Montana’s Only RTK Network

RTK stands for Real Time Kinematics. It is a term used to describe sub-inch accurate Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning. A GNSS receiver is installed at a fixed location and logs incoming data. That data has errors in it that can be corrected for because the receiver is stationary and its location known. These corrections can be sent to a rover (tractor, surveyor, motor-grader, etc.) via radio or cellular modem, and calculate a position that is accurate to less than 1”.

Traditional RTK uses one base and radio for communication. The further the rover’s distance from the base, the less accurate the corrections. The rule of thumb is that at distances of over 6 miles, accuracy starts to degrade. Sometimes good results can be seen upwards of 20 miles. Such single base systems are still widely called “networks”, but they have significant limitations.

Why choose FarmTech Network RTK?

Farm Tech has taken RTK to the next level by developing a true network.  Farm Tech currently has 26 base stations in its configuration in Montana and Southern Alberta.  All stations collect GNSS data and communicate to a central server.  This server collects the data and creates a correction grid that rovers of any discpline or make can access.  All stations are referenced against USGS and constantly updated to maintain millimeter accurate base station coordinates.

A cellular modem is used with the rover to access the network.  The rover turns on, calculates a position.  The modem then dials in to the server with credentials and asks for data based on the rover’s location.  If everything passes, the server will generate a data stream appropriate for the chosen hardware and geographic location.  Once data is streaming, it takes approximately 25 seconds to produce a sub inch repeatable position for the rover.