RTK Networks : An Introduction

An RTK Network is a network of permanent GPS and/or GNSS receivers whose combined data is used to generate RTK corrections for a rover – these network generated RTK corrections are called Network RTK. Today, RTK Networks are operating in many countries over the world, such as the US & Canada, UK & Ireland, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong and parts of Australia, just to name a few. RTK Networks can vary in size, from small local networks consisting of only a few reference stations, to dozens of reference stations covering large swaths of a continent like SmartNet North America (Fig. 1).

SmartNet UK Map

Figure 1: SmartNet UK network

A user subscribes to a Network RTK Service to receive RTK corrections with their rover (instead of setting up their own reference/base station).

These RTK corrections can be generated by more than one method - Master-Auxiliary corrections (MAX), Individualized MAX (i-MAX) and Virtual Reference Station – more information on these methods in the next section. Note: Viva & System 1200 supports all these methods.

But before going too deep it is useful to give an overview of what exactly Network RTK is. The easiest way to explain this is by comparing Single Reference Station RTK and Network RTK.