RS+ Functionality and software

G’day all,
I’ve been doing drone mapping for a while now and am stepping up to doing GCPs to get cut and fill measurements at quarries.
I’m about to get the RS+, I’ll only every be out in clear sky and not far from the base.

I’m worried if I am down in the pit that I wont be able to get a fix.
I’m sure the connection to the base will be fine, but I’m worried that I wont have enough skyview.
My question: if I lose fix, can I just use the point and post process after? I really don’t want to have to jump upto the RS2 for the single point in the pit.

Secondly, I might occasionally be required to make out the boundary line of the next pit and throw a few stakes in. I’m not a surveyor and not selling my services to be one, I’m just focusing on stock control, but if I have tools I might as well use them. Can I mark out a couple of points in Reachview, draw a line between them and then walk that line with the rover to mark out points?

Finally, does anyone else here do cut and fill calculations using drones? If so, what software do you use? I have been using DroneDeploy but their pricing is crazy for the Enterprise tier which has the cut and fill functionality. I’m moving over to Pix4dmapper (which is a shame as I love DroneDeploys volume annotations). So again, what software do you use for cut and fill calcs?

Many thanks,


If your making money and it’s a business and your serious about it, best to invest in something that works better than something that may be questionable.

You’ll clip a lot of the needed lower lying satellites being down in a pit which will make it difficult if not possible for the RS+, especially right up against a wall.

You can always go the DIY M2 route…it’s not difficult, it’s just not as ready out of the box and as “pretty and durable” as the RS2, but you’ll get multi-band which will be much more successful than the single band RS+.

You need a robotic total station . Depending on the depth of the pit, visualize a cone with the tip in the pit and look up. That’s going to be your sky view for the receiver. To make matters worse, you have an L1 receiver only. You can try and PP the collected points, however you will have problems with PDOP and very few satellites. This will cause poor accuracy in the PP points. In order to PP the rover points, you will need occupation times of at least 15 minutes. You just don’t have the right tools for pit observations.


Hopefully others here that actually do this type of work down in the pit with an RS2 can shed some light if feasible or not even with a narrow cone of clear sky view. An RS+ will be nothing but frustrating and never getting a fix.

DIY M2 Base & Rover are very reasonably priced $$$ for multi-band solution compared to other multi-band products.

You think RS2 may be out of cost range, wait until you price a Robotic Total Station $$,$$$… or even other brands of GNSS $$$$… and they have tilt compensation which makes measuring even faster and easier.

Then come back to the M2.

Hi Joe,

Indeed, Reach RS2 can work in more challenging conditions. For example, with trees, buildings, or cars nearby. However, If the sky view is significantly blocked while you work at pits, even Reach RS2 won’t be able to achieve a Fix.

So, it’s hard to say something surely without local tests. However, some of our dealers might have demo units to test. You can check the list of our dealers and contact the nearest ones for more details.

Yes, you can. However, if the quality of the satellite signals is poor due to bad environmental conditions, PPK won’t be of help.

Yes, that’s right. The function you described is called stakeout. We provide a free ReachView 3 app for Reach configuration, point collection, and stakeout. It’s free and available on Android and iOS. You can learn more about how to import points and stake them out from this video guide on our Youtube Channel.

You can usually do this in any photogrammetric software. I can hardly advise anything specific here, as we do not work with it. Maybe some of our users will advise something.

If you wanted to go the entirely free way, you could do the photogrammetry with WebODM to generate your DEMs from the drone imagery then hop in QGIS and use the Raster surface volume tool. We’ve compared the two methods between Pix4D and QGIS and the volume values are for all intents and purposes the same.

This is an amazing forum, thanks for the replies.
I’m not afraid of spending money if it saves hours within reason.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 100 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.