The SparkFun RTK Surveyor is an easy to use GNSS receiver for centimeter-level positioning. Perfect for surveying, this preprogrammed device can also be used for autonomous driving, navigation, asset tracking and any other application where there is a clear view of the sky. The RTK Surveyor can also be used as a base station. With the flick of a switch, two RTK Surveyors can be used to create an RTK system capable of 14mm horizontal positional accuracy. The built-in Bluetooth connection via an ESP32 WROOM enables the user to use the RTK Surveyor with their choice of GIS application on a phone or tablet. The built in battery allows field use for up to four hours and is compatible with common USB battery banks.
This device can be used in four modes:
In Position mode the device receives L1/L2 signals from a user-provided antenna and the high-grade GNSS receiver provides lat/long and altitude with accuracies around 300mm.
In Positioning with RTK mode the device receives L1/L2 signals from the antenna and correction data from a base station. The correction data can be obtained from a cellular link to online correction sources or over a radio link to a 2nd RTK Surveyor setup as a base station.
In Base Station mode the device is mounted to a temporary position (like a tripod) and begins transmitting correction data over a radio or internet connection. A base is often used in conjunction with a second unit set to 'Positioning with RTK' to obtain the 14mm relative accuracy.
In Base Station NTRIP Server mode the device is mounted to a semi or permanently fixed position (like a roof) and connects over WiFi to transmit the correction data to a NTRIP caster so that any rover can access the correction data over a cellular or internet connection. This type of base is a very easy way to setup a very precise absolute correction source.
Two cables are provided with the RTK Surveyor allowing a user to plug on our easy to use Serial Telemetry Radios or their own radio link. If a local correction source is within 10km, a user can also use their phone to provide correction data over the Bluetooth link (no external radio needed!).
We are undergoing FCC/CE EMI and safety testing for the RTK Surveyor. Once complete the RTK Surveyor will become a mainstream SparkFun product. For now, this is fully capable, fully programmed, but consider it a device in development.
Note: The SparkFun RTK Surveyor is just the enclosed device and does NOT include an antenna, serial telemetry radio, or associated mounting pieces. These items will need to be purchased separately from the Hookup Accessories below.
GNSS Receiver: ZED-F9P
Bluetooth Transceiver: ESP32 WROOM
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Based on 3 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I bought the rtk surveyor as a learning tool, I don't think it will replace a $9,000.00 rover. I was able to use it with a novatel survey grade antenna and connect to MoDot;s realtime network using SW Map software. I haven't had time to test results or determine if NAD83 values can be obtained. Sparkfun has done a good job on the documentation and I look forward to exploring it further.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I’m new to the whole RTK world, so the SF RTK Surveyor was a great way to get started. The hardware is well designed and simple to use with two switches. I added the L1/L2 high gain antenna and serial telemetry radios. Setting up as a base simply required connecting the antenna, the serial radio, and turning it on. I mounted these on an ordinary camera tripod. The Hookup guide walks you through the steps explaining the concepts behind the process.
Getting the rover side was much more challenging. It took some research using both the various Hookup guides and the internet to get things working. The Hookup guide uses the SW Maps app on Android. As an iPhone user, I couldn’t find an equivalent ’free’ app, so I ended up using my laptop with a second SparkFun ZED-F9P GPS module . It also takes a while to learn the basics of NTRIP, the protocol for sending the RTK data over the internet. I ending up using unavco.org to relay the NTRIP data.
Once I got the all pieces working, it worked great. I mapped out my property lines with ~20 cm accuracy.
My only wish is that SF would have used more robust connectors. The little IDC connectors and tiny wires require some care to not damage. I also added a QWIIC microOLED display (support discovered looking at the source code) to the Surveyor that provides better GPS status, maybe a future version could include this
Overall, this is an inexpensive way to get started with RTK. While using the SF RTK Surveyor as a base is easy, getting the rover working will take some time, especially if you want to use NTRIP. It probably would have gone faster if I had an Android device available that matched the Hookup Guide.
Works really well using ntrip service from dept of transportation. I look forward to purchasing another along with telemetry radios to use in mobile dead spots.