RTK System with external GNSS antenna for harsh environmental conditions

Dear all,

we are developers of a floating offshore platform. We want to monitor the motions of our floating system by use of a GNSS-RTK system in all 6 degrees of freedom (Heave,Surge,Sway,Roll,Pitch,Yaw). Using the Reach RS+ would enable us to monitor the relevant data as far as I understood.

There is a fixed platform where we could install our reference system closed by. The distance between both systems is about 1 kilometer. Both platforms (the floating one, as well as the fixed one) provide constant power supply. We want to monitor the motions over a long period (years). This is why I believe, it would be better to place all electronics, within the platform because of the duration of the measurement campaign and the harsh environmental conditions (high humidity, about 20-40°C air temperature, salty air) which means there is a need for an external GNSS antenna.

My questions at this point are:

  1. Is it possible to attach an external antenna to the Reach RS+ ? I didn´t find anything about it, and it doesn´t seem to offer a respective interface.

  2. Is the Reach RS+ capapble of surviving years on top of that platform resisting, UV radiation, rain, high humidity and salty air?

  3. If 1 and 2 do not apply would it be another way to set up two Reach M+ with respective external antennas instead of an Reach RS+?

A1. There are two antennas on Reach RS+, the GNSS antenna and the LoRa antenna. The LoRa antenna is attached by an external connector, but the GNSS antenna is internal. So you can easily change/adapt/extend the LoRa antenna. It is not impossible to relocate or use a different GNSS antenna with RS+, but I’m not sure that it would make sense to do so.

A2. Emlid should be the one to comment on the longevity of the housing in an outdoor environment / marine weather environment. The RS+ housing is pretty good, but the marine environment can be really tough on equipment. There a few mods that could be done to extend the operational life for this situation.

A3. A Reach M+ paired with a through-hole antenna would be the ideal thing to integrate I think, but you would need to provide your own enclosure and waterproofing/saltproofing. But if you want a more modular, built-in device that is an easily replaceable unit, then an RS+ could also be an ideal device with some extra ruggedization mods.

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