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Industry Applications

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Title Industry Applications
Edited by GMV
Level Intermediate
Year of Publication 2011
Logo GMV.png

Industry uses heavy machinery for many purposes. Satellite navigation and GNSS augmentation techniques can guide these machines precisely to perform their work. The same technique can be used for automated guidance of machines working in dangerous areas or simply to save manpower in repetitive work[1].

The computer compares the GNSS position with the desired work profile and provides visual guidance to the operator for maneuvering the vehicles. The use of satellite-based machine guidance systems in surface mines is becoming common with very positive results in productivity and costs[1].

Overview of Industry Applications

The GNSS-based applications introduced great benefits in agriculture, mining and logistic market industry, as well as other fields such as construction or oil offshore platforms.

Efficient agricultural management can help to protect the environment, prevent natural disasters and save human lives thanks to the accuracy of measurements.[2] Between 2006 and 2012, global shipments and the installed base of GNSS devices in the agriculture segment more than tripled, as reported in the GNSS Market Report, Issue 3.

The GNSS-based applications for fleet management market are also expanding due the decreasing of equipment prices and increasing accuracy of systems at a very low cost.

In mining segment the security and productivity advantages are driving the industry to adopt GNSS based applications.

In this section three of the most common industry applications for the GNSS technology are detailed.

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture

The agricultural community will face great challenges in a worldwide scale during the next years. Farmers will have to compete with quality products, while respecting the environment and earning profits at the same time. Meanwhile, the world population it will continue to increase, creating a constant demand and pushing for a production increasing.

Satellite navigation is being used in agricultural applications for the monitoring of crop and soil as well as surveying the fertility of agricultural fields in order to control the distribution of chemicals and fertilizers.

The needs of the fishing sector have also grown, ranging from day-to-day operational support to the navigation and positioning of fishing vessels. Strict international rules governing intrusion into national waters demand that vessels are monitored to check they work only in designated areas.[3]

Detailed information about Precision Agriculture can be found here.

Package and Container Tracking

Package Tracking

With GNSS asset tracking applications, companies can improve efficiency and control the distribution chain of their products and shippings. These systems help to identify the location of cargo or containers equipped with GNSS receivers whilst in transit by road, rail or ships.

Usually vehicle management applications encompasses package and container tracking applications, allowing an integrated view of both cargo and vehicles.

Detailed information about Package and Container Tracking can be found here.



Satellite navigation has proven a significant increasing in productivity and improved on-site safety in mining activities, e.g., mineral and aggregate extraction with especial incidence in iron ore and coal extraction and transport tasks.

In open pit mining, accurate GNSS is useful for tasks such as machine guidance, grading, dozing, drilling, collision avoidance, surveying, and fleet management.

GNSS Augmentation techniques such as DGNSS or RTK increase the accuracy achieved to the level required for some of the mining activities and are normally used in GNSS mining systems.

Detailed information about Mining can be found here.



  1. ^ a b Galileo Application Sheet - Civil Engineering, ESA and European Commission, June 2002
  2. ^ Report of the Action Team on GNSS, United Nations 2004
  3. ^ Galileo Application Sheet - Agriculture, ESA and European Commission, June 2002