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. 

New version of Trimble Pivot available

Trimble has released a new version of the Trimble® Pivot™ Platform software, a modular solution for real-time GNSS infrastructure management, ranging from a single-base GNSS Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) to a full Real-Time Network (RTN), serving thousands of end-users worldwide.

Version 3.10 provides improvements to network performance and office and field productivity. The new features and capabilities include:

    • Galileo support: provides access to five GNSS constellations—GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and now Galileo—allowing end-users to expect improved positioning accuracy and fix performance due to the 50 percent increase of accessible satellites;
    • GPS L5 support: utilises all available L5 third-frequency GPS observations to enable end users to further improve field productivity;
    • Code Bias Calibration client and server improvements: provides a higher availability of network-modeled RTK corrections to allow field users to reduce dependency on station biases;
    • Sparse Network: supports Galileo and BeiDou. Sparse Network, a Trimble technology, enables RTN operators to achieve the benefits of a full network-processed GNSS constellation even if the network is not fully covered with multi-constellation CORS.
    • Dynamic Station Coordinates (DSC) module improvements: minimises the impact of erroneous reference station coordinates to improve system performance.

“Accessibility to the Galileo constellation and the addition of the L5 third-frequency observations in particular, makes the Pivot Platform significantly more versatile to improve functionality and performance for end users in the field,” said Mark Richter, director of marketing for Advanced Positioning Division at Trimble.

The Trimble Pivot Platform version 3.10 is now available. Customers with a valid software maintenance agreement receive the new version at no additional cost. For more information, visit http://www.trimble.com/rtn or contact your local office.

Enabling High Productivity for Indoor Mapping

The Trimble Indoor Mobile Mapping Solution (TIMMS) is the optimal fusion of technologies for capturing spatial data of indoor and other GNSS denied areas of all sizes and locations.

It provides both LiDAR and spherical imagery of a facility, enabling the creation of accurate, real-life representations (maps, models) of interior spaces and all of its contents, every object in the interior space all at speeds not possible with traditional laser scanning techniques.

TIMMS truly revolutionises indoor 3D mapping, enabling high-end productivity to give your business the winning edge in indoor mapping.

Satellite data monitoring environmental impacts

As we use the Earth’s resources, we inevitably impact it, in particular resources that are acquired from under the surface, like coal seam gas (GCS). Currently limited evidence is available on the environmental impacts of GCS.1

To gain a clearer understanding of the environmental impacts caused by GCS production, a project is now underway in NSW. It began in March 2016 and will be run for four years to monitor movements of the Earth’s surface. It is being conducted by Geoscience Australia and the NSW Department of Industry’s Division of Resources in the town of Camden.

The project will use a combination of new and historic satellite imagery and GNSS data to measure any ground subsidence. It will also use a network of 20 geodetic monitoring stations to check for indications of increased seismic activity.

camdenThese monitoring stations consist of a mounted GNSS receiver and a pair of radar reflectors, which will provide easily detectable reference points in the satellite imagery. The GNSS data will be transmitted in real time and measured monthly to provide an independent dataset of ground movements.

Research results from the Camden environmental monitoring project will be published on the NSW Department of Industry Resources & Energy website.

Read more about the Camden project on the Spacial Source blog, or find out more about the monitoring solutions Trimble offers on our website.

 

1 The coal seam gas debate, Dr Alex St John, Science, Technology, Environment and Resources

grey-800x21

Be prepared for the leap second

leapsecond-250x150A leap second has been added to 2016. It will occur at midnight on the 31st December (UTC). The last occurred on the 30th June 2015. Chances are, if you didn’t notice that one, and you’ve kept your firmware and software up to date, you won’t notice this one. As Trimble has made every effort to ensure their receivers will work seamlessly through the leap second.

What is a leap second?
A leap second is an adjustment to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to account for the slowing rotation of the earth. Leap seconds were introduced in 1972 to simplify adjustments to UTC (one of the successors to Greenwich Mean Time and) the primary regulator of world time. Leap seconds are only applied as needed and since their inception we have had 26 leap seconds.

Not only does that mean that 2016 will be another second longer, but also that the GLONASS time scale will be adjusted, as it uses UTC in its time systems.

Be prepared for the leap second
To make certain that you have no problems with the leap second in 2017 ensure that your Trimble hardware has the latest firmware and that your software is upgraded to the latest updates and patches.

GNSS receivers operate at their best performance if they are on the latest firmware. It’s easy to stay up to date when you are Trimble Protected. If you are under maintenance or have a receiver less than 12 months old please check the software version and update it if necessary.

The leap second will occur at midnight UTC time, meaning Australian GNSS users will need to monitor their GNSS receivers at 11.00am on Sunday the 1st in AEDT and 10.00am in AEST.

If you do experience difficulties after the leap second, best practice would be to reset your receiver. On most models this is done by turning the receiver off, then holding down the ‘on button’ for just over 30 seconds on start-up. The receiver may then take a few minutes to reacquire satellites.

Trimble recommend being vigilant with any continuously operating receivers for monitoring, real time networks, etc. Trimble suggest monitoring all receivers during this period.

You can find out more, including how all Trimble GPS/GNSS receiver firmware will behave in the Trimble Support Note.

If you have any questions, or need assistance in updating your software contact your local UPG office.