Reach M2 for aircraft photogrammetry

Hello, I am curious if anyone has used the Reach M2 for photogrammetry in piloted aircraft operating at ~90 knots. I would like to connect the M2 to a Nikon D850 which is used in aerial photography to collect event marker locations.

Are there any limitations to the M2 operating at higher airspeeds than typical UAVs?

Will the Nikon D850 work with the Reach M2?

Is there a lower profile dual band antenna for the M2? The one offered will create significant drag. Would a trimble dual band aviation antenna work with the M2?

Kind Regards,


Like most GNSS receivers the M2 is typical set to record at 5HZ with all constellations on so you are only going to get a datapoint every 30ft or so at 90 knots but you can get 10Hz with GPS + GLONASS only. I use mine on my vehicle occasionally for collect large road projects but I can drive much slower than you can fly, lol. At 30 mph I calc that I am basically getting a point every 8-10 feet.

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The point of the M2 is that it can record photo locations instantaneously when it receives a voltage from the camera hot shoe, correct? Therefore the normal position recording doesn’t matter, right? I am interested in the event markers which are logged when the receiver receives a voltage from the camera.

The photos are usually taken at 1Hz, so should be no issue.

Hi Peter,

Welcome to our forum!

I agree with Michael’s comment below. With such a high speed, you may need to fly on the 10 Hz update rate. 90 knots is 46.3 m/s, so the position will be recorded every 4.63 meters. You can use all satellite constellations at this rate.

There are no such limitations as such, but you may need to consider the higher vibration at such speeds.

It should work with Reach M2 because it has a hot shoe.

We don’t have lower-profile antennas in our lineup. The Trimble ones should work fine if they support the same frequency bandwidth as the bandwidth of signals perceived by Reach. The only thing is that you’ll need to use the specific adapter and cable to connect Reach to the TNC antenna’s connector. The receiver has the MCX antenna connector.

Exactly. When the camera triggers, Reach records a time mark in a raw data log. It occurs due to electromagnetic impulses.

The position update rate shouldn’t be lower than the triggering rate to process the events properly.

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Hi Kirill,

Thank you very much for the informative response.

Exactly. When the camera triggers, Reach records a time mark in a raw data log. It occurs due to electromagnetic impulses.

The output from the M2 would be locations at 10 Hz and event markers and specific times. Does your software interpolate between the two nearest locations to determine what the location of the photograph?

Can you explain what the workflow would be with Emlid software from the 10Hz locations and the event markers to geotagged images? I could do this in python, but if you have off the shelf software to do this, that would be great to know.

Can you tell me what the frequency bandwidth for the M2 are? I would like to cost out the hardware required for this before purchasing. Thank you!


Time marks are the separate strings in the RINEX log. Emlid Studio recognizes them and produces two files: a regular pos file with all rover locations and the events.pos file that contains only time marks coordinates.

Yes, we do have Emlid Studio for this workflow. You can read our guide to learn how to geotag images with it.

Reach M2 tracks the following satellite signals:

  • GPS/QZSS: L1C/A, L2C,
  • BeiDou: B1I, B2I,
  • Galileo: E1-B/C, E5b

You can use the graph below to correlate the signals with their bandwidth:



This is super helpful, thank you. I am convinced this is the right product for my mission. Much appreciated.


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Not many people know this as well as understand, thanks Krill.

Excellent info.