[teqc] helpful tip of week 1959

Lou Estey lou at unavco.org
Thu Jul 27 12:04:36 MDT 2017

This week's tip: a receiver (how you typically think of it) vs. data in a format from
that receiver (what teqc needs to know)

The 'tip of week 1957', http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002305.html,
discussed Trimble formats.  So what does it mean to say "I have data from receiver X"?
Well, just from the Trimble example, which, admittedly, is somewhat complicated, a
statement like this is not usually very informative to me.  It's much more meaningful
to say something like: "I have data in format Z from receiver X."

Besides the manufacturer's own formats, most modern receivers also have the option of
outputting a representation of observation data in the RINEX format.  Many can output
a representation of observation (and other) data in the BINEX format.  Or in RTCM format.
Or maybe even some processed data results in NMEA format.

So "data" from a Trimble receiver might be in any one of these formats:
    o Trimble's proprietary .r00/.t00/.t01/.t02
    o Trimble's .dat or .tgd
    o BINEX
    o RINEX (versions 2 or 3)
    o RTCM (versions 2 or 3)
or "data" from an Ashtech receiver might be in any of of these formats:
    o Ashtech B/E/S/D fileset
    o Ashtech U-file
    o Ashtech R-file
    o Ashtech MBEN/PBEN stream
    o BINEX
and so on for other receiver manufacturers.  Obviously only saying that you have
"data from a Trimble receiver", or "data from an Ashtech receiver", etc. is not
too meaningful.

Is this distinction only important for the high-end receivers that we try to support here
at UNAVCO?  Not at all.  Even relatively simple receivers like u-blox now support multiple
    o UBX (u-blox binary format)
    o RTCM (2 or 3)
    o NMEA

And a choice of format from a receiver is not a recent development.  For example, the now
venerable AOA (Allen Osborne & Associates) TurboRogue receivers could output at least:
    o Conan binary
    o TurboBinary
... each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and quite different from one another.

There have been other cases where a 3rd party manufacturer used receiver board hardware from
another manufacturer.  One such example was the Sokkia GSR2200, which used boards from Ashtech.
One type of data format from the GSR2200 was the B/E/S Ashtech fileset, which teqc could read
fine, just as though the files came from a name-brand Ashtech receiver.

Here's a case where it's increasingly important to specify the format: Topcon TPS or Javad JPS.
A little background history: Somewhere back about one and half decades ago, Javad merged with
Topcon.  Topcon adopted the Javad JPS format and for a while both Topcon TPS or Javad JPS
where essentially identical.  Then somewhere around mid-2005 or early 2006, Javad split off
(to become Javad GNSS), and since then Topcon TPS and Javad JPS formats have been slowly
diverging.  But because of the overlap and because the initial C code for reading TPS and JPS
was first developed when both formats were identical, reading these two formats still uses a
great deal of common code in teqc.  But the differences that have developed in TPS and JPS
since the split should be accounted for in teqc by using '-topcon tps' for Topcon TPS format
and '-javad jps' for Javad JPS format.

So remember: when trying to use teqc to read GPS/GNSS "data", it's more important keep in
mind the format that the data are in than the receiver that the data came from when using
teqc.  And also remember: when you need to, specify the format type of what's being read
with a format flag, discussed here in tip of week 1899:

Happy teqc-ing!


p.s. Sometimes users wonder why UNAVCO supports reading of only certain formats, but not
other formats, in teqc.  Basically, two decades ago we needed a tool that was capable of
reading the data formats that were to be archived here.  Teqc became that tool.  The data
that is archived here comes from PIs funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) or
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  That covers the bulk of formats
that teqc can read, except for formats used in some of the small single-frequency receivers:
    o Canadian Marconi Corporation (CMC) binary
    o Rockwell Zodiac binary
    o Motorola Oncore binary
    o u-blox UBX format
The first three of these were being investigated by UNAVCO for use in the SuomiNet project
http://www.unavco.org/projects/past-projects/suominet/suominet.html where SuomiNet finally
went with CMC receivers and its binary format.  The last case, u-blox outputting UBX format,
was investigated later for possible use in low-cost systems that could be deployed, and possibly
lost, in polar or glacial or volcanic situations.

There are plenty of manufacturer GPS/GNSS formats that teqc cannot read, for example the
Magellan/Ashtech ATOM format, NovAtel, Navman SiRF -- just to name a few -- mainly because
we have no NSF- or NASA-funded PIs using these receiver formats.

Louis H. Estey, Ph.D.              office:  [+001] 303-381-7456
UNAVCO, 6350 Nautilus Drive           FAX:  [+001] 303-381-7451
Boulder, CO  80301-5554            e-mail:  lou  unavco.org

"If the universe is the answer, what is the question?"
                                                -- Leon Lederman

Past helpful tips:

week 1894: using teqc config files - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002067.html
week 1895: qc of high-rate data - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002071.html
week 1896: UNIX/Linux shells for Windows - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002072.html
week 1897: '-' vs. '+' teqc options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002076.html
week 1898: auto-identification of formats - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002092.html
week 1899: auto-identification vs. format flags - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002096.html
week 1900: square brackets in options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002105.html
week 1901: using option '+mds' - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002108.html
week 1902: qc results w/ problematic nav messages - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002113.html
week 1903: '-no_orb[it]' and '-no_pos[ition]' options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002115.html
week 1904: '-week' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002117.html
week 1905: using '+bcf' for XYZ/geodetic conversion - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002126.html
week 1906: the '+v[erify]' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002128.html
week 1907: '+C2', '+L5', "+L6', '+L7', '+L8', '+all' options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002130.html
week 1908: getting RINEX doppler and L2 - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002131.html
week 1909: using paths w/ file names - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002132.html
week 1910: the (un)importance of file names - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002133.html
week 1911: notices, warnings, and errors - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002134.html
week 1912: the '-max_rx_SVs' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002137.html
week 1913: the end of '++igs' and '+igs' - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002140.html
week 1914: splicing together RINEX files - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002144.html
week 1915: using '-O.int' and '-O.dec' - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002145.html
week 1916: '+doy' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002146.html
week 1917: '-tbin' and '-ast' options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002152.html
week 1918: mp12 RMS before/after Oct 2013 - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002158.html
week 1919: the global windowing options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002159.html
week 1920: '-M.dec' and '-N.dec' options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002163.html
week 1921: combining time filtering options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002176.html
week 1922: helping me (or someone else on the list) help you - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002187.html
week 1923: the "build" line - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002190.html
week 1924: the qc '-w[idth]' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002193.html
week 1925: qc with explicit time windowing - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002194.html
week 1926: the '+rx_state' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002200.html
week 1927: the '-O.sum' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002204.html
week 1928: the '+meta' and '+mds' options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2016/002206.html
week 1930: more on '-O.sum' - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002207.html
week 1931: the '-O.s[ystem]' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002208.html
week 1932: leap seconds - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002215.html
week 1936: what you can (and shouldn't) do in a RINEX obs file - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002229.html
week 1938: the '+psp' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002231.html
week 1939: the '+diag' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002235.html
week 1951: '-n_<system>' and SV filtering options - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002277.html
week 1953: more with '+diag' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002287.html
week 1954: using '+diag' output to split raw files - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002290.html
week 1955: current qc notation - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002302.html
week 1956: the '+qcq' option - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002304.html
week 1957: using Trimble formats - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002305.html
week 1958: ToC != ToE messages - http://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2017/002310.html

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