Software upgrade allows farmers to use free RTK Networks

Leica Geosystems announced today it will release a new software upgrade for the mojoRTK Auto-steer console allowing producers to take full advantage of the CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) networks being built across the country – many of them providing free RTK signal access through state departments’ of transportation efforts to develop state-wide networks.

Customers with a mojoRTK console and a network software upgrade will be able to obtain free access to RTK networks from their local DOT with a data plan from Leica Geosystems for the most cost-effective RTK solution on the market.

“This eliminates the need for base stations and costly propriety networks for farmers in these areas,” says Trevor Mecham, North American Business Manager for Leica’s Agriculture group. “Our customers in these areas only need to purchase a network-ready version of the mojoRTK console and a data plan to enjoy all the benefits of a dual-frequency RTK auto-steer system.”

With the network up and running, farmers in states with DOT-established CORS networks will have the ability to use the signal via a modem inside the mojoRTK console that connects to the Internet using a cellular data plan provided by Leica through Aeris Communications, which also manages the data transfer for Leica’s Virtual Wrench™ remote service and support tool.

"Aeris simplifies the complexities associated with wireless data connectivity allowing visionary customers like Leica to focus on key product innovations," said Mark Cratsenburg, vice president of sales at Aeris. "The integration of data transfer via cell modem with the DOT-established CORS networks is a great example of focused innovation that delivers easier solutions to help farmers increase productivity."

This announcement from Leica’s Agriculture group comes as the company’s Reference Network Team begins installing the Iowa Real-Time Network – a Leica CORS Network – for the Iowa DOT. The Iowa Real-Time Network is scheduled for completion by Dec. 1, 2008. Several states already have established CORS networks, including Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and parts of Georgia and Illinois.

Leica’s network-ready console, with the required software upgrade, will retail at $11,990. Users also need to purchase a cell data plan, which will be offered by Leica this fall. Since the mojoRTK console includes a cell modem, no additional hardware is needed, although users in some areas may want to add a cell booster to increase the cellular signal to their console.

Leica Geosystems’ agriculture applications build on the company’s experience in its growing GPS and machine automation business, which already benefits the survey, construction and mining industries worldwide. Leica Geosystems is a recognized leader in GNSS reference station technology. Leica has consulted and participated in the design, development and deployment of more than 67 CORS networks worldwide – including the Iowa Real-Time Network.

The Denver, Colo., agriculture product sales and management facility is managed by auto-steer company veterans with a proven commitment to innovation based on solid economic returns for farmers.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.