RTK rovers traditionally receive RTK data from a single RTK reference station. The reference station may be permanently setup (e.g. on the roof of the office) or it might be temporarily set up in the field. In both cases the principle is the same:
The principle of Single Reference RTK begins with a single reference station that is:
There are three important points to note in the relationship between the reference station and the rover:
The position is computed using RTK algorithms, such as SmartRTK on the Leica System1200.
Recent advances in RTK algorithms - especially with SmartRTK - allows the rover to succesfully and repeatedly work at distances of up to 50km from the RTK reference station.
Figure 2: Principle of single baseline RTK
The advantages of Single Reference RTK are:
The disavantage of the Single Reference RTK approach is:
This decrease in accuracy is due to distance dependant errors - mainly atmospheric errors. Essentially, as the distance between the rover and the reference station increases, the atmospheric conditions at the rover and reference station will become increasingly different. This decreases the accuracy and makes it more difficult for the rover to fix the ambiguities.