Trimble and UPG help maritime operation get the very best from its investment

South Australia based marine contractor Maritime Constructions has used its long relationship with UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) to get the absolute best out of a new dredge on a recent capital dredging project.

Maritime Constructions (MC) is a family owned company and has been a client of UPG since the late 1990s.  In fact, UPG’s marine and dredging specialist Dene Oehme, was the Maritime Constructions surveyor for eight years and since joining UPG, he’s helped MC with various positioning solutions.   In June, 2018 they approached Dene with a challenge: They had won a big capital works dredging contract and had ordered a new dredge for the job. They wanted Dene to source and commission the ‘latest and best’ in dredge management and navigation from Trimble.

The cutter suction dredge is a Damen CSD500 from The Netherlands.  By default, these machines come with a navigation system included but MC considered and rejected this option.  Instead they specifically wanted to go with Trimble due to the local support they knew they would get from UPG Adelaide.

“I discussed requirements with the project manager, Sikko Krol (formerly with Boskalis Dredging from The Netherlands) and we settled on a system that was so new in the Trimble product line-up that at the time, there hadn’t been another such system installed on any Australian dredge,” Dene said.

 

The system consists of:

On the Dredge:
Trimble Marine Construction software
Trimble MPS865 GNSS
Trimble Cutter Suction Dredge, CAN based sensor kit
Positel linear sensor for “spud” position data

RTK Base Station:
Trimble SPS855 with all GNSS constellations enabled
Trimble TDL450h base radio
Trimble Zephyr 3 Base antenna

For Surveying:
Trimble TSC7
Trimble SPS986 GNSS rover
Sonarmite BTX single beam Hydrographic Survey system.

The project involved the removal of nearly 1 million cubic metres of material from tidal Beedon Creek at Onslow, Western Australia, and dredging of the sea-floor leading into the creek to create a 50m-wide shipping channel.  This established a deep-water port which will operate as a marine support base for local fishing, mining and tourism.

Once the dredge was delivered to Australia, Dene met the crew on-site to install, commission and calibrate the Trimble Dredge Management System.

“I trained the dredge crew in its operation and their new surveyor on basic Hydrographic Surveying techniques as they apply to dredge support,” he said.

“Having worked in that role at Maritime Constructions for eight years myself, I knew exactly what they expected and this allowed me to give specific instruction to their surveyor on the ‘MC way’ of doing things and what they would expect of him.

“I had planned to return to the site after a few weeks to fix any problems and fine tune the system.  I contacted Sikko several times soon after works commenced to ask when he would like me to visit but each time I wasn’t needed.  The whole system was working perfectly and performing as required and expected from day one.

“The on-site training gave the crews the knowledge to do their system checks and calibrations when required and to extract the daily log and volume data to satisfy the clients reporting requirements.”

“It’s also worth mentioning that environmental management, close consultation with community and stakeholders plus the flexibility to modify the project on the run to meet desired outcomes are all vital factors in modern dredging,” Dene said.

“This project was no different and it is a credit to Sikko and the wider Maritime Constructions management team that these concerns have been met efficiently and thoroughly to the benefit of all involved.  Part of that was having absolute confidence in the position of the cutter head at all times and the Trimble Dredge Management System, based around the Trimble Marine Construction software, provides this certainty.”

Based on the success of this system and the project outcomes overall, Maritime Constructions have begun planning further enhancements to their fleet’s capabilities with Trimble technology.  The company has five dredges, three large ‘dumb’ barges and several other large work boats and landing barges.

“UPG Adelaide looks forward to being involved as these developments arise and take pride in the gains in efficiency and accuracy we have been able to provide Maritime Constructions to date,” Dene said.

Performance and simplicity keys to new X7 3D Laser Scanning System

Trimble’s new X7 will put 3D laser scanning into the hands of professionals regardless of their level of expertise.

Announced at the massive Intergeo expo in Germany, Trimble’s new X7 3D laser scanning system is a game changer across many industries, delivering the ability to quickly and easily capture precise 3D scanning data to produce high-quality deliverables.

Ideal for surveying, construction, industrial and forensic applications, the Trimble X7 3D laser scanner is an integrated solution with specialised field software, featuring:

  • Simple and streamlined workflows to provide automatic registration of point cloud data in the field with Trimble Registration Assist
  • Smart Trimble X-Drive technology to eliminate the need for annual calibration
  • Survey-grade self-levelling to ensure consistent data quality
  • Professional quality and sturdy IP55 rating backed by an industry leading two-year warranty
  • The compact and reliable laser scanner comes with a Microsoft Windows-based Trimble T10 ruggedized tablet for control and project visibility, along with a backpack and lightweight tripod for portability.

“The Trimble X7 delivers high-speed 3D laser scanning with intuitive workflows and unique technologies automating critical steps, which improves efficiency and productivity,” Gregory Lepere, marketing director, optical and imaging for Trimble Geospatial, said.

“The X7 is a useful, everyday tool because it doesn't require scanning expertise to operate.

“It opens the door for more construction, surveying, industrial and forensics professionals to confidently capture and deliver scan data and realize a faster return on investment."

Surveying

For surveyors and geospatial professionals, the X7 provides fast and balanced performance in indoor and outdoor environments and is ideal for industrial survey/tank calibration, civil infrastructure, general surveys, road intersection surveys, utilities, mining and historical documentation and renovation.

The Trimble X7 solution is fully integrated with the new Trimble Perspective software specifically designed for in-field control and complete registration. The combination enables scans and images to be captured, fully registered together, refined, controlled and exported to a variety of established data format for Trimble and non-Trimble software suites.

Building Design and Construction

For users in building design and construction, the X7 provides answers to the complex measurement problems of existing conditions and improves field productivity for a broad range of applications in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry projects, including concrete; mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP); and general contracting; as well as quality assurance validation in steel prefabrication.

The X7 solution is fully integrated with Trimble Field Link software to provide streamlined workflows specific to the building construction industry - from scanning to modelling to field layout. The solution also includes a first-of-its-kind laser pointer using scan data to improve communication between stakeholders and reduce rework.

Forensics

For law enforcement, tragic events can happen anywhere and anytime. The X7, developed with feedback from law enforcement, can perform in demanding conditions such as cold and rain, day or night. Ease of use from field setup to automatic registrations ensures that investigators remain focused on gathering the evidence and building solid cases. The X7, supported by Trimble Forensics Capture software, is a complete solution for Forensics investigators.

The Trimble X7 is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020. Contact UPG today for more information.

 

Project protecting unique environment turns to Trimble

A world-first ecological project team has employed Trimble technology as part of a push to rid an island environment of rodents. 

Located about 600km east of the NSW coast, Lord Howe Island’s isolation and its varied landscape are home to many unique and endemic species. 

This includes 241 species of indigenous plants, almost 50% of which are found nowhere else in the world; 207 species of bird, including the endangered Lord Howe Island Woodhen; and 1,600 terrestrial insect species, including the world’s rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island phasmid. 

The presence of exotic rodents on islands is one of the greatest causes of species extinction in the world. 

Rats have already been implicated in the extinction of five endemic bird species, at least 13 species of endemic invertebrates, and two plant species on the island. 

Rodents are also a recognised threat to at least 13 other bird species, two reptiles, 51 plant species, 12 vegetation communities and seven species of threatened invertebrates on the island. 

Trimble GNSS technology was used during the implementation of a rodent baiting program which was part of the LHIB’s Protecting Paradise Program, an island-wide, holistic ecological restoration program. 

The simple requirement was to find the best GNSS available that could integrate with LHIB’s field mapping software to lay out bait stations in a precise 10m x 10m grid across specific areas on the island, mainly in habituated areas. 

As well, GNSS was required for hand spreading baits in buffer zones between settled areas of the island and mountainous areas, which had been aerial baited. 

A number of GNSS options were trialled and with the tree and other foliage canopy being substantial in much of the target area, many of the trialled GNSS weren’t up to the task, in particular in relaying data to the phones being used for data capture. 

The best equipped tool was the Trimble R10. 

Twenty R10 rovers, receiving corrections broadcasted from an R10 base station and TDL450 repeater were the backbone of the solution. 

Android deviceswere used as handheld controllers with TrimbleGNSS Statussoftware installed. 

GNSS Statuswas using the R10 rover as its location source and the Android devicesMock Locationswas set to GNSS Status. 

This setup effectively provided the Android devices running the LHIB’s mapping software with RTK precision. 

A simple stake out to the grid points to lay the baits in the correct location was field workflow. 

Grant Harper, from Biodiversity Restoration Specialists, said for such a complex and large operation, accuracy and dependability was essential. 

“This is the largest eradication program of its kind ever undertaken anywhere in the world,” he said. 

“We needed to lay out around 19,000 bait stations plus about 6,000 hand broadcast points. 

“We did a lot of trialling of equipment for this project and the Trimble gear stood out, particularly for its accuracy. 

“It is a very complex site as it includes around 900 buildings of all sizes, so the accuracy was crucial. 

 “As well, the team from UPG was very helpful and quickly understood what we needed to do with the R10 units. 

 “Nothing was too much trouble for them – it was a good experience. 

“We used about 20 R10s and they pulled them from around Australia for us. Most projects would use one or two so to be able to provide that many was brilliant.” 

Grant said that while the program was set to end in early November, it would be 12 months before its success of otherwise was known. 

“We have to wait to see if any breeding happens post baiting,” he said. 

“This kind of project is very binary – we either have or haven’t eradicated the rodents.” 

At its core, the Protecting Paradise Program aims to support the removal of destructive invasive species, namely rodents and noxious weeds, while maintaining protection of threatened species by establishing a sustainable and robust bio security system to prevent the introduction and establishment of invasive species. 

These programs complement significant achievements to date including the eradication of cats and pigs in the 1980’s, feral goats in 1999, and myrtle rust in 2018, a world-first. 

To learn more about how Trimble technology can take your operations to a new level, contact us today. 

Taking the future in hand

Trimble this year introduced the GIS market to the TDC150, a product designed for customers who require a simple all-in-one data collection solution for high accuracy GIS field work.

Let’s take a look at some of its key features as highlighted by the Trimble team.

Scalable, High-accuracy Positioning

With the TDC150 in hand, a user can achieve scalable accuracy from a metre down to centimetre level, which is the finest measurement available in the industry. This accuracy is due to a built-in high performance GNSS receiver and antenna tracking multiple satellite constellations and enabling scalable high-accuracy data logging.

Four accuracy configurations are available from Trimble distributors: centimetre, decimetre, sub-metre and metre. Users can upgrade accuracy as needed (and as their budget allows) and that upgrade can be permanent or a temporary monthly option.

“Usually, when you want to collect high accuracy data, you can’t just go with a device in your hand. Usually you have a 2-meter pole plus a controller,” Eric Moisset, Trimble product marketing manager, said.

“With the TDC150, we wanted to be able to collect high accuracy data while holding the device in the hand.”

Precise positioning is also achievable in conjunction with the handheld convenience—thanks to a software workflow supported by both Trimble TerraFlex™ and Trimble Penmap® for Android applications—and a “virtual pole” system, which is accessed from a camera in the back of the receiver.

“We’ve brought something really exceptional to the market,” Moisset said.

“The Trimble TDC150’s virtual pole system configuration is new and customers like it because it’s easy to understand and use in various field scenarios.”

By utilising this back “downward” camera view, users employ a virtual pole to accurately locate the antenna over the desired location on the ground. Through the virtual pole system, the downward camera is displayed with two red “target” circles. The user tilts the device to align the two circles. When both circles turn green and a log button appears, the camera is showing accurate positioning of the antenna.

Modern-day Interface with Android 6.0 Operating System and Rugged Design

With a contemporary and simple interface and Android platform, the TDC150 is able to be customised with the ability to install and run any application from the Google Play Store, third-party applications or any Android-compatible developed software. Additional operating features that allow for easy and reliable field data collection and storage, as well as field-to-office information exchange, include:

  • 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor paired with 2 GB of memory and 16 GB of internal storage;
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE;
  • GIS mobile apps such as Trimble, TerraFlex, Trimble Penmap for Android and Esri Collector for ArcGIS®; and,
  • a long-life, user-replaceable battery.

The TDC150, with its ultra-rugged and ergonomic, yet easily portable and lightweight design, was developed to withstand drops and shocks that are typical in the field. The device, which is IP67-rated and was tested to MIL-STD-810F ruggedness standards, has a 5.3” touch screen with bright display and a “smartphone feel” for users.

“We believe with this solution we will cover a very wide range of market segments,” Moisset said, “including mining; oil, gas and chemical; forestry; electric and gas utilities; water and wastewater utilities; field service management; geospatial; land administration; local government; military/defence and forensics, among others.”

With a user-friendly interface and a wide range of accuracy options for a variety of field uses, Trimble’s TDC150 is set to be a go-to device for GIS. To learn more about Trimble products, visit here.

 

Mine of information for PNG survey team

It wasn’t quite just another day in the office for UPG’s Peter Thomson when he travelled to Australia’s nearest neighbour to train staff at PNG’s largest mine, Ok Tedi.

Peter, a technical consultant – team lead with UPG who is based in Brisbane, spent a week at the mine, working from the village of Tabubil in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.
He was tasked with static survey training of a seven-person survey team, helping that team create its own best procedures and practices.

The team is employing Trimble GNSS receivers and TSC3 controllers, and using TBC to process the Static data.

“Static survey provides a baseline for the mines control network. This type of survey is primarily used to create control where no control exists to very high accuracies.
– when it is correct it means the work done from it will also be precise,” Peter said.

“Aside from the actual training, I also shared insight into how other sites around Australia are doing similar work so the Ok Tedi Mine team could take those ideas and look at if they were apt for their site.

“I provided all the information and then they take that and make their own decisions to create site-specific practices and procedures.”

This was Peter’s first time in PNG and he said he had enjoyed not only the remote location, but working with the team, who are a mix of locals and FIFO workers from PNG and Australia.
“It all felt very safe, which is often a concern for people going to PNG, but there were simply no problems,” Peter said.

The Ok Tedi Mine is an open-pit copper and gold mine at the headwaters of the Ok Tedi River that has been in operation since 1981, when it was operated by BHP.

The mine is now operated by Ok Tedi Mining Limited which is majority-owned by the PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited.
The mine accounts for 25.7% of the country's entire export earnings.