Shenzhen PDS Technology Co.,Ltd.
Shenzhen PDS Technology Co.,Ltd.

What Are RTK and GPS?

Although navigation is a godsend for people with no sense of direction, you must have been misled by navigation systems, such as when your destination deviates by dozens of meters or your real-time location is off by two streets. This is because the navigation systems we often use rely on GPS for positioning, and due to various interference factors, its positioning accuracy is greater than 1 meter, and the error can even reach more than ten meters.

Recently, RTK mobile data terminal technology has become popular, and many friends have a fuzzy understanding of the difference between RTK and GPS. The following will explain in detail what is GPS, what is RTK, and the difference between the two.

The working principle of vehicle tracking GPS device

Satellite signals are transmitted by radio waves, so the ideal speed is the speed of light. By multiplying the speed of light by time, the GPS receiver can obtain the distance between it and the satellite. The gps commercial vehicle tracking receiver communicates with at least 4 satellites to calculate the distance between it and these satellites, and therefore determine its location on the earth.

The working principle of RTK mobile data terminal

RTK is carrier-phase differential technology. After the base station collects satellite data, it sends its observation values and site coordinate information together via a data link to the mobile station. The mobile station calculates accurate positioning results in real time by carrying out real-time carrier-phase differential processing on the satellite data it collects and receives via the data link. RTK mobile data terminal can correct signal propagation errors in the atmosphere and eliminate satellite ephemeris and satellite clock errors.

I believe that many of you here may have a question about what differential is. Differential is the process of separating error from GPS. By mounting a mobile base station on a known reference point, you can determine the deviation of the positioning signal. Sending this deviation to the mobile station that needs to be located, the mobile station can obtain more accurate positioning information.

In the field of agricultural plant protection, we already know that RTK farm vehicle tracking can improve the positioning accuracy of drones and reduce flying errors. What does RTK technology mean for a fully autonomous drone used in the field of plant protection? When using ordinary GPS for positioning, the error of the flight path deviation may be around 10 meters. If the deviation is too great, it may cause the aircraft to collide with windbreaks or other obstacles. Therefore, this autonomous flight cannot truly give people peace of mind and there is no way to truly free the hands of the operator. The operator still needs to focus on the entire operation process and be ready to intervene at any time.