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Hawk - GPS Task Parameters

The Hawk has on-board GPS for location. The parameters available allow for fine-grained control of the GPS behaviour to meet battery life and data usage requirements. 

The GPS cannot be used if we set the device to Stay Connected to the cellular network permanently.

Key Parameters

GPS Task

GPS Multiplier on Task

The Hawk operates by configuring Task Schedules. Up to 2 schedules can be configured. A set of measurements is taken with the frequency defined in the schedule. i.e sample the SDI 12 and I2C sensors every 30 min. 

By default, a GPS fix is obtained on each task. We can the frequency of obtaining fixes (including if at all). 


Default - Log fix each task
GPS Task Default Params

GPS is enabled and will attempt to get a fix for 90 sec each task.

Under the Task parameters, setting the GPS multiplier to 1 means a fix is attempted every 1 task (i.e. each time)

Log fix every Nth heartbeat
Run the task every 5 min, get a fix every 12 tasks (hourly)

Disable GPS Aiding Data to save data

GPS Aiding speeds up getting a fix from a cold start. So downloading it uses data, but will decrease battery life somewhat. If we are hard-wired and battery life is not an issue, we can disable it and save on some data. (80kb every 5 days)

Disable GPS
If we set the GPS multiplier to 0, GPS fixes won't be attempted when running a task. 

Disable GPS, but hard-code a default Lat/Long

This Lat/Long will be used with each record

GPS Settings (Advanced)

We additionally have parameters to control the accuracy requirements of a fix (what is accepted or discarded)

NB: We can set the device to require more accuracy to accept a fix - it doesn't mean we'll get improved accuracy - we might just get a lot of discards. 

Most users do not need to adjust these parameters. Leave on default unless you know what you are doing

PDOP, Position Accuracy and Speed Accuracy are the minimum accuracy requirements for a fix to be considered 'valid'. When the device attempts to get a GPS fix, turns on it's GPS module and attempts to get a fix each second. It may in fact get a rough location fix, but it will not be accepted or logged, and the device will keep trying until it has one that meets this requirement, or the fix fails. We log the first fix that meets the requirements and turn off the GPS after this.

As such lowering these values doesn't automatically result in more accurate fixes, it will often result in more failures. The defaults are a good starting point - fixes are generally accurate to within 10m when in decent signal. 

If we are having trouble acquiring a fix we can loosen these fix requirements e.g.

Static Hold
This has the device 'hold' it's current position (lat/long) if the uncertainity in position is below this value. The idea being if we get subsequent fixes only a few metres apart, this is more likely due to the uncertainty vs actual motion - so no need to update position and have the unit appear to 'wander'. 

Require 3D Fix
Setting to NO will mean we can get a fix with 3 satellites instead of 4 - but altitude isn't returned. Setting to No may help in acquiring a fix in low signal conditions.

Discard First N Fixes
Discards a configurable number of valid fixes from the GPS before accepting a final fix. This gives the GPS some time to improve its accuracy, and lowers the chance of outlying GPS fixes slipping through the filters. Increasing this number means the device is more 'sure' of it's position - reducing will allow fixes to be acquired more easily (but potentially less accurate)

Minimum Initial Satellites
This option allows you to discard all GPS positions until a certain number of satellites have been acquired at a specified signal strength. Like the Discard First Fixes option, this gives the module more time to refine and cross-check its estimate, reducing the risk of erroneous fixes. It is intended for advanced use cases that require very high position certainty (ie. mission critical geofencing). Since it can affect fix times badly, the default is zero (disabled)

Minimum Initial Signal Margin
This is the minimum signal strength for the Minimum Initial Satellites option. Setting it to a low value (-20) makes the Minimum Initial Satellites function simply count the number of satellites in the fix, rather than requiring that they be high power. A value of zero requires a decent signal strength, and 5 requires a strong signal. It is generally difficulty to get more than a few satellites with strong signals, and most benefit comes from acquiring many satellites rather than a few strong ones. So if you really need the Minimum Initial Satellites features, the best place to start is with a low value.

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