As of 12:01 AM on October 1, 2013, the US Federal Government has taken all non-essential agencies, websites, etc offline until a funding bill is passed in Congress. We have received a number of questions on what effects this may cause with SmartNet North America, in short very little if any. Below you will find a few questions that have come up.
How much does Leica rely on NGS CORS station data to compute positions for your receivers?
While SmartNet North America is tied to the National Spatial Reference System that was developed and maintained by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), we do not rely on NGS stations or data to position or maintain the coordinates of our stations. Instead, we use the overall IGS series of stations to provide a tie to the large International Reference Frame and then transform to the US and Canadian National Reference frames. This provides us with both reference frame ties that we require to operate SmartNet.
The one area that could be effected depending on the length of the shutdown is in areas of motions. As we have described in the past, we update station coordinates in areas of motion much more frequently and we do rely on the NGS HTDP program to transform our coordinates from IGS08 to NAD83 (NA2011). We were in our beginning preparations to perform a new adjustment for California, Washington and Louisiana, but there is a ton of front end work to do before we actually need HTDP. As long as the shutdown does not last into November, then we should suffer no effects.
If the shutdown continues for some time, will we begin to see a reduced accuracy in our RTK positions and how long would that take?
No, you will never see a reduced accuracy in RTK positions from the shutdown. Again, we do not rely on NGS for data provisioning or positioning. The most important component to the operation of SmartNet is high accuracy processing coordinates. These must be maintained relative to the International Reference Frame, and we can do this without using NGS tools or data.
How do I get static data, I've always gotten it directly from NGS?
Even if you were not aware, we have always housed and made available all the static data for all of our sites thru SmartNet. Many customers do go thru NGS to get the data, but you can come directly to SmartNet and get exactly the same data that you get from NGS.
Currently the best way to get data directly from SmartNet is thru our FTP site (see the Knowledge Base Article below), but we are launching a new RINEX Project Tool in the coming days that will be announced shortly.
I'm freaking out, my entire workflow is shot....
First take a deep breath, second, don't worry... We aren't going anywhere, our data is not going anywhere, and the network is not going to fall apart and is not reliant on NGS to provide our services. If you need any assistance during this Federal Shutdown, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do all we can to allay your concerns.