RTK GPS Survey Equipment – Using Technology in Surveying

RTK GPS survey equipment is the latest technology available in surveying. This equipment uses a real-time kinematic (RTK) global positioning system (GPS) to locate measurements and important points with less effort and more accuracy. RTK GPS survey equipment, like the Leica Viva pictured to the left, is similar to total station radial equipment, but does not require processing after the survey. It allows for real-time results in the field that offers quality testing and accuracy information without having to process the survey or return to try again. This particular type of surveying can be used for level 3 and 4 surveys, which is an advantage for surveyors throughout the industry.


Real-time surveying with RTK GPS survey equipment utilizes either single frequency or dual frequency to initialize the survey, and then transitions to the L1 carrier phase for the completion of the survey. Because of this, RTK surveys are limited to the frequency abilities, which is about 10 km from the base. Distances are usually less simply to maintain a 2 cm accuracy level, but there are situations where the maximum range is employed in the survey. Using GPS is effective and efficient, but not always what it is expected to be.


For example, using RTK GPS survey equipment limits a surveyor to the number of satellites that are available on a specific day and the location of those satellites to perform their surveys. Having to plan according to the satellites is often a slight hassle, but it can increase efficiency and productivity. Typically, most software solutions that utilize GPS will include a satellite coverage prediction tool to help surveyors plan their work and schedule surveys accordingly. Utilizing all the technology available continues to make surveying more efficient, accurate, and reliable than ever before, which is what these tools are created for.


RTK GPS survey equipment isn’t available to every surveyor, but working with one who has it can be an advantage for the builder or land owner. It makes the survey more accurate, decreases the risk of errors and problems, and gives a more professional and guaranteed sense to the survey in the long run. Anyone in need of a professional land or building survey needs to learn about this RTK GPS equipment and what it can offer their surveys. The more technology that is used in a survey, the better the results will be for the builder, land owner, or other authority presiding over the land or building in question.