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My employers are looking into a partnership with a company that provides RTK base stations (they specialize in Topcon equipment) and are planning to replace our old total station with a Topcon HiPer SR receiver, controller as yet undecided. I'm being asked to research base stations/GNSS receivers but I learned nearly nothing about base stations besides that they are useful things during my GIS training and my Google skills have been failing me. I work in a N-S running valley in the Canadian Rockies that's full of gentle hills and am mostly looking to collect accurate data points from urban infrastructure (utility networks, roads, etc), and my questions are:

  • Will an RTK base station still provide accurate (within a few cm) data collection if the area in question is not very flat?
  • Do certain brands of RTK base stations perform better than others or are they all about on par?
  • Are there any features I should specifically be looking for/avoiding in a base station set-up?
  • Are there other options for high-accuracy data collection that would work equally well/better than a base station/GNSS receiver in my situation?

(I'm new here so I apologize if this question is no good or needs work)

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    you may garner answers. It is normally better to ask one question. But these are closely related. we will see. – Brad Nesom Mar 24 '15 at 18:26
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Question 1. Will an RTK base station still provide accurate (within a few cm) data collection if the area in question is not very flat?

Answer 1: Yes it will, provided you follow necessary procedures to ensure your signals are not interfered with.The top/ recognized brands all guarantee top accurate and precise results in the most rugged of conditions.

Question 2. Do certain brands of RTK base stations perform better than others or are they all about on par?

Answer 2: In some cases yes, however, more often than not the differential is very marginal, a very well known and highly rated manufacturer is Topcon-Sokkia, I have yet to read a bad review on them.

Question 3. Are there any features I should specifically be looking for/avoiding in a base station set-up?

Answer 3: If I were you I would review instructional text on the setting up of RTK base stations, here are a couple I find very informative. 1.http://www.trimble.com/EC_ReceiverHelp/v4.15/en/SetupGuidelines_BaseStationOpGuidelines.htm

  1. http://web.gps.caltech.edu/classes/ge111/Docs/RTKGPS_Setup.doc (downloadable MS word doc)

Question 4. Are there other options for high-accuracy data collection that would work equally well/better than a base station/GNSS receiver in my situation?

Answer 4: I am a big fan of using base station/GNSS receivers I truly believe that there is no match in how effective they are. I would just look into the available types of GNSS receivers out there and decide which works better for you. http://www.navipedia.net/index.php/Receiver_Types

Here is just some general insight into RTK systems: http://www.navipedia.net/index.php/RTK_Systems

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