This new Indiegogo project looks very good, and at $225 Reach is about a quarter of the price of other RTK GPSs. Backed!
What is Reach and what is it for?
Reach is for applications when your standard GPS with several meters accuracy just won’t cut it. It relies on RTK (real-time kinematics) technology to deliver centimeter level accuracy.
RTK was here for a long time, used mostly by surveyors and unaffordable to hobbyists and makers. If you needed centimeter precise positioning you had to spend thousands of dollars on an RTK system. With Reach we want to change that.
Reach runs open-source RTK processing software called RTKLIB written by Tomoji Takasu. Previously a computer was required to run RTKLIB, but now all RTKLIB features are available directly on Reach.
High quality antennas are the key to great RTK performance. Tallysman Wireless, an industry leading company in high accuracy antennas provided their latest advanced antennas for the project. These antennas receive Glonass G1, Beidou B1, GPS L1 and Galileo E1 signals as well as signals from corrections services.
“The Emlid Reach program is an excellent example of the potential for huge reductions in cost available of precision RTK positioning systems. Tallysman’s Accutenna™ technology is a great match for the Reach product because it too provides high precision at new price levels. Just as one wouldn’t expect a high quality image from an expensive TV receiver with a “rabbit ear” antenna, one should not expect the levels of precision the Reach product is capable of with a low precision antenna. Tallysman’s raison d’etre is production of high quality, high precision antennas at an affordable price for systems exactly such as the Emlid Reach product.”
Director Marketing & Sales, Antennas and RF Products, Tallysman Wireless
GPS replacement for your drone
We are experienced with APM autopilot and are working on integration with Pixhawk and other APM based autopilots. Reach can be powered from autopilot port and will send accurate coordinates using NMEA protocol.
Entry-level survey receiver
Participating in OpenStreetMap project? Planning your yard? Use Reach to survey points and mark them within the app.
Tracker for racing, cycling and other activities
Record your precise tracks and then export them in Google Earth format.
Your own RTK base station
Set your own base station on the roof of your home or club house and share corrections to others. One Reach unit set up as a base can provide corrections to a virtually unlimited number of rovers.
How does it work
To achieve centimeter level accuracy two GPS units are used with one of them being stationary (base) and another one moving (rover). Base unit streams correction to the rover over radio or 3G.
It’s simple - all you need is to setup Reach to receive corrections from a base station:
1) Use a pair of Reach modules connected by radio modem, wi-fi or over the internet. One would act as a rover, while the other one would be your own base station.
2) Or use WiFi to connect to your phone or plug 3G USB modem to receive corrections over the internet from an NTRIP base stations available in your area.
Reach is able to use not just GPS, but also Glonass, Beidou and QZSS which significantly increases amount of visible satellites resulting in a faster and better solution. Reach also uses signals from differential corrections systems SBAS, EGNOS, GAGAN. A future firmware upgrade will bring Galileo support as well.
Reach is equipped with a 9DOF inertial measurement unit that allows us to determine not only position, but orientation as well. By fusing IMU in RTK processing software phase tracking algorithms can be improved to work better.
We are developing an app called ReachView to make Reach user-friendly. Simply connect to device over Wi-Fi and you can tweak the setups, monitor solution status or view the satellite reception quality. Works on any desktop or mobile.
Reach is an internet of things device, it has a tiny yet very powerful Linux computer inside with Wi-Fi, BT and USB OTG port for cellular modems. You can even tether internet from your mobile device. That means that whatever setup you have it will be easy to stream corrections from the base to the rover.
For high precision geo-tagging Reach is capable of capturing a time-mark with 21nS accuracy, you just need to connect it to a sync pulse source from your device. Time-marks are stored in memory and then can be used to determine position at a certain moment.
High quality antenna is the key to RTK performance. Depending on your application you might want to connect different antennas, lightweight one for airborne applications or a large, heavy one for the base station.
Raw data receiver: U-blox NEO-M8T - 72 channels, output rate up to 18Hz, supports GPS/QZSS L1 C/A, GLONASS L10F, BeiDou B1,
SBAS L1 C/A: WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS ,
Processing unit: Intel Edison - dual-core 500MHz
Connectivity: I2C, UART, GPIO, TimeStamp, OTG USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi GNSSAntenna connector: external with MCX connector
Very compact: 25x35mm
Lightweight: 20grAntenna: Tallysman TW4721 Dual Feed GPS/BeiDou/Galileo/GLONASS
Risks and ChallengesOur team has years of experience in electronics development and production. We know every step needed to be taken from an idea to shipping ready to use devices. Maximum risk is a production \ shipment delay due to an unexpected lack of components stock.This is also not our first Indiegogo campaign. We have successfully delivered all perks for Navio campaign, launched second generation called Navio+ and delivered full software support.FAQ
How accurate the coordinates of Reach are?
If you have a base station with known coordinates and a good antenna, you can expect accuracy down to 2cm.
Is it 100% reliable? Will I always get cm coordinates?
No RTK receiver will provide fixed solution all the time. RTK requires good GPS reception, high quality antenna and low EMI. Bad weather conditions might also degrade solution quality.
Why is it so cheap?
We rely on open-source software and off-the-shelf electronic components. This lets us push the price so low.
What is the max range?
Recommended maximum range from the base station is 10km.
How ready is it?
All RTK features work and hardware prototypes are fully tested. We are now developing an app to make configuration easier.
What is the output format?
Solution is output in NMEA format, logging is done in Rinex.
Why does it say NEO-M8T in specs and on video it is NEO-6T?
That’s an early prototype shown in the video. All final boards will have NEO-M8T.