Ashtech announced release of version 3.5 firmware for the ProFlex 500 GNSS receiver that includes a powerful NTRIP Caster to enable surveyors, municipalities, mining, engineering and agricultural operations to easily implement and control their own very cost-effective and secure corrections network via NTRIP protocol. Ashtech dealers are also expected to take advantage of the new Caster feature to setup their own service network for their customers.

“RTK precision for land survey is mainstream, and GIS professionals are looking to improve accuracy in real-time; but for both, receiving RTK corrections is often either too difficult or costly.” explains Olivier Casabianca, GNSS Boards & Sensors marketing manager at Ashtech. “The ProFlex 500 Caster addresses both these problems.”

A simple and economical alternative
The ProFlex 500 NTRIP Caster makes it possible to access various sources of data from different base stations through a single Internet connection, as well as protect these sources of corrections from unauthorized users. The embedded NTRIP Caster allows ProFlex 500 owners to set up a network of up to 10 different mount points and up to 100 users. The network serves the needs of both the Survey and GIS markets by providing very affordable access to both centimeter-level and/or the decimeter-level real-time accuracy.

Many types of users benefit
The ProFlex 500 Caster offers a reliable new alternative for many types of uses, including field survey, mobile GIS and machine control. According to Casabianca, “Civil engineering, mining companies, municipalities, and agricultural organizations will see the Caster as a great opportunity to set up their own corrections services. It lowers costs by eliminating subscription fees and can provide secure access to corrections in previously un-served areas. In addition, the ProFlex 500 NTRIP Caster enables Ashtech dealers to develop a new business by offering, not only RTK rovers and GIS data collectors to their customers, but also a secure and reliable access service to differential corrections”

NTRIP Caster coverage and accuracy
Ashtech survey rovers connected to the NTRIP Caster are capable of delivering RTK positioning up to a 70 km baseline. Additionally for many applications such as GIS data collection, the NTRIP Caster can broadcast corrections over hundreds of kilometers to enable GIS receivers in the field to reach decimeter positioning, which is perfect for mapping purposes.

Ashtech rovers that offer Flying RTK technology are able to achieve survey-level performance over large areas, the size of France or Alaska, which may be covered by a network of only two base stations. Version 3.5 firmware will be available in late April and is uploadable to any ProFlex 500. The Caster feature is activated on purchase. Configuration and administration is a snap.

For more information, visit www.ashtech.com.