of three satellite receivers installed;
The last of a network of satellite receivers in eastern Idaho that can be used for everything from planting corn mazes to setting grades for multi-million dollar highway projects is now complete.
The third and final Continuously Operating Reference Station was installed on the Idaho State University campus in Idaho Falls. The other two stations are operating at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg and at the ITD maintenance facility in Driggs.
CORS, funded by ITD in partnership with area universities as part of major construction projects, is part of the department’s statewide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).
Users who depend on location technology to make their jobs easier and more accurate are able to access the three COR stations, which are Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers mounted on permanent structures.
The receivers collect satellite data 24 hours a day and determine a highly accurate position (latitude and longitude) on the earth, according to Rayce Ruiz, land surveyor for ITD District 6 in Rigby. The data can be accessed via Ethernet by GPS users.
“The CORS is a reference used to correct observed GPS data for higher accuracy,” Ruiz explained. Several groups of users including surveyors, geologists, engineers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users, emergency medical services, earth-moving equipment operators, and farmers can access CORS data for the higher degree of accuracy.
Users can also access CORS via UHF radio, which broadcasts a correction to enable Real Time Kinematics (RTK) positioning.
“Our Location section will use this RTK capability to perform our surveys within the radio range of the CORS,” Ruiz said.
The CORS at BYU-Idaho was funded through the Menan-Lorenzo
Interchange project. ITD was looking for a close government or educational
site to install the station, Ruiz said.
As director for the Eastern Section of the Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors, Ruiz has been working on CORS for more than two years, coordinating the installation of CORS with local land surveyors.
He says applications for CORS vary by user. Surveyors want the RTK feature. GIS users want GPS for mapping. Geologists locate rock formations and seismic spots. Earth movers use GPS to set grades. Farmers use GPS to plow the rows in their fields. And entrepreneurs use the technology for planting corn mazes.
Ruiz will use CORS in his survey work for ITD.