More GNSS reference stations are built in Finnish Lapland – Snowplowing the way to future of positioning

– Composed by Simo Marila, Dept. of Geodesy and Geodynamics, FGI.

In spring 2017 a new GNSS reference station belonging to the Finnish National Reference Network (FinnRef) was built on Olostunturi in Muonio, and in August three more stations were deployed into the same area – North-Western Finland. Stations were built to serve National Land Survey of Finland’s (NLS) work in the area, and the Aurora project.

Aurora is a project run by the Finnish Transport Agency, with an aim to turn the main road 21 from Kolari to Kilpisjärvi a smart road to serve for example the development of self-driving cars. It includes a 10 km long test road section in Muonio with plenty of instrumentation.

The new GNSS-station is a part of the FinnRef network of NLS. The network will be extended throughout the whole country, and along it also NLS’ own positioning services will be developed for production. The network creates a basis for the maintenance of coordinate systems that is conducted at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) within NLS. The data produced by the network is being used in research. In the future, the FinnRef network will serve as the “Mother” of the gravity and height systems.

The new station measures its location every second observing at the same time signals arriving from roughly 30 different positioning satellites. The data is sent in real time to the NLS positioning service, and to be archived for later use. With the help of the signals and the orbital locations of the satellites in space (20-30 thousand kilometers from Earth), the station can get coordinates with millimeter-level accuracy.

In Arctic-PNT project, we are currently analyzing existing technical documentation of Aurora SNOWBOX infrastructure and facilities. In spring 2018 and winter 2019 we will collect test data using specially equipped test vehicles. The data should include at least data from GNSS, 5G, vehicle sensors, SNOWBOX reference network and communication links. The tests will take place over the specially instrumented E8 route. Pending approval by the Norwegian government, test campaigns will be extended to Tromsø.


Figure. The new FinnRef station at Muonio, North-West Finland.

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