Leica Geosystems has introduced an advanced, versatile software package for controlling and operating GPS reference stations and networks.

The new Spider reference station control software, with full Internet connectivity, can be used to control a single local-area GPS reference station or a complex wide-area network of reference stations serving large regions.

Spider is designed to run continuously and automatically to control Leica System 500 series reference station receivers. The software manages all aspects of downloading, checking, formatting, archiving and supplying GPS, RTK and DGPS output for a wide range of surveying, engineering, construction, GIS, monitoring, tectonic studies, hydrographic survey, aerial photogrammetry and other applications. Each reference station's software and the entire network can all be managed by system supervisors from one or more remote computers using a TCP/IP network or dial-up connection.

The Spider software downloads logged data files at specified times and intervals, checks the completeness and quality of downloaded data, creates RINEX files and distributes files to one or multiple FTP servers for easy access by the GPS user community. Different files can be distributed to different FTP servers. Spider controls and monitors the operation of all reference station receivers and communication links. It automatically generates warnings and event logs and sends e-mail messages to system supervisors in the event of any out-of-tolerance conditions.

Spider software is easy to install on remote PCs or laptops. The intuitive graphical user interface is easy to learn. On-line help is provided as needed.

The versatile Spider package is designed for easy expandability. It can be installed on a single reference station or a group of stations. Additional stations can be added as the need arises.

"The combination of Spider software and System 500 reference station hardware provides an easy and affordable solution for setting up and managing Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) and networks, supplying high-accuracy GPS services for a wide range of user groups," said James Stowell, director of GPS reference stations.