What is it?
It is software that determines for any given location the best GPS collection times based on satellites number and position. Free online software allows you input your location, horizon, and obstacles to give an accurate estimate of which satellites will be available at which times. The amount of “good collection time” that mission planning will give you varies by GPS unit, since different units require different accuracy.
Why use it?
It is very frustrating to get all the way out in the field (especially at sites that are far away or difficult to reach), only to find that you do not have sufficient satellite coverage. Using mission planning will allow you to plan ahead so that you can be in the field when satellite # and geometry is ideal. GPS data collection will go much faster and smoother if you use mission planning. In the past we have provided mission planning times for the Gothic townsite, however, we are no longer doing that for two reasons: 1.) Many researchers need other areas, and we cannot create mission planning for every area. 2.) There may not be the staff available to create mission planning in the future, and we’d like researchers to get familiar with using the software while there is still user support available.
If you are interested in using Mission Planning, please contact the GIS/GPS Coordinator for the methodology hand out on the Mission Planning software.