Over the last decade, continuous GPS techniques have been used to measure crustal deformation rates and tectonic plate velocities to better than 1 mm/yr. In addition, real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS processing algorithms have been developed that allow real-time positioning at high accuracies, high frequencies and low latencies.i Improved manufacturing methods and increased market competition have led to reduced costs for GPS hardware. In short, GPS has matured to the point where it is now a viable and cost-effective tool for performance monitoring.
At the same time, improved capabilities in computing and
communications have drastically altered our working and living
environments. The integration of GPS with advanced digital technologies
has engendered an entirely new monitoring model. Today, GPS networks
provide the engineer and scientist with the ability to:
- Continuously monitor three-dimensional point position and displacement in real-time or near real-time
- Monitor relative displacement between points that are not inter-visible, over station separations from meters to hundreds of kilometers
- Monitor deformation directly as displacement, removing secondary interpretations and modeling
- Remotely monitor assets virtually anywhere in the world via wireless communications and the Internet
GPS monitoring is not a one-size-fits-all application. Station design may have to account for a number of factors, including network dimensions (baseline length, number of stations), accuracy requirements, temporal requirements, existing power and communications and general network environment. While we can provide a single station design that would serve every application, that system may not be the most cost-effective solution. Therefore, we work with the customer to design a GPS network that serves their needs at the best possible price.
We then modify this base design to meet your network needs, reconfiguring to:
Switch between single and dual frequency GPS
- Utilize existing power or communications
- Reduce or increase power and backup capacity
- Increase antenna power or upgrade antenna design
- Remove or modify lightning protection
- Change a number of other system features to provide the most
suitable system at the best possible price.
We complete each network design by specifying the computing, communications and power components needed to establish the control processing center.
As a starting point for this discussion, we offer two prototype stations designed for stand-alone operation (requiring no preexisting infrastructure). These base systems incorporate:
A single (or dual)-frequency GPS receiver and antenna, a
50 low-loss antenna cable with lightning/impulse protection and RF/PC
communications and power cables.
- A 902-928 MHz spread spectrum radio transceiver, 3 dB omni antenna, a 30’ low-loss antenna cable with lightning protection and GPS/PC communications and power cables.
- A 12VDC 50 W solar power system with 98 Ah battery backup (100 W and 196 Ah for dual-frequency GPS), including fully automatic, solid state power/charge management, solar panel mounting hardware and lightning protection.
- All hardware is pre-integrated in a NEMA 3x enclosure with power and antenna cable conduit and fittings included.
Whether the goal of the network is a long-term, hardened installation to monitor dam or building performance, or a shortterm- but-secure-installation for monitoring slope or structural
stability in mines or construction zones, we can provide an integrated system that suits your application’s needs.
GPS Network Software
At the heart of Orion’s GPS networks lies the InteTrak software, which manages the collection, processing and monitoring of data from remote GPS stations. InteTrak converts an array of independent sites into a comprehensive, continuously operating monitoring system. The software was written for the Windows 32- bit operating systems and is distributed in three versions - RT, RS and CMB - to support real-time, static and combined real-time and static processing.
InteTrak was originally developed for short-baseline, real-time GPS processing to address large-scale infrastructure monitoring projects with inter-station baseline lengths of less than 10 km. However, our new static processing engine allows for reliable fixed-integer ambiguity resolution with ionosphere modeling to enable accurate long-baseline performance monitoring of longwavelength structures and natural hazards.