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Could you be Losing Accuracy due to how your Receiver is Mounted?

Wednesday, 16th May 2018

Bluetooth GNSS (GPS) receivers offer a great alternative to older, clunky handheld receivers with connectivity to mobile phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Designs are also compact and easy to transport, and use in the field.

There are two main styles. A self-contained body mounted option and options with external antenna. Both are marketed as sub-metre, but how reliable is that information?

To achieve sub metre accuracy, a receiver must be able to receive signals from multiple satellites, as well as receiving a correction to fix the signal. Consequently, the receiver needs a direct line of sight with the satellites sending the signals. The quality of these signals is also important.

Lower quality or “multipath” signals can have major effects on accuracy. Multipath signals are caused by reflections of satellite signals off buildings, and most importantly, off the ground. When reflected, these lower quality signals are severely diminished, meaning they do not travel as far.

Whilst self-contained devices provide excellent mobility and are very compact, they suffer from being on the body, which blocks out much of the sky view.

Designs which utilise external antenna however, are much less susceptible to multipath signals. They are mounted above the body, which gives clear lines of sight to satellites. The added mounting height also lowers the effects of multipath interference allowing a much more accurate record to be captured.

Which method do you use? Why not let us know via the website?

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