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Moving From the ‘Ashtech ProMark 500’ to
‘Spectra Precision by Ashtech ProMark 800’

Update: December 2011: The ProMark 500 is under allocation, thus most new sales will be converted to the ProMark 800 a full quarter earlier than expected.

By:    Mark Silver, ms@igage.com

The ProMark 500 receiver is being superseded with a new GNSS Board, antenna, GSM Modem, UHF Modem, some cosmetic differences and new prices.

The new product is called ProMark 800.

The existing ProMark 500 receiver will be available through at least the first quarter of 2012.

New Features:

New ‘Z-Blade’ GNSS Engine: 5 SV’s from any constellation will allow the receiver to fix. With this new engine, it is possible to run in GLONASS only mode without tracking any US SV’s.

Or imagine a mixed mode where there are three US and two GLONASS SV’s in view:

The new Z-Blade engine also allows RTK fixes under heavy canopy (tree and urban) where RTK has been impossible in the past.

Z-Blade also results in shorter Time-to-Fix, typically half the time required for the PM500. Time-to-Fix in open conditions is now 2 seconds.

Accuracy has been improved to 1 cm + 1PPM HRMS. Baseline Range is extended to 40 KM (25 Miles).

120 GNSS channels: (the PM500 was 75 channels) GPS L1 C/A, L1/L2 P, L2C, L5; GLONASS L1 C/A and L2 C/A; GALILEO E1, E5 (GIOVE A/B); SBAS Code and Carrier.

Remember that 120 channels is NOT 120 space vehicles, it is 120 channels. However also remember that a receiver that tracks the best 20 SV’s will perform just as well (perhaps better) than a receiver that tracks and computes solutions based on every visible SV and channel.

GLONASS and Unlimited RTK Standard: GLONASS and Unlimited (>3KM) RTK are now standard.

Galileo tracking: Galileo tracking can be enabled ($3,000 US Option). This option is enabled for 90 days after head purchase at no charge. It can be turned ON and OFF to evaluate effectiveness.

GPS L5 tracking: L5 tracking can be enabled ($3,000 US Option). ). This option is enabled for 90 days after head purchase at no charge. It can be turned ON and OFF to evaluate effectiveness during the trial period.

3.5G Cellular Modem: There are some markets where the 3G modem was not viable (Canada for example). 3.5G will not make any difference for most US customers.

Pacific Crest ADL UHF Receive Only Modem: The ADL radio has better sensitivity than the older PDL radios which will result in longer UHF radio range. An internal transmitter is still not supported.

Cosmetic Changes:

Gray housing, used to be white.

New Branding: ‘Spectra Precision powered by Ashtech’

Pricing Changes:

Each PM800 GNSS head is essentially $15 more expensive than the PM500 with GLONASS. Long-range RTK adds $1,995, GLONASS is always included, GALILEO adds $3,000 and GPS L5 adds $2,000.

Consider a fully loaded UHF RTK Rover, capable of tracking all signals, with a UHF modem:

990657

PM 800 GNSS unit

$11,995.00

680500

GLONASS

(included)

680655

GALILEO

$2,990.00

680656

GPS L5

$1,995.00

680502

RTK

(inlcuded)

802149-50

ADL UHF RxOnly Radio

$1,490.00

Total

$18,470.00

A PM800 Base tracking all signals would be configured like this:

990657

PM 800 GNSS unit

$11,995.00

680500

GLONASS

(included)

680655

GALILEO

$2,990.00

680656

GPS L5

$1,995.00

 

ADL Vantage Pro w/ Kit

$2,789.00

Total

$19,769.00

Add a FT-1 Data Collector

800981-13

FT-Data Collector with FAST Survey GNSS Only

$4,250.00

and the list price for a complete ProMark 800 Base / Rover pair is $42,489.

Purchasing the same system without GALILEO and L5 saves $9,970 for a system price of $32,519.

A similarly provisioned PM500 costs $34,490.

Conclusions:

The PM800 has about double the performance of the PM500. GALILEO and L5 will add additional performance gains in the near future (when the applicable constellations are filled out.)

The new ADL radio has better sensitivity which will increase the UHF range and transition next year to 12.5 Khz (narrow band) transmissions.

The price differential (+$15) is inconsequential for any application which purchased GLONASS.

If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to drop me a note ms@igage.com.