New To Everything, Looking For Knowledge

Hey Everyone:

That title is more relevant to my long term goals here in the Emlid community. New to ‘everything’ is a loaded statement, so before I throw out my first (of what will be BILLIONS) question, allow me to explain in this book I wrote here special for all of you!

What I’m New At:

  • Commercial Drone Services, The Industry I’ve Just Started a Company In (TCAS Analytics)
  • The Legacy Drone Community Cultural Norms (Lonnnng stories for this one)
  • RTK Level GNSS Systems
  • Anything Even Remotely Related to the Surveyor Discipline
  • Ellipses, Or Other Strange Terms I Keep Reading
  • Pix4D, The Photogrammetry & Orthomosaic Mapping Software We Chose to Invest In
  • Getting Chicks to Think I’m Handsome

What I’m NOT New At:
3 Decades of Professional Civil Aviation Expertise Across a Broad Swath of the Industry Including:

  • Commercial Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Certified Aircraft Mechanic
  • New Aircraft Sales Territory Manager
  • Lobbyist Representing Civil Aviation Industry to the US Federal Government for Air Traffic Policy Issues (We liked to say ‘advocate’)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aviation Regulatory Environmental Compliance Officer (as boring as it sounds)
  • USAF Civilian Intelligence Officer & Civil Aviation Subject Matter Expert (as awesome as it sounds)
  • Brief 3 Year Enlistment as Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper Intelligence Exploitation & Production Specialist (a little drone street cred)
  • and one hell of a winning smile (not true, snaggle tooth)

Started & Ran/Run 3 Successful Small Businesses NOT in Aviation:

  • Promotional Products Distribution
  • Traditional Residential Property Rental Property & Management
  • Vacation Rental Property & Management (Absolutely 2 VERY Different Things)

All The Things All That Stuff Made Me Smart On:

  • ICAO International Civil Aviation Regulatory Standards Harmonization
  • FAA Air Traffic Services & Air Space Systems
  • FAA Regulation & Rule Making Processes & Requirements
  • US Government National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Applications, Requirements, & Processes (Like I said, VERY boring stuff)
  • ADS-B Civil Aviation Surveillance Systems (Both Aircraft In/Out Equipage & Air Traffic Sides of the Equation)
  • Legacy Air Traffic Primary & Secondary Surveillance Systems (Both Aircraft Transponder Beacon & Air Traffic Sides of the Equation)
  • International Civil Aviation Flight Operations, Requirements, & Procedures
  • What It’s Like to Watch Live When an MQ-9 Reaper Launch a Hellfire at a Guy Who (Trust Me) Deserved To Be Removed From The Battlespace (As Cool As It Sounds)
  • Proven Lobbying Techniques Which Successfully Compel The FAA and/or DoD to Modify or Eliminate Certain Aspects of Proposed Regulations or Rules Which if Implemented Would Cause Harm (Financial and/or Operational) to Certain Civil Aviation Sectors Not Being Considered (Drone Sector is Going To Need a LOT of This)
  • FAA Part 23 Civil Aircraft Certification Standards & Requirements
  • FAA Part 43 Aircraft Maintenance Standards & Accepted Practices
  • FAA Part 61 Civilian Pilot Certification Standards & Requirements
  • Strategies For Starting & Effectively Running Small Businesses

Why did I tell you all that, and why would anyone care? The surprise to some will be that I’m not actually some sort of narcissist looking for unearned respect from this community up front. Nope, no way, no how, not what I’m about. Hell, at least 90% of all that stuff I did has exactly ZERO to do with RTK GNSS anything. I did however, want to put it out there for a number of reasons, first and foremost being that I plan on being a regular here, and whether or not you can see it, I believe that a sizable amount of my experience and knowledge will be applicable to many of the initiatives being taken on by members of this board. Especially when you consider how quickly the word is spreading in the small commercial drone services business owner communities about there FINALLY being an affordable RTK GNSS option which will equip them to raise their small business game.

The truth is, I love watching others succeed, especially if I was in any way able to to provide any sort of assistance to them. I’m a small business entrepreneur to the core, run all my businesses, as well as my personal life based on a few very basic core ethical & moral tenets & values, and refuse to engage in any sort of hostile or toxic practices or behaviors. People will ALWAYS be prioritized ahead of profits, we will do the right things for the right reasons, and I’ll never charge someone for something, be it a service or product, which doesn’t measure up to my standards. I know it sounds like idealistic dribble to some, but I’m fine with the criticisms from that crowd. I’m sick and tired of this “It’s not personal, it’s just business” greed-driven, unbridled profits over everything, way of doing business which has become so pervasive and toxic in the US over the last few decades. I’m sorry, greed is a moral failing, and it’s certainly not good. I’ve met people who buy into that “Wolf of Wall Street” nonsense, use it as a perpetual excuse to screw over anyone they can for a buck, and claim that if it’s not illegal, it’s acceptable business practices. I’ve not the time or energy for that type of toxic failure of a human, and will do everything in my power to remove them from my immediate area of operations.

Anyway, kinda went off the ranting rails there, sorry. What I was starting to say before I began current-culture raging was that I fully acknowledge that this forum is nothing short of Emlid’s house, and by that notion an RTK GNSS/ Surveyor-esque community. However, the makeup of this community, I feel, is going to evolve quickly into one which includes a large percentage of drone service providers and business owners. I know I’m even close to being the first Commercial Drone Services business owner to register & post, I’m certain I won’t be the last, and if I can help any of them in any way to succeed, well, hell’s yeah. That’s why I dropped all that previous experience stuff in here, because I want to be an asset.

Which brings me to tonight, and the original impetus for my posting this dissertation. My commercial drone services business, TCAS Analytics (Southern Maryland, USA) is currently in the latter preparatory & training stages of standing up for initial market service launch, the procurement of a set of Emlid Reach RS+ systems being our most recent investment. We’re still in the process of developing an extensive set of corporate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which together look very much like an FAA Air Carrier Crew Operations Manual, as well as the first broad set of standards and policies, all of which will evolve right along side the company as it grows and expands in perpetuity.

If you’re a new drone services business, or hell, even if you’ve been around for awhile, but you aren’t yet thinking about developing these types of formal documents specifically for your business operations, maybe because the FAA doesn’t require them, you feel you’re too small, you don’t have the time, or even didn’t know about things like that before reading them here, the sooner you start the effort, the better off your company will be in the future. I say this as someone who was working for the FAA, my office located at the 800 Independence Ave SE headquarters building in Washington DC, and had a front row seat to watch on the day the Congressional mandate to regulate sUAS dropped on the Administrator’s doorstep like a bag of flaming poop.

I won’t get into all the policy justifications which the FAA leadership maintained in an effort to avoid having drones/ sUAS placed under their regulatory purview. However, I will say that a large part of this FAA executive leadership team-shared reluctance was without a doubt being driven the fact that doing so would result in a cascading series of significant and ever-increasing financial, regulatory, and operational resources the agency would legally mandated to funnel towards what eventually ended up becoming the first new sector to join the US civil aviation industry in multiple decades. Trust me, this industry is NOT known for being flexible or welcoming to outsiders or new ideas.

That said, we’ve only begun to see the benefits to the sUAS community, especially on the small-scale operator side, and these benefits will continue to manifest in many MANY awesome ways. But, there is usually a cost to such benefits, right? For US commercial drone operators, these costs are almost guaranteed to present as new more stringent & demanding FAA regulations being introduced which make our jobs more difficult/ expensive. For those of us who resign to being unprepared, or are simply unwilling to accept (what in my opinion) are actually industry bolstering requirements and standards to meet, life will be a few measures more miserable for a longer time than it could have been. Those unwilling to comply will also risk losing the businesses they worked hard to build, and then spend their days bemoaning how over-intrusive and business stifling governmental overreach took away everything. Sadly, these folks will have only themselves to blame, never being willing or able to step back and recognize that what we do is not without risk, FAA has a storied history of working with industry to limit impacts to the industry, and without those safeguards metal hurtling through the air, of any size, can have devastating consequences which these restrictions are designed to prevent. Yes, a little drone has enough kinetic energy to cause a LOT of damage and/or injuries, and NO, the current drone community is NOT paying attention to anything even close to a safety risk management program. You reading may be doing your part, but the drone community as a whole is falling pathetically short.

If you get a chance, take a look at what I feel is an appropriate level of prerequisites, demonstrated knowledge standards, and flight maneuver requirements which the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) currently requires of their commercial drone pilot applicants. Then maybe take a look at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO - pronounced EYE-kay-oh) sUAS Regulatory SARPS (basically what the international civil aviation regulatory community agrees are the global minimum civil aviation, and now sUAS standards), and consider both to be the bare minimums for what you develop for your company.

Anyway, with respect any company’s efforts to do just that, it’s important that they retain, maintain the currency of, and have at the disposal of all operational crew-members, a set of written documentation related to all corporate processes and deployed platforms & equipment. While not an aviation-related piece of equipment, and certainly not something which the FAA would even have any regulatory jurisdiction over, we should all be striving to leverage the full suite of capabilities offered by every piece equipment used to execute a sUAS mission. To that point, we at TCAS Analytics are intent on including all relevant operational processes and SOP integrations of the new Emlid Reach RS+ units into our Operations Manuals, which we feel will consistently yield a far higher quality, greater level of precision, and thus more useful and valuable deliverable for our end-use customers’ use.

The problem I’m running into is that when I click on the Emlid “Documentation” link, there are actually no downloadable documents to be found.

We were hoping Emlid maintained a set of non-HTML, preferably PDF versions, of all the documentation related to the various units, which could be downloaded by customers and users for their needs. We have placed a significant priority on being capable of providing our customers with any of our services in any location or level of network connectivity. In other words, if a crew is out at a job site and wishes to reference an Emlid document for any number of reasons, they need to have access to these whether or not they have any internet connectivity. They need to be able to pull up the appropriate Emlid documentation PDF on an offline laptop or cellular device.

So, finally, the question(s):

  1. Does Emlid maintain downloadable PDF versions of all the Reach RS+ (as well as for all Emlid models for customers equipped with those) documentation available on the website?
  2. If you do, where do we go to download them?
  3. Does Emlid maintain a rigid documentation review and update schedule, or update as needed?
  4. Does Emlid have any sort of opt-in-able documentation/ firmware update notification service?
  5. If so, how do we opt-in?
  6. If Emlid doesn’t maintain downloadable versions of their product documentation, what could we say to convince you that it’s important to do so?

Thanks for reading my post, and I hope I get to meet, learn a ton from, and maybe even offer some assistance to as many Emlid employees and customers as I learn this new discipline. For the record, yesterday we deployed the 2 Reach RS+s in the field, one as a Base, one as a Rover, and successfully pulled the high relative positions of our GPCs prior to an orthomosasic mapping training mission. Earlier today we ran the collected through with Pix4D Mapper processing of that mission, stumbled clumsily through importing the GPC .csv (Why does DroneDeploy get a special export option but not the Pix4D kids???), and were eventually thrilled to see that we seemed to have got it right on the first try, which was certainly not the expectation. Next challenge is to figure out how to make the Absolute Positioning function work, because Relative Accuracy is not what our standards are going to be.

Finally, the end. Yeah, verbose is where it’s at, and brevity is for those without a lot to say. Anyone who has worked anywhere in the Intel Community will likely question my employment claims based on my shirking of this core tenet of that culture. Truth is, I hated the “Bottom Line Up Front”, or BLUF requirement, but I certainly wasn’t going to complain too loudly or not comply. It just took me some extra time to scrub the “fluff” from the products I wrote.

Thanks for the answers, looking forward to learning a TON!

Pete

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Good morning from Texas Pete and welcome to the community. Thanks for the detailed introduction! I feel like I have known you for years now, lol. I can’t directly answer your initial questions, but there is docs.emlid.com and most of the work is done on Github. (https://github.com/emlid). I am sure someone with the answer will chime in here shortly.

So from what I have gathered your group is a drone services startup? Any market focus? From what I read you are in the right place and I would also encourage you to check out forum.dronedeploy.com more specifically for drone mapping.

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Unless you have (or plan to have) partners that have a good background in surveying or remote sensing, I’d strongly suggest taking a few courses on the subjects. I would be hard pressed to choose photogrammetry services from operators that have no or very little theoretical knowledge on some of the physical principles involved. It will greatly affect the product quality you can offer to your clients and you’ll have no way to do a meaningful quality assessment.

Just gaining enough knowledge to identify what you don’t know will make you able to hire the professionals that will fill the critical gaps.

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This is a great suggestion and I think the future of serious drone services companies will show that it would be prudent to have a PLS or at least a Civil Engineer on staff. There will always be room for the “I fly you buy it” outfits, but serious mapping is going to be so integrated in AEC and GIS that people are going to do it for themselves if some of these companies don’t step up. It’s also critical to acquire the right tools up front. Nothing can take a data collection effort down faster than an inefficient software workflow. I would also recommend becoming a member of ASPRS. This stuff has been around for a long time and even in a modern methods form longer than most would think.

http://employees.oneonta.edu/baumanpr/geosat2/RS%20History%20I/RS-History-Part-1.htm

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We are a startup and are focusing on the technical collection side of the house. If some Realtor asks us to take images and video for a listing, if we can, we would work with them. However the creative side of the industry isn’t what we’re excited about.

So, technical collection as we see it, we’re targeting town, city, county, and possibly state municipalities for a number of different mapping needs. We’re interested in public safety, and have sits on the books with some of the local fire houses and the Sheriff department in our area to discuss supporting them with our FLIR sensors and traffic accident scene 3D modelling for the investigations sections. The Sheriff Dept apparently has some form of existing organic drone program already, so it will be interesting to see where they might need assistance.

As far as DroneDeploy, we’re quite familiar with the company and cloud-based data processing services. They were one of five different system options we considered during our platforms and resources procurement process a few months ago. We did like the “All-In-One” package that they offer commercial drone service providers, however for a number of key reasons we determined another company’s systems were a better fit. That ended up being Pix4D Mapper which we’ve been working to learn since the decision was made.

However, any online forum communities filled with like minded small business owners who are willing to share any lessons learned and provide us with some guidance we may not even know we need, well that’s gold! I’ll be hopping over and registering once I respond to all the replies my post received here, which HOLY COW was NOT expected.

Thanks for taking the time to read my book and show the interest in our company and suggestions offered. Let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you.

Also, my experience and knowledge of Texas begins and ends with the Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX. Don’t EVER drink the water!

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Pix4D is a great product and their cloud service has gotten allot better in the last 6-months. Since 90% of our use is in construction and internal to our company DroneDeploy is our primary just because of that easy all-in-one nature, but we do maintain local processing software as well. It will be interesting to see how you develop and what you collaboration platform ends up looking like.

The main reason for the reference to their forum was just as you said to interface with like-minded professionals. The majority of the discussion is about technique and output rather than a DroneDeploy specific tech support arena. It’s a good place to get perspectives from many different industries on the same core functionalities of drone data collection.

Hey Gabriel:

Everything you said is 100% spot on. We have some good friends who have been licensed surveyors in Maryland for the better part of 3 decades. They’ve agreed to teach us enough to be dangerous, but the shared intent is to support each other’s businesses with the capabilities we each bring to the table. We will essentially have access to a licensed surveyor as needed, and they will be able to turn 30 hour large scale surveying projects into 5 hour surveying projects, when the requirements allow.

With regards to the remote sensing experience, this is where we are very fortunate. My equal share partner has 20 years of professional civil aviation experience, which while far less diverse than my background, brings tremendously relevant knowledge and expertise to the table. Like I said earlier, I have a couple of small businesses to run, the new drone services one receiving by far the majority of my attention in a given week. For my partner, this is his only business, but he also has a full-time (barely with COVID) job based up near Washington DC at Andrews AFB. There he works as a fully rated Beech King Air fixed-wing turboprop airplane, as well as a Bell 412 twin-turbine helicopter for the Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Lab office. The aircraft are custom equipped to detect and plot any sources of radiation which are used to create baseline survey maps of specified areas and facilities. In the event that a radiation source is suspected or reported, they are able to determine any locations or recent movement paths of those sources to direct the Federal intervention they support. He is essentially a subject matter expert of that discipline, which was one of the significant reasons we are more interested in the technical collection side of the business than the creative side.

As far as your last statement, that’s a core tenet of all my businesses: “Do what you do best, and farm out the rest”. I appreciate you taking the time to offer your thoughts. I’m here to learn and I guarantee you know far more than I do!

Thanks Michael:

That fly-by-night type operation is the exact antithesis of what we are building. In fact, we feel that those companies more often than not end up reinforcing what is already in some areas a toxic public perception of the drone platforms and service providers. While this is a common issue for many industries, to include certain sectors of air carriers, sUAS are already facing an uphill battle in that respect.

As far as the right tools, we’ve probably overthought a LOT of those decisions over the last few months, but we’d rather over-measure than half-measure on those decisions. When the wrong procurement decision could mean sink or swim, it pays to be OCD.

Thank you for that link to the imaging & geospacial society, I’m already scrubbing that site. Regarding my previous roles in the US Intel Community, with both my enlisted Air National Guard time and USAF civilian Intel Officer jobs, I was considered an all-source or fusion analyst. Basically I was expected to seek out and exploit the resources and capabilities offered by every one of the intelligence disciplines (IMINT, SIGINT, HUMINT, ELINT, OSINT, etc.) to produce products which would effectively address the stated requirements, gaps, and requests of our customers with actionable assessments. I’ll never complain about the work I did because I absolutely loved it, too much in many ways.

However, I always told people that I always thought I should have been imagery analyst because of an unexplained infatuation with maps and charts I’ve had for as long as I can remember. The day Google Earth was released, my productivity (selling airplanes) dropped by 75% for at least two months, and then only when people started to notice. That said, thanks again for that link and the one below it. I’ll spend the next few hours fixated on them!!

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One of the justifications for Pix4D Mapper was the one time license fee without need for subscription. There are reasons for that, but really boil down to preferences more than anything. We were also far happier with what the Pix4D Mapper in house processing yielded over all the other systems, and that included Pix4D Cloud. The most significant reason, though, was the ability for our people to manually clean-up the data at certain points of the process, which I feel can be the difference between amateur and truly professional results. Lastly, the UI and model manipulation smoothness of the native Pix4D program was far superior to all cloud options. We conceded that this might have been the result of a local network connectivity or data throughput restriction issue unrelated to the cloud based systems. However, this is what we currently have to work with (network connections), and along with the other factors made sense for us. We have discussed that there may be specific data processing functions that one of these cloud-based services offers, and that function may become important enough at some point that we are compelled to use both. We’re open to using the most effective tools for every function we may need.

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While we found Pix4D to be one of if not the best processor for structures we have little interest in making “pretty” photogrammetric models so we use SimActive Correlator 3D for our local processing. In my opinion Pix4D’s point cloud editing leaves allot to be desired from a total workflow aspect. It’s mostly a manual process and there’s no opportunity for a standards (filter templating) kit and the DTM’s are horrible from a survey perspective. Carlson Precision 3D Topo is much more versatile on what is done with the points that you are editing. Being able to break a single point cloud down to as many pieces as you want and then being able to infuse other data whether it be from CAD, laser scanners or Lidar goes into a much deeper workflow than Pix4D. Especially when you are designing on top of the clouds you just spent all that time making pretty.

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Welcome to the community!

Just as a heads up, most states having licensing programs for professional surveyors. This may be required for certified projects (boundary surveys etc.) and public works projects. Here is the link for your area (Maryland) https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/ls/

I also perform drone surveying for a blasting company using the Emlid for my GNSS units and have experience with Pix4D and Agisoft.

Let us know how we can help in any way!

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Thanks Steve:

I can only hope that someday I’ll be involved in any activity which is referred to as “blasting”! With so many options for what could entail, I think I’m a little excited. I was looking at the requirements for surveyor licensing, and I only remember thinking to myself about how it wasn’t nearly as simple as a few classes at the ole’ community college, which I’m pretty sure is a more common misconception than just myself. Until I started learning about using the Emlid, I always saw surveyors out in random locations, anywhere and everywhere, holding a pole straight up and down, and looking nowhere near entertained. Who knew???

I do have a question for you. In my original dissertation post, I mentioned in line 4,233 paragraph 302 that I had only found success in acquiring the positions of the GCPs with relative precision. You don’t need to be a pole-holder to understand that a ‘relative’ measurement is never going to be as good as an ‘absolute’ version of that measurement. So can you run me through the process of configuring both the Base & the Rover units to play nice, and provide me with a respectable level of precision? I tried arbitrarily to change a random setting in the Rover after I had the Base setup, but as strange as it may sound, that only succeeded in preventing the Base position to go to zeros, so after remembering what I had changed, was able to reconfigure it back to work, but again, only in that lame “relative” mode.

Is there a quick couple of switches to throw which will enable the set to pull absolute accuracy positions? When it was pulling the “relative” precision positions, the AR validation ratio, which I have no understanding of beyond “999.9 kicks ass”, was always showing the 999.9, and required no wait time once positioned, even when not leveled. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have budged from 999.9 even had I pole vaulted the Rover unit across the survey area, so I figured "yeah, I’m getting positions, but they are not what the cool-kids get. I was pulling loser positions.

What do I do to them to get the absolute, big ballin precision positions? I’ll hope for your response to be something like “No, you’re doing it right, you’re just THAT good, you handsome natural!”

Thanks!

Let’s make sure we define the types of accuracy correctly. Relative accuracy is when the relationship of the points within their own network is accurate. Absolute accuracy refers to global accuracy as in relationship to all other “official” measurements on Earth. Fact is that a very large percentage of drone work is done on sites which are only or only require local relative accuracy. Their data may have originally been derived from an “official” source, but through the wonders of surveying, CAD and engineering they are not a 1:1 relationship. You are just going to have to find out from experience when the difference is based upon the client base you end up with.

If you are speaking more in terms of “Well that’s relatively accurate.” then it’s not accurate, lol.

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Nope, my understanding of the two was right in line with your far more eloquent explanation. I have some sort of OCD which people pickup on pretty quickly around me. I have a burning NEED to make stuff in my life as correct as possible regardless of the value. Ever hear the saying “perfection is the enemy of good enough”? Yeaaaahhhhh.

Bottom line, I have a big issue with what I refer to as “half-measuring” any effort or initiative I undertake. Sure, there are definitely scenarios that not only benefit from that, but actually require that level of detailed attention. But when it causes a task to needlessly take 3-4 X longer because my Howard Hughes butt can’t just let it go…well, let’s just say people can get pretty rude. I’m working on it. Whom amongst us can claim to be free of any character flaws??? First step of modifying behavior is to identify said behavior, which I’ve checked off the list…like a decade and a half ago.

Anyway, the point being, I’ll let you know if I can manage to accept the relative accuracy as adequate when the customer’s requirements are satisfied with that level. It’ll hurt, but I’ll do it!

It actually has nothing to do with half or inadequate measurements. It is more to do with theory vs reality and transformations. What a CAD file or plat says vs what is on the ground and Geodetic vs Cartesian. There’s really no such thing as “good enough” in surveying, but there is “what’s possible” with what evidence we have.

I’m pretty certain that I’m in no way wired in a way where I could be a surveyor. That’s not an insult, just an acknowledgment that my personality doesn’t really sound ideal for the career. Who knows, maybe when I start understanding what all that ellipses stuff means, I’ll start loving it!

It’s interesting how similarly operating systems in differing industries are designated with terms which have no relation to any others. You probably heard of this system, but in the manned aviation world, a straight up GPS will NOT allow what’s considered a “Precision Approach”. Those are when pilots who are flying through obscuring clouds, are provided both lateral and glide-slope (descent path) guidance through in cockpit instruments starting from roughly 3-5 miles straight off the runway, offers highly precise through think clouds safely, down to the end of the runway at about 200-300’ above the ground, at which point the pilot, now able to see the runway, safely lands the aircraft. That system is widely deployed and called the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS - pronounced WAH-ss). I’ve been briefed on how it works to reduce the standard GNSS error of the standard non-precision GPS signal, and it’s nearly identical to RTK corrections.

I need to try to wrap my head around the Geodetic Datum, all the other terms, and learn to talk like I’ve been there before!

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Haha, if you can use that many commas you might be a surveyor. Thence!

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Hi Pete,

Welcome to our community!

We are glad to see such an enthusiastic person on our forum! Don’t hesitate to ask any amount of questions you need to sort this all out.

The online docs allow adding videos, gifs, links, etc., which makes them more clear. Creating a separate printable version would lose this interactive part.

Also, we’re continually improving the docs to bring them up-to-date. Keeping them online allows us to keep the users informed as well. Docs in PDF format may create a situation where some users will use outdated versions of docs that they have previously downloaded.

We regularly add new guides and integrations to the online version. However, I can’t say we have any strict schedule.

When the new firmware version is released, you can see a notification in the ReachView app. Also, you can check the latest news about the firmware and software updates on the community forum in the News category. We announce new guides and tutorials here as well.

I understand your point that offline-docs might be quite useful in some cases. However, due to the reasons I’ve outlined above, simply generating a PDF from each guide is not the best way. Probably, we should find a compromise. For example, a doc containing key parts of a Reach surveying workflow that will help users avoid getting stuck in the middle of a survey due to Internet connection lack. But such a document should be carefully thought out first.

I want to notice that we have a PPK mapping guide in our docs. It includes the Pix4D workflow part, so it might be of help if you have any issues with that.

Next challenge is to figure out how to make the Absolute Positioning function work, because Relative Accuracy is not what our standards are going to be.

To achieve absolute accuracy, you need to use the base station that stands on a known point. In case you don’t have such points nearby, you can use a remote NTRIP base or determine the precise position of your base using the PPP technique. Note that the PPP technique gives centimeter-accurate results for the multi-band receivers only. With Reach RS+, you might get only the submeter accuracy.

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Michael has pretty much summed it up!

Your best bet if your looking for absolute real-world accuracy for certain jobs, is to have your licensed surveyor friend measure a known base point on your work sites to set your base up on (if no good cell reception or you can use an NTRIP base nearby to measure yourself a known point as Svetlana said).

Otherwise, if you are using the data solely inside one site to measure pre/post work and it doesn’t matter if its off from the real world a little, the averaging your base does on its own is sufficient! As long as you set up on the same base point and use the same averaged location it came up with the first time, everything should line up on itself.

So even though we have the 2 Reach RS+ units? I don’t have any objections with using the NTIPS thing, we’re pretty signal rich in this area.