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April 17th, 2012
Trimble Takes Ultra Rugged to the Next Level with New GNSS Smart Antenna for Heavy Civil Construction

 The announcement was made at Intermat 2012, the international exhibition of equipment, machinery and techniques for the construction and materials industries.

A New Level of Rugged

As an industry-leader in GNSS grade control systems that withstand machine vibration and harsh construction conditions, Trimble continues to push the envelope of rugged and functional housing design. Leveraging Trimble engineering innovation and extensive field-testing for machine control, the new SPS985 applies the same toughness and usability standards for an off-machine GNSS receiver.

“The Trimble SPS985 was engineered to be the toughest, smallest and easiest to use GNSS receiver we’ve ever built,” said Chuck Maniscalco, director of engineering for Trimble. “We listened to customer feedback and built the housing 50 percent stronger than any previous Trimble antenna, because we wanted it to perform ideally under extreme conditions–such as being dropped, tossed in a truck bed, rained on and otherwise abused in the construction setting. Contractors will likely never treat their SPS985 antennas as harshly as the Trimble engineering team has, but we intended to take rugged GNSS to the next level and we certainly achieved that.”

Flexible and Easy-to-Use as a Rover or Base

When used as a rover, the SPS985 allows for maximum flexibility for use on a wide variety of site measurement tasks. For initial site reconnaissance, it can be deployed with satellite-delivered GNSS corrections without a base station. For higher accuracy site measurements, it can receive Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) corrections via the internal wideband radio, Wi-Fi or the Internet.

An SPS985 unit can be easily moved from carrying case to range pole, tripod, t-bar, or vehicle with a single click- making it faster to begin working and allowing for more flexibility of operation techniques. For example, a grade checker can mount the SPS985 to an ATV and easily conduct site topos, check as-builts and verify road centerlines where it is not easy or safe to walk with a range pole. Extending its productivity, the same unit can then be mounted on the roof of a supervisor’s truck roof to collect and manage progress data.

As a base station, the SPS985 incorporates Wi-Fi communications for small site projects and optional wideband radio for long-range operations on large projects. Designed for ease of use, it will automatically establish a radio or Wi-Fi connection and transmit RTK corrections to another rover or machine control system. Construction crews can spend more time doing the work and less time setting up and maintaining the equipment.

Integrated Communications Capability to Increase Productivity

As a component of the Trimble Connected Site® solutions portfolio, the SPS985 also offers connectivity features that save administrative time and increase working productivity. When used with a Connected Controller such as the Trimble TSC3 or Trimble Tablet, job crews can connect to a mobile hotspot in the site trailer or supervisor’s truck and receive GNSS corrections via VRS(TM) network or Trimble Internet Base Station (IBSS). They can also save considerable time by wirelessly synchronizing progress data and as-built information to the job supervisor or head office and receiving updated design information back without ever leaving the job site.

Quick start technology and the ability to setup and configure the receiver using a smartphone increases flexibility and eliminates the need to use a more expensive controller for daily setup. The Trimble Web UI is optimized for small screen devices, allowing a GNSS manager to monitor base station performance, availability and configuration without visiting the job site to set up each day.


The new Trimble SPS985 GNSS Smart Antenna is available now through Trimble’s worldwide SITECH® Technology Dealer Channel.

About Trimble’s Heavy Civil Construction Division

Trimble’s Heavy Civil Construction Division is a leading innovator of productivity solutions for the heavy and highway contractor. Trimble’s solutions leverage a variety of technologies, including Global Positioning System (GPS), construction lasers, total stations, wireless data communications, the Internet and application software. As part of the Trimble Connected Site strategy, these solutions provide a high-level of process and workflow integration from the design phase through to the finished project–delivering significant improvements in productivity throughout the construction lifecycle.

About Trimble

Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring position or location — including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to utilizing positioning technologies, such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user. Wireless technologies are utilized to deliver the solution to the user and to ensure a tight coupling of the field and the back office. Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

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