Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) AutoSteer

Inducted In: 2006, Industrial Productivity/Manufacturing Technology

Induction year:
Inducted individuals:
Dr. Thomas Bell
Dr. Clark Cohen
David Lawrence
Dr. Michael O'Connor
Inducted organizations:
Gravity Probe B Lab
Novariant Corporation

Improved Global Positioning System (GPS) technology developed to help the Gravity B Probe test Einstein’s theories has found its way into farming here on Earth. This technology called RealTime Kinematic (RTK) GPS, provided the tools to develop the first auto steered tractor.

Today RTK AutoSteer technology robotically controls farm tractors to ensure straight, repeatable crop rows to within 2 cm.

This accuracy dramatically increases crop yields; reduces environmental pollution, and lowers operating costs. AutoSteer is also helping enable future technologies, such as crop trace-ability to improve food supply security. Population growth, drought, erosion and pest pressure increasingly threaten food supplies. Space technology like RTK AutoSteer is helping ensure there is plenty for everyone here on Earth.

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