Frequently Asked Questions About Skylark

What is Skylark? 

Skylark™ is a wide area, cloud-based, high-precision GNSS data corrections service. Skylark provides high reliability, standards compliant and cost-effective corrections over the Internet for mass market applications, like autonomous vehicle navigation, mobile, agriculture, rail, construction and microbility.

How does Skylark fit into the Swift Navigation ecosystem?

Skylark corrections are consumed by Swift’s Starling® positioning engine, or third party receivers, to provide precise positioning. Used alone, factors like satellite clock drift, satellite orbit variance and atmospheric interference with satellite signals can contribute to positioning errors. Skylark service corrects for these errors to provide real-time, high accuracy and integrity position.

Which version of Skylark is best for my needs?

A very basic answer is that Skylark Nx RTK is geared toward market segments that primarily use RTK including (but not limited to) lawn mowers and slow-moving robots, for those needing the highest degree of accuracy within a limited region, while the Skylark Cx is geared towards markets including automotive and any other industries requiring consistent, continent-wide performance. For a more thorough comparison, refer to the Skylark Cx & Skylark Nx RTK Comparison article. Skylark Dx provides Differential GNSS code corrections and is intended for mobile handsets and IoT.

Why are GNSS corrections from Skylark important for precise localization?

Corrections are vitally important in a high-precision GNSS location system as satellite orbits vary, satellite clocks drift, satellite signals take long paths through the ionosphere and troposphere where radiation from the sun and weather patterns above Earth’s atmosphere all degrade satellite signals. As the signals get closer to Earth, there are additional multipath reflections from buildings and structures in real-world environments that affect the precision of the position results being computed by the GNSS receiver. This can result in positions being incorrect by up to multiple meters, if not corrected. Skylark has been designed from the ground up to correct all of these satellite signal degradations, so Swift’s precise positioning solution can obtain centimeter-level accuracy with high reliability. 

Swift Navigation is known for affordable, high-accuracy receivers, why develop a cloud corrections service? 

Skylark completes Swift’s end-to-end product offering by adding a cloud corrections service to its line of GNSS receivers. Unlike other corrections services that require radio antennas—or are tethered to individual base stations—Skylark operates like a utility. Swift customers simply connect their device to power and the Internet or cellular data to get real-time positioning corrections for high-dynamic GNSS applications, like self-driving cars.

How does Skylark fit into Swift’s goal of making GNSS affordable? 

Skylark supports Swift’s vision of democratizing accessible, low-cost, high-precision GNSS. With cost-effective monthly or annual plans, optimized for specific verticals, you can be sure Skylark is an optimal fit for accuracy, availability, positioning integrity, and cost.

How do I request a free Skylark trial?

Registration for Skylark can be done using the Skylark Portal. This portal can be used to create and manage your Skylark subscriptions and devices. Use the promo-code ONEMONTHFREE for a free one month access to Skylark on one device.  

Is there a minimum/ maximum number of receivers that I need to have to sign up for Skylark? 

No. From one to an unlimited number of units, Skylark has been designed to run at a massive scale, and support users with flexible scaling needs.

Where is the Skylark service available?

The Skylark service is currently available in the contiguous U.S., Europe, South Korea, and Japan, with active network expansions in progress for wider Europe coverage, Asia and Australia.

If an area is not covered by the Skylark network today how do I request coverage or receive notification of when an area of interest is covered?

You can use the contact form to submit a network coverage request and/or sign up for product and coverage updates.

Will my receiver still connect to Skylark outside of the service coverage region?

The receiver will still be able to connect to the Skylark network, but as you leave the coverage area the receiver will experience a graceful degradation in performance.

Do my receivers require network connectivity to utilize the Skylark service?

Yes. A GNSS receiver must be able to connect to the Internet to communicate with Skylark and pass data corrections. 

What third-party receivers have been tested with Skylark?

Look up your receiver to check its compatibility with Skylark: Receiver Compatibility Checker

Can I use Skylark with a non-Swift positioning engine?

Yes. However the most optimal performance is achieved by using Swift’s positioning engine, Starling, in combination with Skylark. Some features, like protection levels, are not available when using a non-Swift positioning engine.

What level of accuracy can I expect with Skylark corrections service?

Skylark Cx provides ≤ 4 cm accuracy, with 50% horizontal positioning error, in a 24-hour stationary test with an open sky. Further metrics on performance are available on request.

What is corrections reference frame (datum)?

Skylark provides corrections in ITRF2014 reference frame.

What messages and constellations are supported by Skylark?

Each mountpoint provides corrections for GPS, Galileo, and BeiDou on L1/L2 or L1/L5 endpoints.

Skylark Cx Mountpoints:

  • MSM4
  • MSM5 (formerly CRS)
  • OSR (sends Swift proprietary messages)
  • SSR (sends Swift proprietary messages)
  • SSR-integrity (sends Swift proprietary messages) 

Skylark Nx RTK Mountpoints:

  • NXRTK-MSM5 (formerly RTK-MSM5)
  • NXRTK-RTCM31 (formerly RTK-RTCM31)

Skylark Dx Mountpoints:

  • DX-MSM1 (formerly DGNSS-MSM1)

Additionally to the observation messages each stream is sending RTCM v3.1 messages: 1006, 1008, 1019, 1020, 1033, 1042, 1046.

What is the corrections update rate?

Skylark serves corrections at a 1 Hz rate after receipt of a GGA message. GGA messages are typically sent to our server at a 10 s or 30 s interval.

How are corrections typically delivered to the receiver?

NTRIP v2 protocol is typically used over a cellular data link. 

How do I connect my existing receiver to Skylark?

Instructions for Swift and third-party receiver configuration are available in the Receiver Configuration for Skylark Cx  Operation knowledge base article, and for Skylark RTK, see the Receiver Configuration for Skylark Nx RTK article.  See the Notes section for third-party receiver minimum requirements.

What if I have more questions about Skylark?

Additional Skylark product and technical documentation is available on the Swift Support Portal. You can also use the contact form.