I´m relative new using GNSS data and I would like to understand a little more about the instruments that I´m planning to use in my future research.

I was looking information on the UNAVCO website about Geophysical instruments and they mentioned "GNSS receivers" and "GNSS antennas" as different instruments, and actually they have tables that compare some brands and models of each equipment. Also, I was looking online but I cannot find a clear definition and functions of each one.

Before today I thought that the receiver was inside the antenna, but I´m not sure now.

What are the differences in function between a GNSS Receiver and a GNSS Antenna?


1 Answer 1


Antennas are basic elements of any Radio Frequency (RF) system. An antenna serves as an interface between the electric circuitry of the RF system and free space, used with a transmitter or receiver.

1) In a transmitter antenna, electric currents are converted into electro-magnetic waves.

2) In a receiver antenna, radio waves are converted into electric currents. Here electric currents are applied to the Receiver, and the receiver extracts the desired information.

Its common to use external antenna + receiver in high precision application due to mitigation of positioning errors.

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