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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Spotlight: Small Precise GNSS Receiver—Champion Instruments Offers Cost-Effective Option Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Winke   
Friday, 15 April 2016

A 819Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Too often reality falls short of expectations....the innovative product that truly isn't that great or the durable item that breaks after a few uses. That is why a product that appears to redefine the idiom "you get what you pay for" into "you get more than what you pay for" is worth noting.

"We're offering surveyors and construction contractors a high value GNSS surveying system at a low cost point," states Lonnie Sears, president of eGPS Solutions, Inc. and partner of Champion Instruments, LLC, both located in Norcross, Georgia. "Our new Champion WR1 GNSS Receiver offers the same performance and results found in the technology sold by the larger providers in the market."

The company, eGPS Solutions, offers direct sale or rental of technology to the surveying and mapping industries. eGPS also owns a statewide Real Time Network (RTN) blanketing Georgia and extending 5 miles off the coastline. The eGPS RTN was the first in the state and has been operational for more than 10 years. It is comprised of multiple reference stations providing a continuous collection and broadcast of both GPS and Glonass satellite signals.

Champion Instruments provides product development, sales management, and product support for its base/rovers, total stations, data collectors, and other products and accessories. The newest product is the Champion WR1 GNSS Surveying System.

The Champion WR1 offers three design and engineering features that the manufacturer expects will distinguish it in the market:
1. Smaller Size--The WR1 weighs in at less than 2.2 lbs and fits in the palm of the hand.
2. New Antenna Design--The dielectric antenna is designed to mitigate multipath issues, allowing for quicker ambiguity resolution.
3. Automatic Tilt Correction--The WR1 can self-correct out-of-level errors up to 30 degrees.

"We have two Champion WR1 receivers and like their outstanding functionality--there's just three buttons to operate them," says Matt Anderson, project manager with James M Anderson & Associates, Statesboro, Georgia. "The receiver is very precise--its accuracy meets the high standards we have for the work we complete for our customers."

Anderson also cites that he likes the flexibility: "We like the option of using it as a pole-mounted rover receiver or a base station."

The Pacific Crest UHF-Link internal radios in the WR1 can both send and receive at 403~473MHz. The unit offers 220 GNSS channels capturing both GPS and GLONASS satellite signals and providing ±2.5mm horizontal and ±5mm vertical positioning accuracy, assuming access to a minimum of five satellites.

The WR1 is designed to be durable. The durability claim made by the manufacturer is strengthened by the Champion WR1 receiver's operating temperature range of -40°C to + 65°C (-40F to 149F), ability to operate in 100% humidity, and its water/dust proof rating of IP67. The unit also has tested to function after a three meter pole drop.

"I like the WR1's affordable price," states Bobby Boan, senior project manager, with Falcon Design Consultants, Stockbridge, Georgia. "You can't beat it for being a low-cost option."

Surveyor firms and construction contractors have found the best applications for the Champion WR1 GNSS Surveying System to include:
• Setting control points for boundary survey and project site lines. 
• Topos or volumetric surveys for obtaining the quantity of stockpiled materials or excavated materials from a borrow pit.
• Construction layout stakeouts on open sites where GPS site prep and machine control are used.

The WR1 is being marketed as representing the next generation of surveying with it being: More compact, rugged and advanced than ever before!

Jeff Winke is a construction writer. Portfolio samples can be seen at: jeffwinke.contently.com.

A 819Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

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