Trimble SX10 on show at INTERGEO

Intergeo-FIAt INTERGEO recently, Trimble presented the SX10, one revolutionary machine with full total station technology plus a high precision scanner.

Todd Steiner, product marketing director in the Trimble Geospatial Division, spoke about the benefits that the SX10 could bring. Including how its ability as a scanner could save you time in the field. For example, if you are out doing a boundary survey and notice that their might be an encroachment you can use the scanner element to frame up and scan the encroachment and take that information back to the office without any more effort. No need to get a specialist back to the site, or even to go back yourself.

Todd also detailed how the integrated survey feature also allows you to collect accurate GNSS measurements while the SX10 is scanning. You can double your efficiency by, for example, walking the edge of the pavement, while the SX10 is working. This information is then all collected in the same job.

Another point that Todd made was that there is no registration required with Trimble Access. As you are following a survey workflow all pointclouds are tied to your survey stations.

Hear all the ways that the SX10 can benefit you in Todd’s full presentation at INTERGEO below and contact us if you would like to learn more.

Multi-track prism technology explained

tracker-150x180Tried and tested, Trimble’s MultiTrack technology has been on sites around the world for over 10 years and there is still simply nothing else on the market to rival it. This is because unlike other manufacturers, Trimble tracking does not rely purely on the reflectiveness of the target, it’s much more sophisticated than that.

The success of Trimble MultiTrack technology is a direct result of the introduction of robotic total stations (RTS), first introduced to us by Geodimeter (later to become a part of Trimble) over 25 years ago.

A total station may be called robotic if it is able automatic­ally to follow a prism moving through 3D space. Key to this feature is the communication link between the total station and prism pole. All RTS, from all manufacturers, come equipped with servomotors for automatically rotating the instrument horizontally and vertically, and an Advanced Tracking Sensor (ATS) for tracking the prism, so how can we differentiate between the performance of one RTS and another?

When surveying with an RTS, it is more important than anything else to ensure reliable and robust target recognition. Typically on site we have lots of reflective objects like traffic signs, reflectors on safety vests or number plates and more likely than not, several prisms and targets are also in use. If we could measure only on “unidentified” (passive) targets, the surveyor would constantly be running the risk that those reflective objects would interfere with each other and cause a loss of target or a wrong target lock.

Step forward Trimble’s MultiTrack™ patented technology

k-multirackTried and tested, Trimble’s MultiTrack technology is 10 years old and there is simply nothing else on the market to rival it. This is because unlike other manufacturers, Trimble tracking does not rely purely on the reflectiveness of the target. Instead it uses a unique target ID system which identifies the prism using a modulated infrared light wave. Before measuring a point, Trimble Access field software can be set up to check the target ID and make sure the right prism is locked.

Up to eight active targets can operate simultaneously on the same site with no risk of tracking the wrong target, ensuring accuracy and completeness of work with no loss in productivity due to false target lock.

Some instruments on the market have a function called ‘self-learning’ in the form of a scanning function whereby you can do several scans to discount reflective surfaces. However, you need to cover the prism to exclude it from the scans and also nothing has to move during the process – an unrealistic situation on a busy site. This process therefore not only takes time but engenders a false sense of comfort because it works on the flawed principle that nothing within the environment moves. Where does that leave the surveyor surrounded by workers in high vis. clothing?

The ‘self-learning’ approach tells you what to exclude, the Trimble approach tells you what to include!

Trimble options include Trimble MultiTrack and ActiveTrack 360 Targets

The ActiveTrack 360 target was designed to provide a smaller, lightweight target for optical surveying utilising Trimble’s industry leading active tracking technology.
k-targetActiveTrack 360 target is an active-only device and therefore contains no glass prisms. Eliminating the prisms provides for a smaller, lighter weight target, while maintaining robustness and measurement accuracy. It also offers Trimble’s new eBubble function – an electronic bubble displayed on the controller. This means you only have one place to look, which is especially useful when the pole bubble is hard to see. Connecting to the target via Bluetooth, allows the operator to see the plum of the pole on the handheld controller. This allows for better accuracy, especially when surveying in hard to reach areas or setting out using a short pole or point.
The Trimble MultiTrack target provides versatility to track both active and passive targets. Up to eight active targets can operate simultaneously on the same site with no risk of tracking the wrong target, ensuring accuracy and completeness of work with no loss in productivity due to false target lock.


In short, the Trimble MultiTrack target is suitable for use with all Trimble S-Series robotic total stations and provides fully coaxial passive and active tracking via an integrated 360° prism ring and 2 active 360° LED rings. The active LED rings support the selection of a unique ID to ensure that 8 different targets can be operated on a single site with full confidence that the correct target is always used.

Contact your local office if you would like to learn more about Trimble MultiTrack targets.

This article was originally posted on and has been reposted with permission.

Ready to upgrade your Total Station?

Trade in and save on a new Trimble S5 or S7 total station

Transform the way you work with proven Trimble technologies – including Trimble SurePoint and Mag Drive™ by upgrading to a Trimble S5. Or go a step further and get the S7 for scanning, imaging and surveying in one powerful solution.

For a limited time Trimble is offering up to $6 500 when you trade in your old S-Series-equivalent robotic total station.

Save on the Trimble quality solution you’ve always wanted by trading in your old gear.


Terms and Conditions

  • Offer ends 16th December 2016.
  • Any brand of survey grade competitor robotic total station will be accepted.
  • The trade in competitor robotic total station must be in working order.
  • Trade in discount applies to the total station only, all other accessories and parts included in the sale are at normal pricing.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  • UPG and Trimble reserve the right to cancel or modify this program at any time.

The camera in your Total Station

Anthony McClaren, Sales Consultant, UPG

total-stationIn a day and age when we not only have cameras in all of our personal devices, but also now the tools of our trade, there can be many misnomers and misinformation about camera quality, camera settings and how to use our digital still image devices.

The general assumption is that the more megapixels your sensor (camera) has the better the quality of the image will be. This is not always true, and very much depends on the Field of View (FOV) of the sensor itself. When we consider the difference between a regular digital camera versus that of a Trimble Total Station (the S Series) for example, which only has a 3.1MP camera built into it, the digital camera has a much larger FOV than the Total Station.

The field of view is determined by the camera’s focal length – essentially this is the distance from the sensor (fixed point) to the lens (which can move; think about zooming, and how the lens moves away from the camera body as it “zooms in”). The greater the focal length, the narrower the field of view is.

In order to capture the same FOV with an S Series total station as has been captured with an 8MP iPhone, for example, we’d have to take 15 individual shots. This makes our total station a 46.5MP camera: 15 images x 3.1MP = 46.5MP for the same capture.
Obviously it’s not a wildly practical exercise to take your total station on holidays and take 15 photos for every one your partner may take with their iPhone but by the same token, your iPhone or digital camera doesn’t capture the same amount of detail in one photo as your Total Station.


anthonyAbout Anthony McClaren

Anthony has been an active member of the Victorian Survey industry for over 15 years, as well as being an avid writer & photographer. He has been working at UPG since 2006 and specialises in Trimble Geospatial solutions for the Surveying industry.

Getting the most out of your total station

Did you know that these functions were available in the latest Trimble total stations?

Trimble SureScan allows you to collect the right points, not just more points. As you can see in the image below, the traditional scanning technology produces a radial surface, with ever TS-gridincreasing gaps in the data as the measured distance increase, while the SureScan scanning grid produces a more even grid spacing.

This technology is ideal for civil applications such as road surveys, general topography and also volume surveys.



Trimble VISION allows surveyors to see what the total station sees through a live video feed from the controller saving you a trip back to the office. You can select targets with just a tap of the controller screen and avoid rework by visually confirming all points have been measured correctly before moving on.

Use the total station imagery to measure points that may be inaccessible, for example roof heights. Take photos from the total station and then measure the lines within Trimble Business Center (TBC).

You can also take a photo using the jigger and use the tools within TBC to make notes on it and save it.

VISION Panorama takes many photos in a frame that you create in Trimble Business Center Advanced. The software can stitched together these images and processed them into a single panorama, which can also be exported as a JPEG, this makes a nice deliverable to provide to customers.

TS-pointsWhen DR shots are taken in the field they can be used to create a virtual plane in TBC. We can then overlay the image on the plane to virtually survey. Features can been identified with corner points created and linework introduced. This process is much quicker than measuring each individual point in the field and saves you time and effort. It is also handy if you have missed any items in the field because it saves you re-work.

Trimble Locate2Protect is a geo-locator that allows you to monitor the location and safety of your equipment and staff. It allows you to easily locate your equipment, set geo-fencing, to receive notifications when the equipment moves in or out of this location, and a G Force sensor to provide notifications if the jigger has been dropped.

Locate2Protect is available in Trimble S7 and S9 total stations and can be retrofitted in earlier machines. A subscription fee is required to activate Locate2Protect.

If you’d like to know more about any of these features contact your local UPG office.