A Comprehensive Look Into Real Time Kinematic Agriculture

Exploring the benefits and tips to choose real time kinematic technology agriculture

Thanks to technology, precision farming has seen much growth and advancement. One such technology leading the way is Real Time Kinematic (RTK) technology. But what is it? How can it be used in precision agriculture? How to get the right RTK for agriculture tools?


What Is Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Technology?

RTK, or Real Time Kinematic Positioning, is a technology used to improve the accuracy of GPS (a type of GNSS system) positioning. It ascertains the interval it necessitates for an indication to move from the satellite to the collector. The transmitted signal travels through the ionosphere and atmosphere, slowing down and perturbing. It causes GPS receivers to only calculate and determine positions with a low accuracy of 2-4 meters.


RTK solves this problem by providing users with centimeter-high precision accuracy of up to 2 cm for applications that require greater precision. It makes RTK an invaluable tool for surveying, mapping, navigation, and other applications that require precise positioning data. RTK can also be used in autonomous vehicles such as drones and farm tractors, which need highly accurate positioning data to navigate safely.


Why Is RTK Essential to Agriculture?

Real Time kinematics is a fundamental component of precision agriculture equipment and crop management tool. It enables the tractor to perform agricultural field work with an accuracy of less than 2.5 cm. It allows farmers to be more precise in their farming operations, reducing costs associated with uneven rows, farming errors, or unnecessary fuel consumption. 

Emlid Reach RS+ single band RTK GNSS with for surveying, mapping and data collection.

(Emlid Reach RS+ single band RTK GNSS for surveying, mapping and data collection.)

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The Differences Between Static and RTK Survey

The main difference between static and RTK surveying is the accuracy of the measurements. Static surveying involves taking multiple measures from one location or station over time. This method allows for greater accuracy but requires more time. Farmers need to take several measurements at each survey station.


On the other hand, RTK surveying uses GPS technology and real time corrections provided by a local base station to reduce positional uncertainty. It allows for highly accurate survey results with fewer observations needed than those of a static survey. Additionally, RTK surveys are much faster than their static counterparts since they do not require resetting the instrument after each sequence.


4 Tips for Choosing the Right RTK for Agriculture Tools

Select the Proper Application.

Identify the specific application you will use for the RTK. Different RTK technologies are better suited for various applications. To select a suitable device, you must understand what you will use them for.

Consider the Accuracy and Reliability of Satellite Signals. 

Consider the accuracy and reliability of satellite signals when selecting an RTK system. Depending on your location, some plans may not receive an alert or have frequent interruptions, which could interfere with data accuracy or cause delays during operation.