Global Positioning System

By: Gvrd  09-12-2011

The Metro Vancouver Global Positioning System (GPS) Real-Time Service is now available to the public.

Surveyors, engineers and others who need accurate, real-time GPS data now have access to a modern geospatial reference system for the region.

Known as the BCACSm system, or the Active Control Point (ACP) System — Municipal Layer, it offers a Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) service with centimetres-level accuracy and a Differential GPS (DGPS) service with metre-level accuracy in vertical and horizontal dimensions.

Metro Vancouver, comprised of 21 member municipalities and one electoral area, is offering the system to the public in partnership with the B.C. Enterprise Spatial Services (ESS) Branch.

The regional GPS network:

• Supports real-time 3D positioning with two proven technologies, the centimetres-level RTK or the metre-level DGPS operations;

• Offers 24/7 managed data service and help desk support;

• Reduces physical infrastructure costs for the installation, survey, maintenance and replacement of many densely located survey control monuments.

• Increases productivity with highly portable GPS systems; and,

• Provides access to the most modern region of the provincial geospatial reference system.

Potential applications include cadastral surveys, engineering layouts, topographic surveys, GIS mapping, hydrographic surveys, and similar activities.

System Description

A network of five ACP stations continuously tracks GPS satellite signals. The stations send signals via dedicated data lines to a central network server, which manages and distributes GPS correction data to subscribers in real time. Subscribers receive data on their own wireless Personal Communication System (PCS) devices using internet-based infrastructure. The service offers the flexibility of both RTK and DGPS operations. While the RTK operations are limited to a range of 20 km from an ACP site, the DGPS operations can extend further. Both real-time operations require reliable PCS coverage. The Metro Vancouver ACP system will normally broadcast continuously, 24 hours a day, at 1 Hz dual-frequency data sampling rate using standards of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) and/or other industry standard formats.

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