What Questions to Ask Before Buying a GNSS Receiver

Are you in the market for a GNSS receiver? Do you want to get the highest accuracy from it? Are you concerned about the cost? You should be. Read on to find out what questions to ask before buying a GNSS receiver. After reading this article, you’ll be better prepared to make a purchase. But first, let’s look at GNSS and how it works.


Whether you’re using a GNSS receiver to navigate the world or for geospatial work, there are a few things to consider. Most GNSS receivers have to compromise accuracy for availability, reliability, or first fix time. Technology has not yet reached a point where all four factors can be met without compromise, so you’ll have to decide which aspects are most important to you.

What kind of accuracy do you need? If you use your GNSS receiver for mapping, surveying, or hiking, then you’ll need centimeter-level accuracy. While GNSS satellites are generally very accurate, several factors reduce their accuracy. Satellite clock drift, orbit error, and multipath effect can all result in large errors in position. Different brands utilize different technologies to ensure maximum accuracy.

GNSS receivers

Before choosing a GNSS receiver, you need to determine its purpose. Many types of GNSS receivers are available, and you should consider your specific needs. For example, you might need a receiver for a construction site or a marine application. In this case, you will want to consider the unit’s accuracy and its accuracy over different locations. 

A handheld GNSS receiver is an option for your construction site, while a top-of-pole receiver will offer higher accuracy. In addition, you will want to consider whether you need a data collector with a laser rangefinder for offsets. Whether you need centimeter-level accuracy for your project or millimeter-level accuracy for hiking, it is important to consider the level of accuracy in your GPS/GNSS receiver.

If you’re planning to buy a GNSS receiver for your car, ask your dealer about which features and specifications they offer. Despite their popularity, the technology behind GNSS is still new and evolving. Each product has its advantages and disadvantages. Before buying a GNSS receiver, make sure to ask yourself these questions so you can find the best one for your needs.

GNSS accuracy

GNSS receivers come with various levels of accuracy, and the one that is right for your needs depends on several factors. One of these factors is the type of antenna or data collector used to collect GNSS signals, and GNSS receivers with external antennas typically provide the best accuracy. But there are also a few factors to consider before buying a GNSS receiver.

The first question to ask when choosing a GNSS receiver is its accuracy. If you plan to use your GNSS receiver for commercial purposes, you should buy one with centimeter-level accuracy. The next question to ask yourself is how accurate the receiver’s position is compared to the accuracy of satellites. Most GNSS receivers offer a few meters of accuracy, which is adequate for Uber tracking but not for more accurate applications.

GNSS availability

When buying a GNSS receiver, you will need to know whether the satellites it uses are available in your region. The GNSS constellation comprises three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment. Each segment has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right GNSS receiver for your needs can be challenging. The key is choosing a GNSS receiver that will work reliably in the location you need.

GNSS availability refers to the number of satellites the system uses to fix positions. Typically, a two-dimensional position requires three satellites, whereas a three-dimensional position requires four. 

When buying a GNSS receiver, you should determine whether it is compatible with all four systems. The four major systems each have their satellite constellation, capable of receiving signals from all four. GNSS systems are widely available, and you can use a GNSS receiver to navigate anywhere in the world.

GNSS accuracy in urban areas

When buying a GNSS receiver, consider its lane-level navigation accuracy. GNSS receivers with this capability are important for car manufacturers as it allows them to incorporate lane-departure warning. All new generation GPS receivers are built on the same architecture, and many have dual-frequency capabilities to cope with reflected signals and phase ambiguity in urban environments. Bench Mark USA offers GNSS receivers that can surely help you in surveying.

While consumer GNSS receivers have an accuracy of five meters or less, they do not offer the accuracy level that professional-grade GNSS receivers do. Professional-grade receivers receive satellite signals that constantly flow to Earth, making them a good choice for most organizations. Many manufacturers conduct high-end tests for their products to ensure accuracy and reliability.