Lets consider a surveyor in the US as a typical example.
SmartNet North America offers a state level annual subscription for around $ 2,400. This means that anywhere, anytime within that service area, the Surveyor can receive RTK corrections for their rover with no need to ever setup their own base station.
$ 2,400 is not a small sum of money. But assume the Surveyor completes an average of 2-3 jobs per week for 50 weeks of the year using Network RTK this is a total of around 100 jobs per year.
The cost per job to receive Network RTK correction is therefore $ 24 per job. So the question for the Surveyor to answer is, can I save $ 24 per job by not using a base station? Consider the following.
Firstly, the surveyor saves time by not needing to do the following:
Secondly, the surveyor saves money by not needing to purchase:
- Researching a known point to setup the base station over.
- Arranging a power-supply (e.g. batteries) for the base station.
- Travelling to the base station location (which may not always be conveniently located next to the site where he is working).
- Setting up the base-station.
- Securing the base station (i.e. do not need to worry about it being stolen or knocked over).
- Packing up the base station at the end of the job.
In the next section lets look, other advantages include:
- A base station.
- Base station accessories (radios, batteries, tripod, etc.).
- Labor for the time spent doing the tasks listed earlier (which may also include to pay someone to simply sit by the base station to ensure it is not stolen)
- Maintenance for the base station and accessories.
- The removal of some potential error sources (e.g. not needing to plumb a base station and measure its height).
- Less equipment to move/transport. The list probably goes on. So lets look at an example of how using an RTK Network might benefit a surveyor.