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Trimble CenterPoint RTX provides sub-inch performance in an easy-to-use subscription service
As agriculture continues to advance toward fully autonomous operations, the need for a dependable correction service is increasing.
“Precision farming relies on consistent, repeatable corrections to ensure the initial accurate placement of crops and also the subsequent passes through fields when applying fertilizer or pesticide and even when harvesting,” says Michael Bruno, strategic marketing manager, Trimble Advanced Positioning. “As autonomy becomes more prevalent on the farm, the need to trust that you are making the most accurate passes through the field will become more critical.”
In the past, achieving sub-inch, repeatable accuracy meant employing an RTK base station. While extremely accurate, Bruno says added hardware costs and the knowledge required to operate a base station consistently and correctly limited its accessibility for some farmers.
“RTK radio range may not reach far enough, either,” Bruno says.
Others turned to a virtual reference station (VRS) or continuously operating reference station (CORS) network. “The challenges with this technology for ag applications is that the farmer must be in an area with VRS network coverage. He must also have a strong cell signal, which is often limited in remote areas to achieve reliable performance.”
With the recent completion of its CenterPoint RTX Fast correction service, Trimble is delivering a robust, accurate, and fast solution. The service uses a network of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers that send information to the RTX control center. This information is used to create the Trimble RTX data stream, which is then broadcast over satellite to a farmer’s field. He can also opt to receive CenterPoint RTX through a cellular connection if he is in a service area.
“What this means is as long as a farmer has a receiver compatible with Trimble RTX, he/she already has everything needed to start using the service,” he says. “There is no local base station, cell modem, or radio required.”
In addition to a Trimble RTX compatible GNSS receiver, a farmer must also have the necessary hardware unlocks, and an annual RTX subscription. Pricing varies by region.
“With CenterPoint RTX, we have been able to bring sub-inch performance to farmers in an easy-to-use subscription service,” Bruno says.