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Trimble to Expand GPS Infrastructure in Switzerland
Trimble GPS and Virtual Reference Station Software to Offer Reliable, High-Precision for GPS Users
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 1, 2000 - Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that it is supplying Global Positioning System (GPS) reference stations and software to expand the Swiss GPS Network, which provides differential (DGPS) and real-time kinematic (RTK) services across Switzerland. The core infrastructure service will be monitored and operated by a Swiss Government Agency. GPS users throughout Switzerland will be able to utilize the services for surveying, construction, navigation, asset management, agriculture and forestry.
The expansion of the Swiss GPS Network follows other Trimble infrastructure project successes. These include: GPS reference stations for the General Lighthouse Authority Network around the coast of Great Britain, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link RTK Network, and the Zurich International Airport Expansion Project.
The GPS network, called AGNES (Automatic GPS Network for Switzerland or Automatisches GPS-Netz Schweiz) currently consists of 10 Trimble GPS reference stations-nine of which are in Switzerland and one in Western Austria. Installation of 14 Trimble Continuously Operating Reference Station 4700s (CORS) began in October 2000 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Seven additional stations are scheduled for installation in 2001.
AGNES is utilizing GPS Network software which allows the creation of Virtual Reference Stations (VRS). The software links the GPS reference stations and enables centimeter-level positioning without the need to set up a local reference station. Users can achieve long-range RTK precision over greater distances via wireless communications in the field. TerraSat, a subsidiary of Spectra Precision, developed the VRS software. In July of 2000, Trimble acquired Spectra Precision.
The VRS software consists of a network of Trimble GPS receivers communicating with a control center to calculate GPS error corrections that are applicable over a wide area. These error corrections are transmitted via wireless communication devices (radios or cellular phones) to users in the field within the network area. Additionally, users can retrieve stored GPS correction data from the control center via the Internet for postprocessing. This is a clear demonstration of the major benefits and synergies that Trimble and Spectra Precision customers can realize.
VRS technology overcomes previous limitations with high precision GPS. The system significantly reduces systematic errors in the reference station data to improve reliability and operating range. This allows a user to increase the distance at which the rover receiver is located from the physical reference stations while improving on-the-fly (OTF) initialization times. Traditionally, for precise GPS applications--surveying, construction, precision farming and high accuracy Geographic Information System (GIS)--roving receivers required a reference station within 10 kilometers to ensure centimeter level accuracy. With VRS, users within the reference station network can operate consistently at greater distances without degrading accuracy.
In addition to the real-time, centimeter-level accuracy provided by the VRS, the system offers additional GPS services as follows:
Swiss Positioning Service (Swipos)-NAV
Real-time service providing DGPS data transmitted over GSM mobile phones. This service offers two accuracy levels: 1-2 meters and 2-5 meters. Typical applications include navigation, agriculture and asset management, and sport/leisure activities.
Swipos - GIS/GEO
Post-processed service, with DGPS data available over the Internet. This service offers accuracy at the sub-meter, decimeter or centimeter level, depending on the equipment and techniques employed. Typical applications for this service include data collection for high precision GIS applications, surveying and construction.
Founded in 1978, Trimble is a recognized worldwide leader in the development of innovative Global Positioning System (GPS) technology-based products for a wide range of applications. Today, these advanced solutions combine GPS with wireless communications and sophisticated software to meet demanding applications in markets ranging from agriculture and construction to asset management, automotive and timing. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble provides end-users and OEMs with leading edge solutions backed by global leadership in innovation, exceptional experience and in depth applications knowledge as well as a reputation for excellence.
With its acquisition of Spectra Precision, a leading provider of construction lasers, machine control systems, optical surveying instruments and related software, Trimble now broadens its portfolio of positioning solutions for the engineering and construction, and agriculture markets.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808