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Multi-GNSS precise point positioning for precision agriculture

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jing Guo, Dr Xingxing Li, Dr Zhenhai Li, Dr David Fairbairn, David Watson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The main objective of this research was to examine the feasibility of Multi-GNSS precise point positioning (PPP) in precision agriculture (PA) through a series of experiments with different working modes (i.e. stationary and moving) under different observation conditions (e.g. open sky, with buildings or with canopy). For the stationary test carried out in open space in the UK, the positioning accuracy achieved was 13.9 mm in one dimension by a PPP approach, and the repeatability of positioning results was improved from 19.0 to 6.0 mm by using Multi-GNSS with respect to GPS only. For the moving test carried out in similar location in the UK, almost the same performance was achieved by GPS-only and by Multi-GNSS PPP. However, for a moving experiment carried out in China with obstruction conditions, Multi-GNSS improved the accuracy of baseline length from 126.0 to 35.0 mm and the repeatability from 110.0 mm to 49.0 mm, The results suggested that the addition of the BeiDou, Galileo and GLONASS systems to the standard GPS-only processing improved the positioning repeatability, while a positioning accuracy was achieved at about 20 mm level in the horizontal direction with an improvement against the GPS-only PPP results. In space-constrained and harsh environments (e.g. farms surrounded with dense trees), the availability and reliability of precise positioning decreased dramatically for the GPS-only PPP results, but limited impacts were observed for Multi-GNSS PPP. In addition, compared to real time kinematic (RTK) GNSS, which is currently most commonly used for high precision PA applications, similar accuracy has been achieved by PPP. In contrast to RTK GNSS, PPP can provide high accuracy positioning with higher flexibility and potentially lower capital and running costs. Hence, PPP might be a great opportunity for agriculture to meet the high accuracy requirements of PA in the near future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guo J, Li X, Li Z, Hu L, Yang G, Zhao C, Fairbairn D, Watson D, Ge M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Precision Agriculture

Year: 2018

Volume: 19

Issue: 5

Pages: 895-911

Print publication date: 01/10/2018

Online publication date: 14/03/2018

Acceptance date: 01/01/2018

Date deposited: 14/03/2018

ISSN (print): 1385-2256

ISSN (electronic): 1573-1618

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11119-018-9563-8


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Funder referenceFunder name
NE/K010794/1Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
ST/N006801/1STFC (formerly PPARC)
ST/N006801/1STFC (formerly PPARC)
ST/N006801/1STFC (formerly PPARC)