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Sat View Mobile Pho...

Sat View Mobile Phone Accuracy  

Posts: 170
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Joined: 2 years ago

Besides the abovious advantages of professional GPS equipment, locking in to more frequencies having 2-10cm accuracies and many other factors, can i get accurate satelite coverage information from a mobile phone?

My basis is i want to practice some preliminary tests, when im near my area but dont have my Trimble equipment on hand. Phone is always available, so i want to run some tests on how many satelites are covering that area. Can the mobile phone provide accurate information on that, the same you would get with Trimble Access/ Topcon Magnet with their respective equipment when having a look at the satelite orbits.

For example i got this free app from android store called GPS Status, and it shows 22/22 fix visibility. Can i get a guarantee i can cover the field belonging to this area succesfully, without having to drag total station and use conventional means of surveying

Screenshot 20190315 110032

3 Replies
Paul in PA
Posts: 5683
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Joined: 9 years ago

Are you talking GPS or GNSS? Most phones do not have sufficient capacity to receive every available satellite in one constellation yet alone all of them. To get a fair understanding of L1 GPS only you would want 16 channels. Some phones may actually be switching from satellite to satellite, so you might get a total count, but I doubt phones can tell you the strength of the L2 or L5 signal.

22/22?  I wonder how any receiver can come up with that number for GPS. I see it is not just GPS, but Glonass and Bediou, but is ignoring WAAS use.

Paul in PA 

Posts: 16
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Joined: 3 years ago

This app called GNSS compare is what you are looking for. It will show all the satellites that your GPS is tracking on your phone and signal strength. It will also break down multiple frequencies like L1 and L5 if your phone can handle it.  

Just so you know there are only a few cell phones that are dual frequency and those are only tracking L1 and L5, without a Ntrip correction you still only getting 1M on the cell phone. 

Good Luck!

Josh 4

Stephen Ward
Posts: 1934
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Joined: 8 years ago

More importantly, just because you have x number of satellites in view when you check with your phone does not mean that the same number will still be in view when you return with your GPS gear.   Depending on current satellite geometry and local obstructions, the number of satellites visible and usable can change rapidly over a period of a few minutes.

Where coverage is questionable you're better off to grab coordinates for the location, plot the obstructions, and use planning software to predict the best time to run a successful session.