Choosing the Right Accuracy Level for Your Farm
October 20, 2022
When selecting the right accuracy level for your farm, you’re obviously trying to balance cost with potential input savings and crop yield improvements. What achieves great results for one farm, won’t necessarily produce the same results in a different crop or with different equipment. Let’s walk through the different accuracy levels and where they do best.
SBAS (Ex. WAAS, EGNOS) - How can you go wrong with free
Many farmers use SBAS corrections (WAAS in North America, EGNOS in Europe) when operating in regions that have a government-provided SBAS service available. What’s not to like about improved accuracy beyond manual steering and a $0 cost. Although this is a good entry point into GPS positioning, these farmers are missing out on higher levels of accuracy and face the most frequent service outages.
The common perception is that WAAS or EGNOS is good-enough for applications like tilling and field preparation, and that higher accuracy should be used for planting. While it’s certainly better than nothing, farmers using WAAS or EGNOS still end up with the potential for gaps or overlap due to low accuracy meaning they are spending more than necessary on seed, chemicals and other inputs.
This correction improves accuracy from meter to decimeter, and is available globally. It is also considerably more reliable with built-in redundancy in the system. This correction service level often serves as an entry into higher accuracy, for farmers looking to improve their operational efficiency over time. The additional reliability and better pass-to-pass accuracy vs. WAAS or EGNOS is usually why farmers upgrade to TerraStar-L and it’s also an excellent correction option for farmers operating in regions without SBAS.
TerraStar-C and TerraStar-C PRO
Hexagon | NovAtel’s fastest global service for accuracy and efficiency is TerraStar-C PRO. This correction service level offers sub-inch accuracy at a fraction of the cost of setting up an RTK network. It also eliminates the reliance on a cellular modem and plan as corrections are delivered via satellite.
Outages? No longer an issue. Repeatability? Excellent.
NovAtel offers TerraStar-C PRO for those with a SMART7 receiver and TerraStar-C on the SMART6 receiver.
While these correction services do come with a cost, shrinking overlap from 6-8 inches down to less than 1 inch drastically improves efficiency of the operation and delivers input savings up to 10% back to the farmer. Reducing fuel, seed, fertilizer and chemical costs, while increasing yields is guaranteed to have a positive impact on the farmer’s bottom line.
RTK also offers sub-inch horizontal accuracy with great vertical accuracy for applications like land-leveling or tiling. If you’ve invested in base stations or have access to NTRIP to get the highest accuracy possible, it’s incredibly frustrating to face outages. NovAtel offers RTK ASSIST to bridge through outages using satellite corrections. If you experience occasional outages, RTK ASSIST can save the day for anyone with a SMART6 or SMART7 receiver with up to 20 minutes of fill, whereas frequent or sustained outages can be remedied with RTK ASSIST PRO which offers unlimited service for those with SMART7 receivers. NovAtel’s STEADYLINE functionality is designed to seamlessly transition between position types, preventing position jumps and leading to increased productivity.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the correction service levels, which one is right for your farm? You can now try TerraStar-C, TerraStar-C PRO, RTK ASSIST, or RTK ASSIST PRO services free for 30 days. Contact your local AGCO dealer or fill out the form for more details.
Want to know more about the differences between different types of corrections? Check out this blog post by NovAtel on the TerraStar website.
NovAtel, RTK ASSIST, RTK ASSIST PRO, SMART7, SMART6, TerraStar, TerraStar-C PRO, TerraStar-C, TerraStar-L and STEADYLINE are trademarks of NovAtel, Inc., entities within the Hexagon Autonomy & Positioning division, their affiliated entities, and/or their licensors. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.©