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Editorial Advisory Board PNT Q&A: PPP versus RTK

January 31, 2021  - By

Every month, we ask members of our Editorial Advisory Board to weigh in on a topic. For the January 2021 issue, we asked,

Will precise point positioning (PPP) replace real-time kinematic (RTK)? If so, for which applications and when?

Headshot: Miguel Amor

Miguel Amor

“Recently, Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division demonstrated RTK levels of performance — globally —through PPP technology; we call it RTK From the Sky (see page 29). I believe that PPP adoption rates will grow significantly in the coming years and eventually replace RTK — especially in areas that are not well served by RTK networks or similar services. Adoption rates will depend on which applications can field GNSS receivers capable of the signals and constellations to perform like RTK.”

Miguel Amor
Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division


Headshot: Alison Brown

Alison Brown

“For many applications, the improved accuracy provided by PPP (10 cm) is sufficient and RTK solutions are not needed. However, the typical convergence time of PPP is between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the number of satellites available, satellite geometry, the quality of the correction products, the receiver’s multipath environment, and atmospheric conditions. This slow convergence compared to RTK solutions will limit application for many real-time applications such as mobile solutions.”

Alison Brown
NAVSYS Corporation


Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen

“PPP-RTK combines near-RTK accuracy and quick initialization times with the broadcast nature of PPP, over internet or L-band. PPP-RTK can be seamlessly integrated into GNSS receivers, bringing convenient sub-decimeter accuracy to applications where configuring RTK is not practical or where there is no internet connection. PPP-RTK is likely to be adopted by emerging mass-market applications such as UAVs, while RTK will probably remain prevalent in applications where it is already well established, such as precision agriculture.”

Jean-Marie Sleewaegen
Septentrio


Photo:

Bernard Gruber

“I do not believe that PPP will replace RTK technology solutions anytime soon. Satellite-based GNSS correction services with an emphasis on global provide worldwide access, but achieving the required accuracy, due to convergence, can be slow. Today, myriad users and emerging customers may utilize corrections augmented with RTK transmitter/base stations that hybrid solutions can provide, thus solving both the age-old navigation issue of obscuration and near real-time positioning simultaneously.”

Bernard Gruber
Northrop Grumman

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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