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.

Quick fix to monitoring conundrum saves time and money

Trimble technology has provided the solution to a monitoring need that would otherwise have required two manned locations operating 24/7.

Required for just two months on a major Brisbane road project, the monitoring was needed to report on deformation in a sensitive work area during foundation works.  On top of that, the work zone was a busy one with machinery and workers operating in it around the clock.

At just 150m long and under 20m wide, the tight site needed two separate vantage points for 40 monitoring prisms.  The two total stations deployed were able to give overlapping coverage as well as minimising obstructions on the site.

The system was deployed and live within days of the client’s decision to proceed with the hire, which meant significant delays and associated costs were avoided.

Solar kits to power the system were installed on Kelly blocks on the edge of site so traffic flow was not affected.

The use of Trimble 4D control, Trimble S9s and the Settop M1s that made up the solution to this monitoring problem meant there was no need for manned survey locations, which would have been required around the clock – another cost saving.  The automated system also worked faster than any manned station could as turnaround for data processing and reporting is in real time.

“We collected data at a resolution not possible with traditional methods,” UPG’s Brent Dawson said.  “Through the use of automated alarming we had the ability to be ready to stop works if deformation was occurring and also had a streamlined daily report that was available for quick review all in once place.”

UPG has the solutions and expertise you need whatever the task. Talk to us today about how we can help you.

W: www.monitoringsolutions.com.au
P: 1800 800 UPG

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.

 

Getting to the bottom of WW1 tunnels

During World War I, 120,000 New Zealanders were sent overseas. Of those, none were more critical to the war effort than the tough miners, quarrymen, and labourers of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company (NZETC).

The men of the NZTEC were recruited for a specific mission: To create a network of tunnels between a series of abandoned quarries in Arras, France. The result would be a 2.3km-long subterranean passage through which allied soldiers could move safely during a planned assault.

The work played a crucial role in the subsequent battle. But their efforts have been largely forgotten. So when researchers Pascal Sirguey and Richard Hemi, from New Zealand’s National School of Surveying at the University of Otago, stumbled onto their story, they vowed to preserve what remained of their countrymen’s work.

Sirguey and Hemi devised a project, LiDARRAS, which would use lidar technology to capture a digital record of the tunnel network, one that they could use to honour the men during the World War I centennial. It was a big task. They would have to survey and scan what remained of the tunnels, and then create 3D models and a virtual environment of the caverns. And it all needed to be completed in just two years.

The two scholars had used scanning technology on other projects. So after talking with a scanning expert, they chose the Trimble TX8 3D laser scanner to help with their ambitious goals.

From the beginning, Siguey and Hemi envisioned LiDARRAS as a bicultural project. They formed a team of five students from universities in New Zealand and France.

The LiDARRAS Solution

The WWI-era tunnels in Arras, France are awe-inspiring. Large enough to accommodate 24,000 men, they contain a light rail system, a hospital, electric lights, kitchens, running water and living quarters. To quickly and accurately capture them, the researchers and their students chose the Trimble TX8 scanner, which enabled them to:

  •     Collect one million points per second
  •     Produce 3D coordinates with millimetre precision
  •     Capture high-density colour photographic data for realistic texturing of a 3D model
  •     Use Trimble RealWorks software to create high-resolution photorealistic models, even in the dim light of the tunnels

Each day, the students would begin scanning in one quarry and progress to the end of another. Thanks to the lightning-fast TX8 scanner and its DSLR camera capabilities, they completed up to 63 scans per day and captured dozens of high-resolution photos to colorise the point clouds.

“The speed of the scanner was phenomenal,” Sirguey said.

Over the course of LiDARRAS, the team completed nearly 1000 scans and collected about 100 billion points, making it one of the larger scanning projects processed in New Zealand. The final point cloud features about 25 billion points.

In addition to the scans, the students captured 9768 photos, which they processed into 814 panoramas. They also surveyed a georeferenced network of 32 control
 marks, including outside and underground marks, using static GNSS and total stations. The team processed its data in Trimble RealWorks software.

Shortly before the project was completed, the students and researchers were invited to attend the remembrance ceremony of the Battle of Arras. There, they shared details of
 their work and unveiled an animation of the underground network. The team also generated a fly-through inside the 3D point cloud, to demonstrate the full extent of the completed survey.

“LiDARRAS went beyond what we ever expected. The data and imagery was excellent, and we had everything documented and turned over to the city of Arras in time for the anniversary. But beyond its technical and historical merits for the general public, the project offered a unique opportunity to preserve a piece of history, Sirguey said.

Following the presentation at the ceremony, a regional agency conducting an inventory of tunnels in northern France approached Sirguey about the work at Arras. The agency asked for assistance in producing a “light” resampled version of the point cloud, as well as a footprint of the area scanned, to be added to its inventory.

“This is precisely the outcome we anticipated,” Sirguey said. “It’s pleasing to see how the project is contributing to other projects already.”

To learn more about the scanning solution click here