Tag Archives: OPUS Projects

7 Free Alternatives to OPUS GPS Post-Processing During U.S. Federal Government Shutdown

This is a great article by Eric Gakstatter on alternatives to NGS OPUS (Static, Rapid Static or Projects):

7 Free Alternatives to OPUS GPS Post-Processing During U.S. Federal Government Shutdown ]

It is timely because all of the NGS websites, services, databases and tools are offline.

It is a great article because, well, I wrote most of it. (Check out my byline! I am published!)

Additionally, I sent out this [ newsletter ] this morning:

To stem the flood of calls, I want to warn everyone that the NGS OPUS system is unavailable (you know why.)
It is not clear if observation data is being accumulated during the shutdown; nor is it given that it can be ‘filled in’ when the NGS comes back online.
This means that all data that you collect during the Federal shutdown may not be processable in OPUS, even after the shutdown concludes.
Don’t despair, there are a number of similar online processing tools available. I have written a very detailed comparison of these tools, which was published in ‘GPS World’ online today:
Even without the current crisis, it is worth a read.
Please be aware that most of the alternative services will not do well with 15-minute observation files. I STRONGLY encourage you to collect at least 1-hour of observation data during the government shutdown in case OPUS-RS can’t fill in the gaps when NGS OPUS is reactivated!
If you are using the iGage/CHC X90-OPUS GPS Receiver [ more information here ]:
The latest X90 Download tool already supports direct submittal to RTX and AusPOS; two of the alternative services.
If you are using the X90-OPUS receiver and find that you want to use the excellent GAPS service (from the University of New Brunswick); you will need RINEX files with standard 8.3 filenames. The current Beta X90 Download tool has a checkbox to force 8.3 filenames on export. If you want to use GAPS, drop me a note and I will get you a copy of this beta tool, it will save you the hassle of manually renaming the files.

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OPUS Projects: Training

I am two days into the four day NGS ‘OPUS Projects’ training being held in at the Corbin VA observatory. Wow, this is cool.

Located next to Fort AP Hill the Corbin Training center which also houses the Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory.

The NGS Antenna calibration piers are out back:


ImageThats the robotic absolute calibration fixture on the right in the foreground.

Anyway, back to ‘NGS OPUS Projects.’ OP is going to change the way we all do control going forward. It will take me awhile to digest everything but here are some high points:

o OP has been around for a 1/2 decade

o OP is a piece of cake to submit observation files to using the existing OPUS web submission page. (You can have your crews submit files directly from the field.)

o OP allows you to delegate functions: crews can submit and attribute shots; sessions can be administered by a project leader and the final adjustment can be performed by the manager.

o OP will magically fix observations. I have test files that only use 80% of the observations and have 60% fixed observations when processed in OPUS. Running the same files in OP, with other nearby observations results in 98% used and 90% fixed. Magic.

o OP takes care of all the framing issues. Everything is processed internally in IGS08 (or whatever the latest frame might be.) Then OP converts to NAD83-2011.

o OP is easy to use. Really easy to use.

o OP is free.

o I trust OP. Today I ran a fairly large job that encompassed 3-days, 24-hour observations for 5 south western utah TURN stations. I processed against 8 CORS sites. Results look excellent. Then I unconstrained all but one of the CORS sites and everything still fell into place (within +/- 1 cm.)

o OP does all of the dirty work for Bluebooking (that’s tomorrow!)

o OP generates some killer reports.

o OP is going to come out of beta in September (maybe, probably.)

In any case, you’re going to hear a lot about OPUS Projects over the next year. It is the real deal and it (if you doing work with accurate positions) it is going to change the way you do things. OP is going to save you time. OP is going to produce a better work product. In short, I think that OP is going to significantly change geodetics in the United States. And since it works anywhere, I suppose the world.




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