With internal modem technology, Topcon's MC-R3 controller allows the operator to select the method of communication from the list of choices in the software running on the system plus the ability to tap into existing GPS and GNSS networks. Using any Topcon 3D-MC system, the operator dials into the local network to establish an RTK correction from the network.
Utilizing a network — local, privately owned or public — instead of a standalone base-to-rover, RTK technology saves on equipment costs and time, since the user does not need to own or set up a local base station. The network also dramatically expands the operating range. A digital UHF radio may broadcast correction signals to rovers up to eight miles, but in contrast, a network rover uses cellular technology and can easily fix a position at 20 miles from the nearest base station in reasonable conditions.
Eliminating localization errors with the right coordinate system simplifies the entire construction process. An operator can turn on his machine and the system knows where it is on the site model and can immediately go to work, reducing setup time every day as the network is always on and always available for corrections to the machines or grade checkers. Using a network eliminates the need for a local base station on site and extends the range in which the machine or man rovers can operate substantially.
As with all precise measurement technology, atmospheric conditions and curvature of the earth impart errors over distance that must be accounted for in order to maintain high accuracy. The company offers local vertical correction that can be utilized by an unlimited number of rovers on the same site without interference.