Trimble recently partnered with Ukraine’s Kyivstar to install a Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network, which will provide the country with GNSS correction services down to 2 cm of accuracy. Trimble will supply both hardware and software for the network.
Kyivstar is Ukraine’s largest telecommunications company, while Trimble brings “leading expertise in positioning solutions and services,” said Tomas Dyjas, senior director of worldwide sales for Trimble Advanced Positioning. The combination will result in more optimized productivity, safer operation and improved customer work time in the many industries that can use the network.
CORS will offer high precision GNSS for existing and new customers, with options for less accuracy for applications that don’t require the 2 cm level, Dyjas said. In the short term, most end users will be in the agriculture, geospatial and construction sectors, relying on the network for applications like machine guidance and geodetic survey. The IoT sector and “essentially any type of automated workflow like a vehicle” will benefit from the network as well.
“It’s important for countries to digitize and automate as many workflows in these industries as possible, but it’s especially important given the circumstances in Ukraine,” Dyjas said. “There is a lot of building and construction expected, so having a network that covers the country and helps to automate construction workflows with accurate positioning is of the highest importance.”
A closer look at Trimble’s technology
Trimble software and hardware will be installed on Kyivstar’s communication towers and will include Trimble Alloy reference receivers and Trimble Zephyr model 3 antennas.
Trimble Alloy, with its IP68 rating, is designed for extreme conditions. It provides full constellation GNSS tracking for all existing and future satellites, as well as absolute positioning capabilities. The reference receiver leverages Trimble’s Maxwell 7 technology to protect against spoofing. It also has an on-board spectrum to detect interference/jamming. It features quad core processing, up to an 100hz data logging rate and ultra-low power consumption.
The geodetic antenna, the Trimble Zephyr 3, offers full GNSS constellation support. It also provides low-elevation satellite tracking, minimized multipath, sub-millimeter phase center repeatability and improved signal reception in harsh signal environments. It is weather resistant and features a low profile design.
The Trimble Pivot Platform brings it all together, offering Network-RTK processing of full-constellation GNSS signals. The software manages the GNSS network and provides reliable signal correction at all times. Applying sophisticated atmospheric models reduces systematic errors and makes it possible to generate accurate VRS corrections for various applications. This results in a reliable, efficient workflow for end users.
The Trimble Alloy, Zephyr 3 geodetic antennas and Pivot Platform software that make up Ukraine’s CORS network are all part of Trimble VRS Now and Trimble RTX networks around the world.
“The Trimble software combined with the antenna and reference station provides a seamless workflow,” Dyjas said. “It increases availability and accuracy, and overall the technology is providing corrections services while supporting all the GNSS satellites and signals that are available here today as well as potentially in the future.”
Trimble is now focused on establishing the network control center, Dyjas said, where the Trimble software will run. The Kyivstar team is working to deploy the first 41 communication towers. Once that’s completed, which is expected to be by the end of the year, the system will be open to end users. The second phase, with a completion date in 2024, will consist of 150 more towers. The service will then be expanded to a wider customer base with increased coverage in the country.
The CORS network will be a subscription based service, with subscriptions available through Ukraine’s Kyivstar. Trimble’s local geospatial distributor KMC Ltd. will provide maintenance and support to Kyivstar.
The biggest challenge to installing the network, Dyjas said, will be to monitor the work and “act with safety and security as the highest priority given the uncertainty and circumstances in the country.”
“We understand how important it is to invest in Ukraine’s economy right now, which is why we continue to launch technological solutions that will help businesses work even more efficiently,” Kyivstar New Business Development Director Illya Polshakov said, according to a news release about the partnership. “I am sure that the RTK correction signal service will facilitate the work of our customers from various industries.”