Is it possible to average a stationary position with a GNSS (GPS, GLONASS...) with a centimeter accuracy without external corrections (like differential or RTK)? If so, how long does such averaging have to take?

My problem is I have an RTK setup that is working quite nicely - in consists of two u-blox NEO-M8T evaluation boards and I was able to get an RTK fix (static mode) with RTKLIB very quickly (1-2 minutes). I have one problem though - I would like to gather precise location data in unknown area where I have no precise known location around that I could use for the base station so I am thinking of averaging the position for base station from a single receiver myself... so far I used the position from u-center for RTKLIB - I guess RTK can do good relative precision from rover to base but rover's absolute precision goes back to the base station precision I guess...

  • You might want to search this site for gps accuracy. There have been several questions (with different scenarios) asked.
    – mkennedy
    Jan 25, 2016 at 22:04
  • I found a somewhat relevant question but it deals with different HW (smartphones) which is sort of low-end... my HW is much better and also, I am interested in using the results for RTK.
    – Kozuch
    Jan 25, 2016 at 22:11

3 Answers 3


GNSS without a differential correction (real-time or post-processed) of some sort, will not yield 1cm accuracy.

If you do not have a reference station you are receiving RTK corrections from, you could post-process if you have the necessary office software or a service like OPUS. This would also obviously take two receivers at minimum (the base could be a nearby permanent or mobile reference station logging raw observations and providing RINEX data to be downloaded).

Alternatively there are other RTK type correction services, Leica SmartNet, Trimble VRSNow, Veripos, OmniSTAR, etc. But these services require a subscription and your GNSS receiver has to be able to receive the corrections they are providing. Not all receivers have this capability.


There is a u-blox M7P designed for this purpose to use phase information inside the chip and in theory this will give just under 1m error, according to u-blox website. Additionally, having corrections like SBAS may help for the ionosphere correction, but I am not an expert and trying to do the same thing as yourself. The u-blox M8P with built in base and rover is supposed to have PPP capability at some firmware update in the future, similar to the M7P.

RTKNAVI is awesome and with beta 2.4.3 b11 or higher it supports PPP positioning with the M8T or M8P, which gives you the same PPP capability as the M7P, except the calculations for phase are done in software with more controlls, instead of on-chip. With the RTKNAVI in PPP mode and M8T or M6T sending raw pseudoranges with carrier phase, people are reporting position around 10-20cm after some long collections (long integration times).

A better method, if you don't mind post-processing a few days later, would be to use RTKNAVI or u-center to log the RAWX messages from the M8T for at least 30 minutes (or just save your raw base station data) and then post-process these after you download the exact orbital data several days later. I have not tried this myself, but it should be possible to get a cm level fix anywhere in the world by collecting a raw stationary collection and then post-processing this later with the actual satellite track downloaded from the GNSS servers when they compute orbital error and sat clock error along with actual ionospheric delays from that time period at 12 days after your collection or 17 hours for a more coarse correction. (This will take some Googling around JPL, NOAA, and NASA and is different than simply downloading an RINEX or RTK base station file from far away to post-process your raw gps base station) This should free you from having to find a nearby RTK reference station within 30km and should give nearly RTK performance.


If you are using your local two M8Ts with one as rover and one as base, whatever position you resolve from the rover in RTK, even if the base station location is off by a meter or two can be easily corrected by shifting all RTK rover positions by some small offset a few days later, after you calculate the base station location error vs the approximate M8T base location that you entered from your phone during setup.

Please post back if you find something that works. :)


Today there are a range of free RTK correction streams such as http://rtk2go.com . Depending on where you are in the world, you may be able to use these to survey in your base station (as an RTK rover), then use this to improve the accuracy of you actual rover. This map on the associated monitoring site gives a good feel for the coverage.

Alternatively, if your base station is in place for 12h-24h, then you can collect full phase info, convert to RINEX format, and use a PPP post-processing service to refine your base station location. This can then be applied as an appropriate shift to the datum of your surveyed measurements.

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