go through it one by one.
Investing in an RTK Base Station is a one-time cost. Like FJD RTK Base Station, after purchasing, you'll be entitled to lifetime usage without extra annual fees or other service charges. while Ntrip services require recurring subscription fees. The cost of using the Ntrip service can add up to a significant amount as time goes by. Therefore, an RTK Base Station would be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.
2. Network Condition
Both Ntrip and RTK Base Stations offer sub-centimeter level accuracy. However, Ntrip services may be affected by network congestion or signal loss. With RTK base stations transmitting correction signals via UHF radio, it won't be affected by network conditions. Furthermore, an RTK base station provides the advantage of being able to cover a local area without depending on external networks or infrastructure. This makes it a good option for farms located in remote or rural areas.
3. Movable Convenience
The NTRIP service relies heavily on network signals. If there's no signal, poor signal, or the area is outside the server's coverage, it won't be able to provide location information. On the other hand, the RTK Base Station is much more adaptable, allowing users to move it to any desired location. To ensure accurate positioning services, simply position the RTK Base Station in an open area free from obstructions or electromagnetic interference.
In summary, although both technologies offer sub-centimeter level accuracy, choosing the right one for your tractor GPS guidance system can still be time-consuming.
Just remember the above steps: First, to figure out what does RTK stand for and how it works. Then find the RTK base station near me after locating the RTK service providers. Coming next is to understand what is NTRIP and find its free service providers. The final step is to take factors like the cost, the network conditions and movable convenience into account. Then you'll know how to make a wise choice based on your current farm condition.