The Carlson NR3 and BRx6+ GNSS Receivers Designed to Meet Users’ Specific Need

May 22nd, 2019
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Carlson NR3

MAYSVILLE, Kentucky, U.S.A. (May 2019) – Carlson Software is now offering its customers a choice of two GNSS receivers, the BRx6+, and the just-released NR3.

Both receivers provide triple frequency tracking on multiple satellite constellations, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou. Both also track the major SBAS constellations with the NR3 also doing IRNSS and SDCM. Both are designed to work with Carlson SurvCE/SurvPC and either the Surveyor2, Mini2 data collectors, or the RT3 Windows tablet to provide a full field solution.

The biggest difference between the two GNSS receivers is the tradeoff between the BRx6+ having an internal UHF radio and tilt sensor versus the lighter weight of the NR3 which is a Network Rover with an integrated cellular modem. The NR3 weighs less than 2 pounds (1.8 pounds) and the BRx6+ weighs just over 3 pounds. This becomes a noticeable difference for all-day operation, where the lighter weight NR3 reduces total survey pole weight.

While both are used as a rover on a survey pole, the lightweight NR3 is more attractive with GNSS and a prism with SurvCE/PC 6.0 with Hybrid+ for simultaneous GNSS and Robotic Total Station surveys.

“A survey pole with GNSS and a prism allows SurvCE/PC 6.0 to make simultaneous RTK and Robotic Total Station observations for improved Quality Control in the field,” says Butch Herter, Director of Hardware Development. “Inconsistent data is displayed directly on SurvCE/PC so the user can ensure correct data is recorded.”

Carlson BRx6+

Both receivers can be used as a base or rover, with corrections via cellular with Carlson’s Listen-Listen service on the NR3, and via UHF and cellular Listen-Listen on the BRx6+.

An advantage of BRx6+ is the internal tilt sensor can correct for the tilt in the pole to calculate a position on the ground. Additionally, with the tilt sensor, an electronic bubble or “Live Digital Level” can be used to both speed up data collection and improve positional accuracy.

Both receivers are certified IP67 for being waterproof/dustproof and are shock resistant, but different operating temperature ranges, from -30°C to +60°C for the BRx6+ and -30°C to +75°C for the NR3.

The NR3 offers users 448 channels and the BRx6+ provides 572 channels. This means both have adequate capacity for all GNSS tracking. The NR3 provides 16GB internal memory, while the BRx6+ has 8GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot. Both provide hot-swap battery capability for continuous operation, but the BRX6+ has one battery, so the replacement must be inserted in 26 seconds. The NR3 has 2 batteries so either may be swapped. Both products have separate battery chargers, and the NR3 also recharges onboard the instrument.

Both receivers have an integrated 4G LTE cellular modem, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for modern wireless capabilities.

As for size, the NR3 is slightly wider, 6.5 inches in diameter vs. 5.5 inches for the BRx6+, but smaller, in that it’s only 2.7 inches high vs. 5.5 inches high for the BRx6+.

The BRx6 is manufactured to Carlson specifications by Hemisphere GNSS, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, while the NR3 has been produced for Carlson by Septentrio, which is based in Leuven, Belgium.

For more information about the choice between the Carlson NR3 and the Carlson BRx6+, visit the hardware section on for the units’ specifications or call your local dealer or your local Carlson representative.

Founded in 1983, Carlson Software Inc. specializes in CAD design software, field data collection, laser measurement and machine control products for the civil engineering, surveying, GIS, construction, and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions for the entire project cycle. Carlson Software is headquartered in Maysville, KY., U.S.A., with branch offices in Boston, MA; Almere, The Netherlands; Brisbane, Australia; Ottawa, Canada; and York, England.