What is Trimble Catalyst?

Trimble Catalyst is a revolutionary new offering from Trimble that introduces a software defined GNSS receiver that runs on select Android phones and Tablets. It requires a specialized digital antenna (Catalyst DA1) that connects to the Android device via USB. The solution enables a customer to subscribe to the Catalyst service in order to enable the GNSS receiver to operate at a level of accuracy related to their subscription level.


What is GNSS?

GNSS stands for "Global Navigation Satellite System", which consists of a network of orbiting satellites, ground control stations, and user receivers that allow you to know your location in the world with the push of a button. GPS is the most commonly referenced GNSS constellation; others include GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo. Trimble Catalyst currently supports GPS, GLONASS and Galileo constellations.


What is Differential GNSS?

Differential GNSS is a kind of GNSS augmentation system that enhances the basic information received by GNSS satellites to increase the accuracy of the positions being calculated by the receiver. There are several different differential GNSS correction techniques that provide differing levels of accuracy improvement.


Do I need any other hardware to use Trimble Catalyst?

Yes, the Trimble Catalyst DA1 digital antenna is required to digitize the GNSS signal and send them to the Catalyst apps running on your device.

Depending on how you want to use Catalyst, you may also want to consider purchasing a suitable mounting option for the antenna, and for your phone or tablet. The DA1 antenna is supplied with a push-fit base that allows the antenna to be mounted on any 32 mm diameter pole or rod. It is also supplied with a ⅝" thread adapter for screwing the antenna onto a standard survey rod.

A number of off-the-shelf mounting options are available for gripping and attaching phones or tablets to rods. 

For a selection of high quality solutions, consider the portfolio of mounting supplies available from Trimble accessories vendor SECO, or contact your local Trimble distributor.


Where can I use Trimble Catalyst?

GNSS positioning uses signals coming from space and Trimble Catalyst has to be used outdoors with clear sky view. Highest precision is obtained in low multipath conditions and with calm ionosphere.

Since high-accuracy GNSS requires a differential correction source to correct position errors caused by the atmosphere there must also be a way for the Catalyst receiver to get these corrections, as described in the table below:

1 Meter:  Works worldwide with a cellular data connection using Trimble RTX IP-delivered corrections. Outside of cellular data coverage, works in most of the world using Trimble RTX satellite-delivered corrections.

Sub-meter:  Works worldwide with a cellular data connection using Trimble RTX IP-delivered corrections. Outside of cellular data coverage, works in most of the world using Trimble RTX satellite-delivered corrections.

Decimeter:  Cellular data connection required. Works worldwide inside Trimble VRS Now coverage zones, or via third-party cellular-delivered local corrections.

Precision:  Cellular data connection required. Works worldwide inside Trimble VRS Now coverage zones, or via third-party cellular-delivered local corrections.

Using cellular data or data roaming may incur additional charges from your cellular service provider. Check individual subscription coverage areas, and talk to your local Trimble distributor about local GNSS corrections options in your region.


Are there any regional restrictions for Trimble Catalyst?

Trimble Catalyst is being made available worldwide, however regional availability of correction service coverage may affect performance at some subscription levels. Refer to the coverage areas for each Trimble Catalyst subscription type. Outside the coverage areas indicated in these maps Catalyst is available, but a local correction source will be needed in addition to your Catalyst subscription to achieve optimum results. In many parts of the world free local cellular-delivered differential corrections services are available that can be used to expand the coverage of Trimble Catalyst's high-accuracy subscription levels. Primary regions that have good support for Catalyst include: North America, Western Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Contact your local Trimble distributor for information about the suitability of Catalyst for your workflow and the availability of Catalyst correction sources in your area.


Do I need a separate subscription to Trimble VRS Now to use Trimble Catalyst?

No. Your Trimble Catalyst subscription includes bundled access to Trimble VRS Now™ correction streams where it is available, and worldwide access to Trimble RTX™ technology. However, if you are operating outside of a Trimble VRS Now coverage area and using a Precision or Decimeter Catalyst subscription, you will need a separate local IP-delivered correction source to achieve optimum results. Catalyst Sub-meter will also use Trimble VRS Now services if they are available, however both Sub-meter and 1 Meter level Catalyst subscriptions can operate at specification in optimum conditions without Trimble VRS Now corrections.


Can Trimble Catalyst work offline?

Yes. You need an internet connection to download a license file for your subscription before using the service, but once you have a license you can work offline for up to 30 days, or until your license expires, whichever comes first. If your license expires, Catalyst will continue to work in “Free” mode which is limited to 2 m accuracy, until you are able to re-connect to the internet to download a refreshed license token and/or complete the purchase a new subscription.

If you are using the Catalyst On Demand service, you need to be online to draw down and use ‘hours’ on your devices. Once you have an active On Demand license, you can work offline.

Precision, Decimeter, and Sub-meter subscriptions perform best in online conditions where corrections can be delivered over the internet connection on the phone. In offline conditions, all subscription types will attempt to use corrections from the Trimble RTX satellite broadcast service.


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