GIS/GPS – mission planning software

Using Mission Planning Software

RMBL uses a free online software to create mission planning. NOTE: This software does not work for Mac computers. If you have a Mac, please use one of the computers in Barclay classroom to do your mission planning.

NOTE: The mission planning software and directions have changed since the summer of 2007. If you downloaded software in 2007, you should uninstall it, and install this new software and follow the new instructions.

1.) This software is already available on all the Barclay classroom computers. The software is called Trimble Office Utilities Planning.

2.) Download the daily almanac or ephemeris file from the Trimble website. This file will tell the software where the satellites will be and when. Open the following link in a new window (Trimble<a href=””><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>Almanac</span></a><span style=”font-family: Trebuchet MS; font-size: x-small;”>).

Click on the link for “GPS almanac in SSF file format”. A dialog box will pop up. Choose to save it to a folder on your hard drive (remember this location!!) and give it a name, besides current.ssf (the date works well).

If you are using Barclay Classroom computers, save to the folder “GPS Almanacs”. Once the download is complete, close the dialog box.

3.) Go to the Start Menu, Programs, and Click on Trimble Office Utilities Planning

4.) Go to File Station Enter a Station Name (e.g. RMBL or Mexican Cut or Rustler’s Gulch or wherever you are working), Lat, Long, and Elevation, start date, and start time. We are in the North for latitude and in the West for longitude.

**If you are working in the Gothic Valley, the coordinates at the Gothic Town Hall are: Lat = 38 degrees 57 minutes 28.7856 seconds; Long = -106 degrees, 59 minutes, 20.0255 seconds; Elev = 9500ft

**If you are working in Washington Gulch, the coordinates at the the Meridian Lake Reservoir are: Lat = 38 degrees 54 minutes 28.6489 seconds; Long = -106 degrees 59 minutes, 33.2339 seconds; Elev = 9300ft

**If you are working in Slate River, the coordinates at Nicholson Lake are: Lat = 38 degrees, 53 minutes, 58.6284 seconds; Long = -107 degrees, 0 minutes, 17.6796 seconds; Elev = 8900ft

If you are working at other locations, or you would like to have more specific coordinates, please collect a coordinate at the site using a personal or RMBL GPS unit.

5.) Click on Almanac Import SSF Browse to the folder where you have saved the .ssf file.

6.) In the main toolbar section, you’ll see Satellite Systems. Make sure the GPS is checked, and you can choose to check GLONASS or not. If you are only using the Trimble GeoXT unit, DO NOT click this. If you are using the TopCon Hiper Pro unit, you should determine if you will be collecting on a GLONASS day (every other Tuesday).

7.) Click on Lists DOPs Values. This will list all of the DOPs for the date and time that you indicated. You should check the list for the PDOPs. Keep in mind that since the Trimble software does not allow you to build in obstacles (like mountains), these times and PDOPs are a guideline, but may not be perfect.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you keep in mind the PDOP tolerances for the different GPS units. The GeoXT tolerance is 6.0 or below, but the Hiper Pro tolerance is 4.0 or below.