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.

There were a number of hurdles to overcome in the early stages due to poor internet connection at the site and power issues.

UPG worked with EJA around the clock to ensure delivery of the product met client expectations and our own Brent Dawson was instrumental in problem shooting.
The hurdles were overcome and the system has proven to be reliable despite the extremely harsh conditions the instruments are operating in.

In fact, the system didn’t so much as miss a beat during a recent cyclone in the region, even continuing to stream data while crews cleaned up the site, post-cyclone.

Also, at the time of preparing this article, one of the S9 Instruments currently has 6900 hours continuous operation without issue.

EJA’s Franck Delmas said while Trimble had been its preferred supplier, and in turn UPG, for many years, the service and support was a big part of why the firm continues to work with UPG.

“Brent Dawson really went above and beyond for us to ensure the system was delivering what we needed,” he said.

“The UPG team’s flexibility and drive to deliver what it promises is second to none. We couldn’t be happier.”

Franck also said the use of Trimble S9 robotic stations meant they could be utilised for other work after this project was completed.

“We have a two-year contract on this monitoring project. If that isn’t extended, we know we will be able to put the S9’s to good use in other areas of our business,” he said.

Find out how UPG  can help your operations – call us on 1800 800 UPG.

One of the 70 low profile monitoring prisms on site. These are specifically designed to allow vehicles to run over them.
Custom built weather-proof housing and high gain cellular antenna.
Location on site.

Where’s the money going to be?

Whether your business is booming, or if you are not experiencing growth, you need to know where your future growth is going to be. In 2016 Ron Bisio, Vice President, Surveying & Geospatial at Trimble, spoke to the Geospatial World Forum His talk covers two where the Geospatial professionals will need to move to stay profitable and successful.

Surveying and Mapping professionals are diversifying their offering to include scanning, mobile mapping and airborne data capture.

Domain-specific activities
Surveying and Mapping professionals are increasingly involved in domain-specific activities that require specific workflows and solutions.

Watch the 16 minute video below to find out more.

Hardly ‘messing about in boats’

Russell Box, one of our sales consultants in Sydney has been down by the river, but he’s hardly been ‘messing about in boats’. He’s been out with the HyDrone while it’s been on loan.

The HyDrone is a remote control boat that carries a receiver to conduct Bathymetric Surveys to determine water depth and real time spatial data collection in order to generate subsurface formations and surfaces for topographic model generation and analysis.

Here are some photos from his trips.

hydrone-1-195px hydrone-2-195px hydrone-3-195px
hydrone-4-195px hydrone-5-195px Click on the images to enlarge.

One hire was to identify the shape of the river bed to aid in the design of a pipeline that is to lie on it. Another was used in a series of dams on a mine site to determine how much silt had formed. The scans with the HyDrone were compared with the original surface model from when the dams were build.

In both cases the HyDrone used a GNSS receiver to establish the real time positions and a Sonar Mite for the echo soundings.

If you’re interested in surveying a water mass, while keeping your feet dry contact your local UPG office.

Survey without occupation

Have you ever arrived at a site you need to scan only to find it behind a locked gate and then had to track down the operator to get the key just to do your job?

This was a common problem for Devin Kowbus, Survey Department Manager at CH2M, who commonly surveys oil and gas facilities. Frustrated by the lack of productivity this caused, he started using their Trimble V10 to survey from outside the fence.

They then use the V10 imagery to “survey without actually surveying” and processes it in the office, picking and choosing what is needed for their client.

Hear the full story in the video below.

Surveying the Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands provides a challenging environment to work. Frequent rain and wind and changeable weather conditions can make for some wet days but Scottish surveyor, Stuart Ross, still feels lucky. He gets to take his camera into “beautiful, unbelievable wilderness” while he is surveying for small-scale hydro schemes.

See more about surveying in the Scottish Highlands starting on page 18 of the latest xyHt magazine.