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Surveying with SmartNet

We have been enthusiastic GPS users for a couple of years now but our latest acquisition of several Leica SmartNet enabled devices has changed the way we use the technology.

In the past when we needed to obtain accurate fixes for our survey work we have needed to log raw GPS data for several hours over one of our survey control points to process against the Ordnance Survey’s Active Station RINEX data. This sometimes meant that we had to be on site a whole day in advance of excavation teams. Smartnet uses the GSM/GPRS network to provide our rover units with real time correctional signals.

To begin with we upgraded our existing Leica1200 series GPS unit with a Smart Net GPRS unit. This allowed us to test the technology and check that we were getting the results we needed. A big concern was that we would have problems with GSM/GPRS cover - we tend to work in more remote locations than most land surveyors - so far though, Vodafone seem to have served us quite well.

In June we invested in a handful of Smartrovers - which were designed from the ground up to use the SmartNet technology and connect to standard mobile phones over Bluetooth. Again we were a little nervous - Bluetooth can be a temperamental technology - again we were very pleasantly surprised. The only time we have had serious problems with Bluetooth was when working near high tension cables.

We have now upgraded our old GPS500 rover unit to work with SmartNet. This is a very cost effective upgrade which gives the older equipment a very productive new lease of life.

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