Frequently Asked Questions

Find on this page the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Geolocation

What is geolocation?

Geolocation, literally “location on Earth”, consists of assigning latitude-longitude-altitude coordinates to an element of the globe. This is commonly referred to as “GPS coordinates” because, for the past few decades, GPS has been the fastest way to geolocate a point. If you’re not very tech-savvy, you can still position yourself using the stars, just like navigators used to do.

I hear about GPS, sometimes GNSS or Galileo. What's the difference?

GNSS is the generic term for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). GPS is therefore a GNSS. Galileo is a GNSS. It is managed by the European Union through its space agency, ESA. GPS is American, managed by the Department of Defense, a military administration. There is also GLONASS, the Russian, and BeiDou, the Chinese.

A GNSS is a system that allows geolocation to be carried out “by satellites”. It is composed of a constellation of satellites in Earth orbit and ground control stations to monitor their evolution and sometimes update the signal they emit.

Why is it called "precision" geolocation?

Geolocation by satellites, as such, makes it possible to position oneself, at best, to the nearest metre. Certain specific methods, such as differential GNSS, improve this precision to below one metre, and to within a few millimetres for the most precise uses. As soon as geolocation is improved by a third-party system, it can be said to be “accurate”. However, a large number of industrial applications use decimetric or centimetric geolocation.

What equipment do I need to use for precision geolocation?

It is best to use what is called a GNSS receiver. This is a device that allows the signal from GNSS satellites to be tracked, digitised with good quality, and used in a positioning algorithm. For decimetric accuracy or better, it must be possible to track a certain specific part of the satellite signal, called “the phase”. Consumer receivers, for example those supplied for car or hiking use, are not capable of tracking phase and are therefore limited to metric accuracies.

You talk about a GNSS receiver, but what is the difference with a GNSS module?

The debate is open, but at FB SOLUTIONS we differentiate between a receiver and a GNSS module according to the following specificities :

  • The receiver has an independent power supply, in the form of batteries, and an integrated GNSS antenna (the antenna is the equipment that transforms the GNSS signal, i.e. an electromagnetic wave, into an electrical signal) ;
  • The module does not have this, making it lighter and easier to integrate into third-party systems. To obtain a GNSS signal, it must be equipped with an external, or “remote”, GNSS antenna.

Ultimately, both types of equipment serve the same purpose: precision geolocation by satellites.

Can I do precision geolocation with my smartphone?

Today, it is wise to answer no. There are two major constraints. Firstly, the equipment is not adequate. The GNSS chip built into smartphones does not track the phase of the signal, with a few exceptions such as the Mi8 from Xiaomi. Even so, once digitised, the signal is far too degraded for precision geolocation, due to the lack of a quality GNSS antenna. The smartphone, on the other hand, is an excellent tool for carrying the business application that needs precision geolocation as input. For example, the ReachView application allows, among other things, topographic measurements to be made using the precise position provided by the Reach RS2.

Can we do indoor geolocation with the equipment you sell?

No, outdoors only, as these are GNSS reception systems. They must therefore have a clear view of the sky in order to operate.

What is the difference between a mono-frequency receiver and a multi-frequency receiver?

They do not track the same signals. GNSS satellites actually transmit their signal on 2 to 4 frequencies depending on the constellation. The single-frequency receiver can process only one of these frequencies per constellation, while the multi-frequency receiver can process several frequencies.

The significant advantage of multi-frequency is that it takes advantage of the behaviour of signals of different frequencies as they pass through the atmosphere. Thanks to the properties of an electromagnetic signal in a non-vacuum environment, positioning algorithms are able to better manage the delay of the signal as it passes through the ionosphere and troposphere, thus significantly improving accurate positioning performance.

RTK

I hear about the RTK, what is it?

We give a long explanation on the RTK subscriptions page. In short, it is the geolocation method that allows you to position yourself to within a centimetre in real time.

And how accurate is RTK?

The RTK can provide accuracies from a few centimetres to a few millimetres. When we talk about Network RTK, an accuracy of 2-3 cm in position and 3-5 cm in altitude is to be expected. When we talk about Classic RTK, it is a little more subtle: the precision is a priori better, of the order of 1 cm in position and 2 cm in altitude, but these values are given relative to the RTK base. This means that if the coordinates of the RTK base are only accurate to the nearest metre, the classic RTK does not bring any improvement, it is also metric. The classical RTK therefore requires the use of a very well known base in coordinates, or doing what is necessary to recalculate them in post-processing (the PPK).

What is the coverage area of the RTK subscription offered on your site?

Our RTK subscription offer is valid in most of Europe (see the coverage map on the RTK Subscriptions page).

I already have an RTK subscription with a competitor, can I use it with the equipment you offer on the FB store?

Yes, because all the receivers and modules have what is called a NTRIP client. This is a feature to be set up in ReachView or UNI-Connect, the application supplied with the receivers. You enter your RTK account details and this allows the receiver to receive corrections in real time. However, given our unlimited subscription at €995 per year, you might be tempted to take it from us!

Can the Reach RS2 be used as an RTK base station?

Yes, and without any additional options. It can transmit its observations in RTCM3 format by any means: radio, NTRIP, RS-232, Bluetooth, TCP… Emlid has created a free NTRIP caster service to connect the RTK base station to the Internet. The RTK mobile phone just needs to connect to the same NTRIP caster to retrieve the observations and calculate the position in real time.

To be seen on https://caster.emlid.com

What is the range of the radio integrated in the equipment?

Technically, the radio makes it possible to transmit GNSS observations up to a distance of 8 km, or even more under certain conditions and with optimal settings. Nevertheless, it is better to ensure that it is used within a radius of 4 km, particularly for legal reasons in Europe. Even so, the presence of obstacles, such as buildings or dense vegetation, can reduce the range to a few hundred metres.

I do MMS (Mobile Mapping System) mapping and despite the low price of your GNSS receivers, I want to do without a GNSS hub, for logistical reasons. Can you help me?

Yes! Go to https://rinexlab.com to discover our online VRS solutions. This very specific product is not offered on the FB store.

Contact us directly to get your subscription.

PPK

I work in classical RTK. I have to post-process my base. How do we do it?

The GNSS receivers we distribute have a raw data recording function, very easy to start in the field. The file is in RINEX format natively. You just have to download it on your PC at the end of the session and process it with a post-processing software.

Coordinate Systems

Can I work in RGF93 with ReachView or UNI-Connect?

Probably yes! The application contains a long list of systems and map projections among the EPSG database. Check the official ReachView documentation to know if your country is covered.

What about Overseas Departments?

Yes: RGAF09, RGR92, RGFG95, RGM04, RGSPM06.

All these questions and many others are dealt with more precisely in our training: GNSS and coordinate systems.

See the training programme
Request a quote

Prices

Why is the equipment much cheaper than other devices with similar specifications?

Because it’s the right price, quite simply.

A receiver at this price, when I paid €10,000 for mine, can't work. Am I right? Am I right?

No, our receivers can do centimetric positioning like their competitors. If we have selected it as the flagship of our business model, it is for a good reason. We have published a series of tests of its performance. Our users report nothing but positive things about these devices. The country’s leading surveying firms are using our receivers today. Don’t let the price scare you! The price should not scare you! If we have selected it as the flagship equipment of our commercial model, it is for a good reason.

Payment

What means of payment do you accept?

Online, we accept payment by credit card or bank transfer in Euros.

If you place an order outside the site, we only accept transfers (in Euros €).

Delivery

What are the delivery times?

The delivery time traditionally varies from 5 to 10 days following receipt of payment in full. When the delivery is in progress, you will receive an e-mail with the carrier’s tracking number.

Sometimes a product may be out of stock, in which case you will see the status “Out of stock” for that product. You can find the estimated shipping date in the product description.

What should I do if I have the wrong delivery address?

Please contact us immediately. Once the material is being shipped, there is nothing more we can do.

Do you deliver to Overseas Departments?

We can only deliver to French overseas departments and territories on order outside the website for the moment. Please contact us to get your quote with up-to-date transport costs.

Do you deliver overseas?

Yes, we deliver to certain countries. To find out if your country is eligible for delivery, visit this web page. For other countries, we can only deliver on order outside the website for the moment. Contact us to get your quote with up-to-date transport costs.

Guarantee

Can I retract my order?

No, unless the equipment is faulty when you receive it, in which case you must use the guarantee to obtain a refund.

What is the guarantee on the equipment?

Emlid guarantees its equipment for 1 year. If the hardware defect is established and prevents its normal use, we will replace the device. Our other products are guaranteed for 2 years.

Equipment

Do I need accessories to use the receivers and modules?

In general, yes.

We have added in the FB store some accessories to use your equipment in the best conditions: survey pole tripod, smartphone holder, external GNSS antenna and radio block for the modules, cables… We make suggestions of accessories directly on the product pages to help you know if you need them.

If you are looking for specific accessories that do not appear on the store, contact us! We have partners who may have what you need.

How do I attach the receivers to a stand?

Our GNSS receivers have an insert with a ⅝” screw thread standard in the GNSS market. Our support accessories, rods and tripods, are of course compatible. Contact us if you need more original supports. We can suggest other products or refer you to specialised sites.

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