(Norcross, Ga., 15 May 2007) – The Kansas City Reference Network, an innovative RTK network implemented by private industry in the Kansas City, Missouri area, underwent a system upgrade that has doubled the number of available satellites and dramatically improved signal correction capabilities offering more power, improved accuracy and speed.
Implemented in 2003, the Kansas City Reference Network was first conceived by Laser Specialists, a Leica Geosystems distributor based in Olathe, Kansas, and Clarkson Construction, a premier contractor with over a hundred year history in Kansas City. Today, the Network consists of 10 strategically placed reference stations that cover 8,400 square miles and most of four counties.
According to Bob Parker of Laser Specialists, "Surveyors have already gained tremendous advantage from this network in recent years. It is an integral part of surveying activities throughout the greater Kansas City area, helping surveyors and earthmoving contractors in private and public industry save time, money and dramatically improves efficiency. The new software and hardware updates will give them an even greater edge, creating a framework for unprecedented flexibility and savings."
As part of the upgrade, Laser Specialists added the Leica Geosystems’ Spider Network software, a proprietary software that adjusts for the ionic and tropospheric conditions of the entire network before sending a corrected signal to the rover or end user. The result is that rather than merely getting information from the closest Reference Station, the surveyor or machine blade is getting a correction based on the entire network. This refined accuracy is especially valuable for all applications requiring tight vertical control, such as earthmoving.
Laser Specialists also added new GPS sensor boards and GPS antennas that track not only the US Satellite Navigation system (GPS) but also the Russian Satellite Navigation system (GLONASS). The new 72-channel GG products will allow users to track all currently available GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) signals – GPS L1 and L2 (including L2C) WAAS, EGNOS and MSAT and most significantly, GLONASS.
According to Tony Wilson, Area Sales Manager of the north for Leica Geosystems, "This essentially doubles the number of satellites that most end users can access. While in optimum conditions this is not an issue, in the traditionally "difficult" GPS sites such as tree canopy, bridge overpasses or other horizon obstructions, these obstacles are minimized or disappear altogether. In addition, the new sensors just added to the network are also future proof – they are designed to support all future GNSS signals – including GPS L5 and Galileo."
The Kansas City Reference Network is designed to eliminate the time and costs associated with establishing daily base station set-ups for GPS on individual projects. Eight of the 10 base stations are owned by Clarkson and two more are owned by local firms who have joined in the effort.
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