GPS Control for Golf Course Pesticide Applications

Satellite Technology

There are 3 primary global systems in use today

  • GPS (United States)
  • GLONASS (Russia)
  • Galileo (European Union)

Originally these systems were developed for military uses and for navigation on the world’s oceans or in the air. With the growth in this technology, it is now commonplace for satellite navigation to be used in road building and construction applications. Agriculture has been using and developing satellite technology for more efficient use of pesticides and fertilizers with great results in output per acre while also reducing their chemical costs. Turflux has now put the pieces in place for golf courses to take advantage of satellite technology, too.

Augmentation (also called Correction) is required because satellites are moving in their orbit around the earth and the earth is rotating on its axis. Other points of reference are needed for the satellites to know one’s exact point on the earth at any given time.

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an early augmentation system that was developed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) by Raytheon Company primarily for aircraft to rely on GPS for all phases of flight. The accuracy is not typically tight enough for a sprayer in use on a golf course.

OmniSTAR is a satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) service provider. OmniSTAR correction signals are proprietary, and a subscription must be bought from the OmniSTAR Corporation to receive a subscription authorization.  OmniSTAR uses geostationary satellites in 8 regions covering most of the landmass of each inhabited continent on Earth. To access the OmniSTAR solution the user must have an OmniSTAR capable receiver.

RTK is a satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) that is commonly used throughout multiple industries to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems. RTK has been used in agricultural spraying and planting, as well as the construction business for many years. RTK is also the core of Raven’s Slingshot® RTK, which is used in the Turflux sprayer systems. See our article on Why We Recommend RTK

Slingshot® RTK is a complete system that uses the technique known as Real Time Kinematic (RTK) along with fixed reference points on the earth from the Turflux Base Station Network. The ‘sub-inch’ positioning accuracy is achieved between your spray vehicle and satellites using reliable cell phone and internet communication. 

Slingshot® RTK is a revolution in precision golf course spraying so powerful, so simple, you might not believe what it can do.  Slingshot® is a system that combines wireless connectivity with Raven and Turflux precision nozzle-control hardware in a way that will change the way you look at your spraying operation. With Slingshot® RTK your spray vehicle connects to the rest of the world through wireless cell phone networks giving you the ability to create maps with repeatable sub-inch accuracy.  It connects your Raven hardware using RTK technology with the private Base Station system developed by HP RTK and utilized by Turflux. With a secure account, Slingshot® lets you transfer data to and from your Raven field computer.  Now you can update, track, manage and store your spray application data in a secure online database from any computer or smartphone anywhere you can get online.  And if you run into problems, Slingshot®’s support team can access your field computer live, in real-time.  You grant us access to your field computer to take control of the system and fix problems.  Slingshot® Online keeps your data, safe, secure and easy to access.  With the power of Slingshot® RTK and Slingshot® Online, you unleash the full potential of your precision spray vehicle.

Better productivity, greater efficiency, less waste, lower cost, greater certainty and better information from 21st century technology.  Put it together, and you have perfection and power. A lot of folks currently using Turflux equipped golf course sprayers will never go back to the old way of boom controlled spraying.

The backbone to Slingshot® RTK is the use of established fixed reference points with an internet connected base station network. In 2019 Turflux partnered with HP RTK to expand its base station network providing greatly expanded coverage from a dedicated RTK base station system that is not dependent on the individual state run CORS networks. Turflux and HP RTK are committed to installing additional base stations, if necessary, for customers purchasing a new Turflux control system for their sprayer(s).


GPS Data is sent by satellites to your sprayer and to base stations on the HP RTK network. The physical base stations use survey grade GPS antennas and have gone through a rigorous 30 day survey process to become a known fixed reference point on the earth. HP RTK servers, using proprietary software, send RTK corrections to then create a virtual base station near your sprayer. This minimizes the distance and creates backup redundancy for your position correction signal.
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