In order to provide farmers with a cost-effective means of benefiting from the high accuracy potential of RTK, and as part of their long-term commitment to GPS steering systems, Claas UK has become one of the first manufacturers to set about establishing a network of RTK aerials.
Following a successful trial last summer, Claas has bought four licences that will allow them to potentially install masts anywhere within the UK.
Initially 11 masts have been installed to provide RTK (Real Time Kinematic) coverage throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire and part of Leicestershire, covering 2,500,00ha. In the next phase this spring, masts will be installed to cover Kent and the plan is to then move westwards.
However, where there is the demand from customers, Claas will also look at the feasibility of installing masts elsewhere in the UK. Depending on the topography, each mast will provide RTK coverage over a 20 to 30 kilometre radius.
“For a farmer to invest in their own mast and receiver can be expensive, so by establishing our own network of masts, this will provide farmers with a far more cost effective means of benefiting from the accuracy that RTK provides,” explains Claas Precision Farming Product Manager, Edward Miller. “To use the network, customers pay an annual subscription, which will provide access to the whole network, not just a single mast. This will be of particular benefit to contractors or farmers with different blocks of land that maybe straddle a couple of masts. In addition prior to subscribing, a survey will also be conducted to ensure that there is RTK coverage of the farm.”
Aside from providing an RTK signal for Claas GPS Pilot steering systems, the network can also be accessed by those using an Omnistar HP signal with a Trimble receiver.
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