MultiPoint GPS Field Station
In 2004, Orion developed an innovative field station design that leveraged one enclosure, one wireless transceiver and one power source to house and support multiple GPS receiver-antenna pairs. The MultiPoint GPS station integrated a high-performance GPS antenna (fixed phase center, 27 dB pre-amp gain and low-elevation phase rolloff) with high-grade, low-attenuation coaxial cables to support remote GPS antenna placement. Stations were deployed at distances of up to 150 meters from the base enclosure to enable local, multiplexed monitoring clusters.
The MultiPoint system evolved partly from our experience with tall-building monitoring projects in 1999-2000 that coupled precise RTK GPS with strong motion accelerometry on the Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles and the Pacific Gas and Electric Building in San Francisco, CA. The PG&E system used tens of meters of low-loss coaxial antenna cables to pass GPS RF signals to receivers located in the telecommunications center of the Tower's penthouse, showing the potential for extended cable runs. Once a reliable multiport, multiplexing wireless transceiver was identified, we redeveloped the system for remote operations.
MultiPoint allows localized clusters of GPS monitoring points to be served by a single power and communications hub. This approach provides a number of benefits for networks that are suited to clustered deployments:
- Lowers system price by cutting costs for enclosure, power and communications. This stretches budgets, and may allow for a greater number of points under a fixed price.
- Minimizes the number of managed wireless end-points by clipping the one-radio-per-point paradigm. This simplifies wireless management and may reduce RFI.
- Reduces the risk to the core system hardware by relocating it from the antennae mounted at hazardous locations (high-wall and slope faces).
One of the few downsides is the challenge of handling extended cable runs in the field; it is not our most portable design.
We have developed MultiPoint stations hosting up to eight (8) GPS receivers for dam, landslide and mine monitoring. They are both functional and cost-effective for projects that require dense site occupations.
Enables multiple GNSS receiver-antenna pairs on a single enclosure, communications device and power supply.
MultiPoint station coverage achieved up to 150 meter radius. GNSS antenna location is primarily limited by the trade-off between cable specs and deployment suitability (attenuation vs. weight and cost). Cables can be cumbersome as length and weight (attenuation vs. diameter) increase.
Ideal for applications that support dense deployments such as dam, landslide, bridge and open-pit bench monitoring.
Developed in 2, 3, 4 and 8-GPS configurations.
Can greatly reduce cost in comparison to clustered single-point deployments.
Better suited for long-term or permanent deployments.
Cables have shown surprising resilience, operating for over ten years in tropical and mining environments.