Trimble announced that it has supplied Global Positioning System (GPS) Virtual Reference Station (VRS™) software to the Queensland Resource Registry (QRR) to establish the first VRS network in Australia. The VRS network will provide networked real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS services across southeast Queensland for surveying, construction, navigation, asset management, agriculture and forestry.
The establishment of the Queensland VRS follows other Trimble infrastructure project successes, such as: the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute Nationwide Network; VRS network in Switzerland for the Swiss government; GPSnet.dk, the VRS network in Denmark; GPS reference stations for the General Lighthouse Authority Network around the coast of Great Britain; the Channel Tunnel Rail Link RTK Network; and the Zurich International Airport Expansion Project.
About the Queensland VRS
The GPS network consists of Trimble GPSNetTM, RTKNetTM, Webserver software and a communications infrastructure. QRR is currently expanding the network to make the service available to GPS users throughout southeast Queensland.
VRS technology overcomes previous limitations with high precision GPS by utilizing data from a network of reference stations to model the error sources within the network. The system significantly reduces these systematic errors to improve reliability and operating range. Standard format RTK messages are transmitted via GSM cellar telephones to users in the field within the network area. This allows a user to increase the distance at which the rover receiver is located from the physical reference stations while improving on-the-fly (OTF) initialization times.
Traditionally, for precise GPS applications-surveying, construction, precision farming and high accuracy Geographic Information System (GIS)-roving receivers required a reference station within 10 kilometers to ensure centimeter level accuracy. With VRS, users within the network can operate consistently at greater distances without degrading accuracy. Additionally, users can retrieve stored GPS and modeled data from the control center via the Internet for post-processing. Trimble Terrasat developed the VRS software suite.
Before VRS, users occupied physical marks in the ground that form the geodetic network and used QRR’s information about the 3D coordinates of those marks. VRS enables QRR to move this service to a more digital approach and deliver the geodetic reference system in real-time at greater distances via the mobile phone network. VRS is expected to enable some savings to QRR in not having to maintain as many of the physical marks across southeast Queensland. However, the real opportunity for QRR comes from increased revenue by opening up the geodetic reference system to new users and applications.