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How Galileo Benefits RTK GPS Systems


In the world of RTK GPS, accuracy is the most critical factor. To get the best accuracy from your surveying equipment, you will need to utilize satellite-positioning technology and surveying equipment. One of the more recent developments in the world of accurate position-tracking is the Galileo Constellation.

The History of the Galileo GNSS

The Galileo Constellation is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) with a particularly interesting history. Initially developed by member nations of the European Union (EU) to offer free position-tracking for the public, the project has undergone significant histories since its introduction in 1999. 

Most notably, these changes have revolved around which countries participated in the program and the number of satellites that will form the satellite constellation. Furthermore, the project has faced adversity from other countries that operate their own GNSS systems, such as the USA. In fact, the frequencies the satellites were to operate on changed after continued advocacy from the USA as a way to keep their military frequencies from being compromised in the event of an interruption in service.

However, despite its controversial past, the Galileo GNSS is currently in operation with a group of 22 satellites. It serves the primary function of providing basic measurements to the public and is also utilized in search-and-rescue missions around the world. As well, the precision data is available for commercial users, and this particular function has proved remarkably useful for researchers and surveyors alike.


How Galileo GNSS Improves RTK GPS

RTK GPS is used when you refer to satellite-positioning. But traditionally, the Galileo GNSS has been too broad a measurement to be useful in this process. With the exception, of course, of single-base and network RTK systems. Since the initial development was for free, public use, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, in recent years researchers have found a way to incorporate the constellation with much greater effectiveness.

In broad terms, the researchers found that by combining the measurements of the Galileo GNSS with other constellations, they can achieve centimetre-point accuracy. The other satellite systems in use include the likes of GLONASS, BeiDou, and GPS.

To get the best interoperability, the researchers use average points on the frequency spectrum between Galileo and the established system. For instance, The Galileo E1 signal overlaps with the GPS L1 signal at a center frequency of 1575.420 MHz. In effect, this system of overlap provides an even higher degree of accuracy than either system separately. 

The implications of this research are widespread in terms of consistent, reliable accuracy for RTK GPS and GNSS alike. Still, the ultimate goal would be to see the collective set of GNSS used in tandem for accurate measurements around the globe. 

Bench Mark Equipment & Supplies is your team to trust with all your surveying equipment. We have been providing high-quality surveying equipment to land surveyors, engineers, construction, airborne and resources professionals since 2002. This helps establish ourselves as the go-to team in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. Plus, we provide a wide selection of equipment, including global navigation satellite systems, RTK GPS equipment, GNSS receivers, and more. We strive to provide the highest level of customer care and service for everyone. To speak to one of our team today, call us on 403-286-0333 or email us.

About the Author

Nolan has been working in the surveying field since 2017, starting as a part-time student at Bench-Mark while attending the University of Calgary. He now works in technical support and sales helping customers find the right product for them.

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