The Factors to Consider Before Buying a GNSS Receiver

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) have revolutionized how we navigate and collect spatial data. Whether you’re a surveyor, an engineer, project manager, farmer or adventurer, or simply someone who wants to track your runs with pinpoint accuracy, choosing the right GNSS receiver is crucial.

But with a dizzying array of options on the market, the decision can be overwhelming. Do not worry as that is the purpose of this article. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the world of GNSS receivers and find the perfect one for your needs.

1. Compatibility and Constellations:

Not all GNSS receivers are created equal. The first thing to consider is which satellite constellations it supports. The most common are GPS (American), GLONASS (Russian), Galileo (European), and Beidou (Chinese). Each constellation offers varying coverage and accuracy. Ideally, choose a receiver that supports multiple constellations for increased signal availability and improved positioning, especially in challenging environments.

2. Accuracy and Precision:

Accuracy refers to how close your measured position is to the true location, while precision refers to how repeatable your measurements are. For tasks like surveying or mapping, high accuracy (centimeter-level) is essential. For other activities like hiking or navigation, moderate accuracy (meter-level) might suffice. Consider your specific needs and choose a receiver that meets your required level of precision.

3. Ruggedness and Environmental Resistance:

GNSS receivers often face harsh conditions like dust, water, extreme temperatures, and even drops. Choose a receiver built to withstand the elements. Look for IP ratings (Ingress Protection) that indicate its resistance to dust and water. For example, an IP67 rating means the receiver is dustproof and can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

4. Features and Functionality:

GNSS receivers come packed with various features, from basic position recording to advanced functionalities like differential correction for improved accuracy, data logging, and integration with GIS software. Decide which features are important for your applications and choose a receiver that caters to your needs. Don’t get overwhelmed by bells and whistles you won’t use!

5. Size, Weight, and Power:

Consider how you’ll be using the GNSS receiver. If you’ll be carrying it around all day, a lightweight and compact model is ideal. For stationary applications, size and weight matter less. Think about power too. Will you need a long-lasting internal battery or the option for external power sources?

6. Budget and Brand:

GNSS receivers range in price from budget-friendly to high-end professional models. Set a realistic budget based on your needs and research different brands within your range. Look for reputable manufacturers with good customer service  and warranty options. For example Tersus GNSS provides various price options and Sacredion Limited team have exceptional customer supports services.

7. Availability of Correction Services:

Some GNSS receivers support correction services like Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) or Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). These services can enhance the accuracy of the positioning information. Also correction service from Continuously Operating Reference Station should also be considered. look for vendors that have availability of CORS across different locations where you will be needing your GNSS receiver for surveying and construction applications.

The image below shows Sacredion Tersus GNSS CORS across Nigeria.

Finally, I know you might be wondering which option should i just recommend to you. In that Case Sacredion Limited is the Exclusive Partner of Tersus GNSS in West Africa, Tersus GNSS receivers have all the capabilities listed above and even many more.

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