Accessing GPS/GNSS Field Equipment and Support

The GETSI Field Project has purchased several teaching sets of five Emlid Reach RS2 GPS/GNSS receivers (1 base, 4 rovers). These are available for loan to earth and allied sciences instructors in the United States (shipping costs only) from EarthScope Consortium, which runs NSF's Geodetic Facility and is the lead institution on the GETSI Project. GETSI and EarthScope can also provide consultation on field education planning and, to some extent, help to troubleshoot problems. Manuals to support use of Emlid Reach RS2 are below.

Requesting GPS/GNSS equipment loan

You can request the loan of field education equipment or other field education support from EarthScope by completing both these forms. Please feel free to contact with questions before filling out the forms. If you are also interested in High Resolution Topography field support, the requests should be combined. The borrower or the borrower's institution will be responsible for the equipment during the time it is on loan. A loan agreement to this affect will need to be signed. Loans can only be done within the United States.

Availability and timing — We currently have five 5-receiver teaching kits and could potentially purchase more if demand grow and funds are available. Kits are available on a first come, first serve basis. Typical loans are 3-4 weeks but we will do our best to work with the scheduling that will best serve your teaching goals.

Cost — There is no rental fee for the equipment, but there is a shipping/receiving charge of $225 for a 5-receiver kit and $125 for a 2-receiver kit (an invoice will be sent to your institution). Previously the shipping was the responsibility of the borrowing institution but we found that our organization had considerably lower rates than most universities. The shipping/receiving fee was initiated to ensure the rates were lower and predictable. Some short-course participants may have been informed that the shipping for their first loan will be waived. If these shipping costs are prohibitive for your institution (ie., community colleges or other lower-resource institutions) please contact to request a waiver. If your institution has lower shipping rates and you prefer to pay shipping yourself, that is also fine.

Please complete both of the following forms. The first is for the official equipment request itself. The second, more detailed one helps with the needed planning for successful geodesy field teaching.

  • EarthScope Request Support This is the general form that is required for all facility support requests. It is recommended you complete this one as soon as you know your preferred teaching dates, at least roughly. It can look a bit complicated but the main elements to hit are:
    • Project type — check "Education & Outreach"
    • Support requested — check "Geodesy field education" and "GPS/GNSS Equipment Loan"
    • Funding Source — "University Funds" (this would be for shipping only, there is no rental charge; furthermore shipping may be provided if you are involved in a committed implementation cohort; contact if you have questions)
    • Suggested Project Name — "GETSI Field Education for [your institution or field program] [year or term]" (example: "GETSI Field Education for ISU summer field camp 2021")
    • Project Start Date — recommended to make this a week before you want to actually will use the equipment for teaching.
    • Project Description/Goals — "Broaden access for undergraduate students to use geodetic field methods"
    • For the items about program director and proposal just put "not applicable"
    • Description of the Support Requested — Provide a description of the equipment you would like and the level of flexibility you have in your teaching dates (ideal dates/duration as well as what other options could work for you). It helps us maximize the use of the equipment to more schools if we have a sense for your flexibility. The typical teaching kit is five receivers, one quick tripod, five 2-meter survey poles. Traditional tripod/tribrach is alternatively available. We also have a couple bi-pods for greater rover stability if needed. If you have preferences, please let us know.
  • Field Education Support Request Form — This form is more involved but we have found from years of experience that unless an instructor is clear on aspects such as learning goals, assessment plans, curricular elements, field site, and computing resources, the time in the field is not as well spent. It is okay to complete this form at a later date than the above "EarthScope Support Request," but aim to have it done at least a month before you you teach. Completing this form will help you be more prepared for teaching geodesy methods in the field. Feel free to contact with questions and consider watching the webinar Integrating GPS, SfM, and TLS into Geoscience Field Courses to get an overview of both field modules. Form Questions (Acrobat (PDF) 106kB Nov15 21) so you can know what is asked ahead of time.

Documentation for Emlid Reach RS2 GPS/GNSS receivers

Note: Emlid Reach RS2 and RS2+ have the same basic instructions. The primary difference is that RS2+ can use 5G cellular for NTRIP corrections, whereas RS2 can only do 3G. Most geoscience users are not planning to use cellular corrections, so the difference does not matter. If your use case requires would benefit from NTRIP cellular corrections rather than a radio-based GPS base station, you can refer to the NTRIP section of the Instructor Guide below and/or contact to discuss more about this with a staff member.


Contact —