Utilizing a Reach M2 Module as a Data Collection Device for Positioning of Ground Control Points

Totally thinking outside the “box” here. I am looking for a dual frequency GNSS system to locate ground control points for orthomosaic maps flown with my DJI Phantom 4 drone. I can post process with RTKLIB or real-time with NTRIP (when in range of cell service using the Reach M2/M+ LoRa radio) from our local CORS network here in New York State. Am very intrigued with the Reach RS2. However, it may be overkill for what I am looking for. I am thinking that I can possibly perform the same duties with the new Reach M2 RTK GNSS system for a third of the cost. I would be integrating RTK survey grade antenna with phase center calibration if available. (currently looking at these two options for antennas: https://ebay.us/tABZ2B https://www.swiftnav.com/store/accessories/gnss-antenna-pack?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=701F0000000gRQY ) My question to current users of the Reach M+ single frequency system on this site is if anyone has tried that system with the ReachView app to collect survey points and is it possible. Asking since the M2 isn’t available yet but should operate similarly to the M+. Thanks in advance.

In short, yes. You can use one M2 with a CORS or, I would suggest two M2’s. I only have RS+ and M+'s so it may be different with the M2, but the M’s are definitely do not reach as far or deal with tough terrain as well as my RS’s. Having a base and rover is most definitely the way to go when surveying GCP’s and droning. Unless you want to take a chance that a service isn’t available or not functioning correctly. I also prefer PPK because I can verify 100% that the data I am pushing is correct whether it be good or bad. I can also adjust the correction stream after the fact in case any particular satellites or constellations had issues that day. See the thread below for the home-build I did on the Yuneec H520. The GNSS kit on it can be unmounted in about 5 seconds, the antenna tilted and mounted to a pole to act as a rover.


It absolutely work, and work well.
However, there will be few hassles, compared to buying the RS2:

  • you have to buy a multi-frequency antenna. Usually not the cheapest thing, if they are to be any good. Expect 300 eur or so.
  • be prepared to do a good bit of DIY’ing. You need a power-supply, and you need to make sure that you have as short an antenna cable as possible.
  • be prepared that M2 might not give you as good SNR as the RS2 because of the DIY’ing.
  • setup-times on rover-pole might take longer and look a little bit dodgy to customers. The RS2 inspires much more confidence in your abilities (silly, yeah, but true).
  • finally, consider if the time spent DIY’ing is actually more expensive than just buying a turn-key solution like the RS2?
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Could someone post a couple of examples? I am about to by a couple of setups of the 2 series RS and M and hope to do what I am currently doing, but better. While I will be purchasing a an actual RS2 rover I would like my drone setups to be able to turned into rovers if needed. I see several L1/L2/L5 antennae out there for $100USD, but don’t want to get the wrong thing.

My H520 setup used a free mobile-recharger battery that plugs in directly with micro-usb, but they are available on Amazon. Search “5v Credit Card Battery”.

A jig easily accomplishes this. Slide/click/pin or whatever you want into place and there’s no question. Be creative, but look for similar scenarios. They’re out there and you won’t have to waste allot of time. Plus, it may be fun and gratifying.


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