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Hexagon | Novatel keeps rows straight despite the weather

January 28, 2022  - By

Farmers rely on their GNSS receivers to keep their machines on track, their maps accurate, and their rows straight in demanding environments. GNSS receivers on agricultural equipment need to continue to perform at a high level when faced with extreme weather, temperature and vibration while navigating varying terrain. In addition, farmers rely on the correction services that provide them with the high accuracy needed to keep them operating. Still, they face challenges with outages and interruptions from obstacles blocking satellite signals.

Hexagon | NovAtel’s SMART7 GNSS receiver and TerraStar Correction Services together create an accurate, robust and reliable solution for farmers. These products undergo extensive testing to ensure a high-performing and dependable solution. The SMART7 accesses all four GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo), providing the best availability in variable terrain and environmental conditions. To compensate for the pitch and roll in the field, the receiver includes terrain compensation — keeping farmers at centimeter-level accuracy when using TerraStar-C PRO, TerraStar-X or RTK corrections.

Photo: Hexagon | Novatel

Photo: Hexagon | Novatel

TerraStar Correction Services are based on a global network of advanced and proprietary GNSS control centers to ensure 99.999% signal availability to farmers. By delivering quality satellite corrections without the need for base stations, farmers can get the accuracy needed for their operations in a scalable format that moves with their equipment.

Jacob Van Den Borne is a potato farmer in the southern region of the Netherlands. He has been working with precision farming for more than 10 years and recently switched his Fendt tractor to NovAtel’s SMART7. Throughout his last season, Jacob noticed a substantial improvement in signal reception while passing along the edges of his heavily treed field. Previously, his GNSS equipment would lose reception, causing his rows to wander. After using a SMART7 for one season and experiencing its high precision and reliability, Van Den Borne plans to switch all receivers on his farm to the SMART7.

Evolving advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and developing safe perception and positioning systems in the agriculture industry are top priorities for NovAtel. With the challenges faced by farmers, finding new ways to support a sustainable increase in their production and productivity will help ease the pressures of a growing population.

About the Author: Matteo Luccio

Matteo Luccio, GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, possesses more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at or 541-543-0525.