When the Going Gets Tough

Keeping a close eye on a vital and extensive infrastructure complex in the Northern Territory around the clock and in virtually all weather conditions has become a reality thanks to Trimble technology, UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) expertise and the foresight of a highly regarded surveying group.

Earl James and Associates (EJA), which was established in 1982, have employed the Trimble T4D system operating with two S9 robotic total stations, supplied by UPG.

The system has enabled automated monitoring of a concrete structure’s subsidence in the Northern Territory since the middle of last year.

The system is configured to measure 70 monitoring prisms installed along the structure every hour around the clock with the results streamed live via the internet. From this, results and data can be viewed from any connected device  for analyses, and configured to send email and SMS alerts should movement be identified that exceeds set parameters. EJA installed the equipment and system which was then followed by UPG’s T4D ‘guru’ Brent Dawson coming to the site to do training and assist with the system’s configuration.

New Trimble® X7 plays its part in Scanning History

Ever since the Trimble® X7 was introduced into the market in Australia, MinStaff Survey has been eager to get hold of one, and that became a reality recently when SITECH Construction Systems’ Chris Reynolds and UPG's Kieran Dinuzzo took their demo unit out for MinStaff Survey to trial.  The results were so impressive they bought one.

MinStaff Survey was established in 1995 as a surveying solution to underground mine development projects throughout Central and Western NSW and for a decade specialised in the provision of surveying services to major mine development projects throughout the Eastern States of Australia.

2006 saw a relocation to Toowoomba in Queensland for the company, where they are still based today and with over 50 qualified surveyors has become a multi-discipline consulting surveying firm offering a full range of surveying services to both private companies (developers, designers, builders, miners, and contractors) and the public sector.

Recently they were tasked with a complete building scan on the Soldiers Memorial Hall building in Toowoomba.  The building has been subjected to numerous extensions over the years and suspected movement detected meant a thorough investigation before new renovations and structural modifications could be implemented.

“When we trialled the system, we completed in one hour a job we initially thought may take about four.  That was the real eye-opener for us,” said Jake Laing, General Manager.

“The X7 is just one of the pieces used on this latest project.  We combined the X7 and T10 with Trimble Perspective, the Trimble SX10 Total Station to geo-reference the scans on a known survey datum and a Trimble Dini for level control and baseline monitoring of the external structure, and of course Trimble Business Center played an integral part in bringing all the data together.”

“We did face some challenges – the building was multiple stories with minimal access and egress points, and we needed to tie the scan data together between floors, as well as capture the interior and exterior data.”  said Jake.  “The field works took us three days with 290 scans, and we completed the office works in one day.”

The Soldiers Memorial Hall was built in three stages.  From 1923 – 1924 the main structure was built, then additions in 1930 and 1957 saw the building completed as a tribute to those who had served in the First World War.  At the time of opening in 1924 the building comprised two stories with a single gable to each side of the roof, together with a small brick building at the rear, possibly used as additional storerooms and a public lavatory.

“When we trialled the system, we completed in one hour a job we initially thought may take about four. That was the real eye opener for us,” said Jake Laing, General Manager.

“Today the structure consists of multiple stories and many small rooms, which all have limited access,” explains Jake.  “In order to survey the vast amount of data required there was only the one option - to provide a point cloud survey using the Trimble X7.  This allowed seamless cloud-to-cloud registration with real-time viewing on the T10 tablet in the Trimble Perspective software.  With the fast scan speeds, we were able to complete +100 scan stations a day with minimal impact on staff who continued to work in the building.  The ability to export a panoramic image of each scan station was deemed extremely beneficial for the client because they now have great quality images of the whole building to add to their archives.”

The team was able to do a closed-loop traverse through multiple levels of the building with scan targets, adjusting the traverse in TBC then geo-referencing the point cloud to scan the targets.  This ensured confidence in the data, that there was no angular swing in the point cloud due to cloud-to-cloud registering misalignment, as well as ensuring no difference in data between levels.

Although fairly new to the team, the Trimble X7 has had plenty of use every week, whether it be from extensive point cloud scans for building design to tenancy lease surveys and as-constructed surveys.  “Final as-constructed surveys can be scanned with a high level of accuracy and detail in only a couple of minutes compared to using conventional survey equipment”, states Jake, “And the benefits we’ve found from the X7 is the ability to complete a full scan with imagery in under three minutes.  This allows for full data capture with minimal inconvenience to any workspace.”

“And the benefits we’ve found from the X7 is the ability to complete a full scan with imagery in under three minutes.  This allows for full data capture with minimal inconvenience to any workspace.”

“Most projects come with strict budgets and time-lines”, said Jake, “But the X7 has improved the amount and the quality of the data we can provide to our clients, all with a much faster turnaround, than had we used the SX10, which would have done the job but taken a lot longer to do.  Or with us undertaking hard measurements for floor plans, which wouldn’t have been feasible in terms of cost, time, and data storage constraints.”

Kieran Dinuzzo, Technical Consultant had no doubts when looking at the project that the Trimble X7 and Perspective Software was a perfect fit based on the ability to have a registered, refined, colourised point-cloud ready to bring straight into Trimble Business Centre, which would instill a lot of confidence in the client in achieving a high-end result.  And, given this project was mid-COVID and no face-to-face training was available SITECH and UPG were set up and ready to run the project remotely.  However, with the simplicity and performance of Perspective, this wasn’t necessary.  MinStaff picked it up easily and were away.

SiteVision for Cadastral Surveyors

SiteVision is a great tool for visualising data but what value does it provide to me as a Cadastral Surveyor?

Great question.

SiteVision has three main uses for Cadastral Surveyors:

  1. Finding survey monuments for the origin of your survey (Point of Beginning)
  2. Communicating property line information, including natural boundaries, to your clients
  3. Checking occupation against property lines to check for encroachment

Let’s look at this in more detail.

 

Augmented Reality in AEC Education

Recently students at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand got to use SiteVision for a day on campus. Read more on how augmented reality and technology are being used by architecture, engineering, and construction students.

The Future of AR in Education

Universities play two critical roles in the introduction of new technology to industry. The first of these is an independent validation of the suitability of the new technology for deployment in industry, and the second to include the application of new technology into professional courses to ensure that new graduates understand and are skilled with the use of new technology. This article discusses how one university has approached the introduction of augmented reality and the integration of rich 3D attributed data throughout the project lifecycle, as a part of their courses.

UPG and SITECH double up to get council operations on grade

UPG’s Josh Weckert and SITECH’s Dillon Harding have teamed up to provide the total solution for a rural council.

The pair delivered and installed GCS900 Grade Control on a Wentworth Shire Council grader, a Cat® 140M, and also delivered on-site training.

“The council acquired an R10 GNSS and TSC7 controller from UPG several months before the purchase of the machine control equipment and employed it to assist the civil work among other purposes,” Josh said.

“UPG surveyed the vacant block and created a small road design for the grader and the off-machine equipment,” Dillon said.

“We spent the morning with the guys helping them come to grips with the total station and switching to machine control mode.”

“We also talked about grader best practices and general benching techniques then cut some passes with the machine.”

Josh had Trimble SiteVision running in the background so the council engineers could see the same road design that was in the machine, giving them a greater understanding of the solutions on offer.

“The reaction from the council team, especially SiteVision, was very positive,” Dillon said.

“SiteVision is a major a step forward and, among other advantages, is an amazing way to showcase jobs to projects managers and investors.”

The council is undertaking a section of road redevelopment soon as well as a proposed re-development of the Mildura Aerodrome, in which a tight tolerance is paramount.

“Council representatives came to our demo day in Adelaide last year and saw the live display of our solutions in hardware and software,” Dillon said.

“The decision was made from that experience to outfit the grader with the complete package so the council could do the aerodrome job itself rather than sub-contract it.”

You can find out more about SiteVision, Trimble’s outdoor augmented reality system, here.

To learn more about how Trimble and UPG can help your operations reach new levels of accuracy, efficiency and safety, call us on 1800 800 874.