Testing Cm positions in three challenging scenarios!

How does the new Trimble Catalyst DA2 receiver measure up against the DA1? What better way to find out than by putting the DA2 into the hands of experienced Catalyst user and advocate of the DA1 system, Andrew Stephenson of Morrison Water Services

How does the new Trimble Catalyst DA2 receiver measure up against the DA1?

What better way to find out than by putting afforable cm accuracy in the form of the DA2 into the hands of experienced Catalyst user and advocate of the DA1 system, Andrew Stephenson Principal Designer on the Morrison Water Services Northern area Engineering Team.

Andrew was an early adopter of Trimble Catalyst and used the DA1 extensively saving £20k on a recent 1-2cm asset collection project which was nominated for a Water Industry 2021 award for its innovative approach to high accuracy data capture and management.

The set up

Andrew and Morrison Water Services Surveyor, Asa Blake, used the DA2 in conjunction with a 1cm accuracy Catalyst subscription and their existing KOREC Capture field software running on a rugged Trimble TDC600 Android device (although the DA2 is also now compatible with iOS devices). Drawing on previous experience of how the DA1 worked under different conditions, Andrew was keen to carry out some comparative tests with the new DA2 in the same situations to test its performance and ultimately, it’s productivity improvements.

Three challenging test sites

Andrew and Asa opted to test the DA2 in three demanding scenarios which any GNSS would find challenging, firstly, Leeds City centre, secondly under tree canopy and finally in a remote location with no mobile phone coverage.

Here’s Andrew’s report:

Leeds city centre – John Lewis

Leeds city centre – built up environment

“In Leeds City centre we were able to achieve 1cm positions. Even next to the John Lewis building where previously we’d been unable to receive a signal at all, the DA2, always delivered an accurate position.”

The technology behind the performance: Trimble ProPoint

Until the launch of the DA2, Trimble ProPoint was only available in top of the range Trimble GNSS receivers. ProPoint delivers better results in harsh GNSS conditions, for example, near tree canopy and in built-up areas.

Under tree canopy

“We tested this scenario under the trees in Cookridge, Leeds – centimetre positions were easily achievable. ”

The technology behind the performance: Trimble ProPoint (see above).

Expect cm positions under tree canopy within 40 seconds!

Position in 40 seconds!
No mobile phone signal here

Remote location with no phone signal

“This is a common problem for us so we knew exactly where to test out the DA2’s capabilities for this one. Scar House is situated in the Nidd Valley in North Yorkshire and it’s almost impossible to get a mobile phone signal there. The DA2 again delivered 2cm positions thanks to its ability to receive corrections via satellite rather than via an internet connection. This is a game changer for us.”

The technology behind the performance: Trimble RTX.

The DA2 means that you are no longer reliant on receiving your cm corrections over an internet connection. Thanks to Trimble’s RTX technology you can now get your corrections via satellite (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS, IRNSS, MSS, SBAS) which is great for areas with limited mobile phone coverage and internet connectivity.


Andrew’s verdict:  “Most of our projects have a specification for 10cm accuracies and in fairness to the DA1 we were often able to work within this spec, but not always. The afforable cm accuracy of the DA2 brings peace of mind and the knowledge that we can always overachieve on precision and in particular,in the three conditions above that previously challenged us.

We’ve also noted some additional benefits with the DA2 – the improved speed is excellent! By the time we’d logged on we were down to 1cm which is a remarkable improvement on the DA1.  The DA2 is also Bluetooth enabled which saves battery drain for the phone because there is no need to bother with leads (or water!) into the connection of the phone.

The DA2 delivers outstanding results where we would have never thought possible with the Catalyst technology. We tested this at Scar House Reservoir, which is as remote as it gets in Yorkshire, but the DA2 delivered accuracy of 2cm using RTX which is remarkable!”

You can read about our Trimble Catalyst business case here.

A related case study on knotweed mapping with Catalyst is here and asset data collection here.

Visit our webinar section here for the full details on the new Catalyst system.