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Issue 2008-1

A Publication for Surveying and Mapping Professionals

Open Pit

Beijing Summer Olympics

Network Integrity
The Case of the Shrinking Volcano
Preserving NASCAR History
Welcome to the latest edition of
Dear Readers,

We have always believed our customers are involved in some of the most exciting
projects around the world. In this issue of Technology&more you’ll read about
some of them: a $1-billion-dollar freeway upgrade in Australia; open pit mining China Pg. 5
in Germany; a “retrofit-by-replacement” bridge project in the U.S.; and the
massive preparations underway for the Summer Olympic Games in China. Each
of these projects—and many others—has a common denominator: the maximum
efficiency and productivity gained through the use of Trimble® technology.

This issue also takes an in-depth look into how the growing availability of real-
time kinematic (RTK) networks has triggered the Global Navigation Satellite
System (GNSS) user community to revisit its processes,
procedures and results when using RTK for produc-
tion survey work. This renewed focus has helped yield
firm conclusions about best practices, and has further
established RTK networks as a stable, essential utility for South Africa Pg. 10
rapid development of large infrastructure projects.

In addition, we introduce Trimble’s Power, Plant

and Process (PPP) business segment. Trimble PPP
integrates Trimble LASERGen™ software with our
survey products to transform the Connected Site™
model into the “Connected Plant” for energy plants,
Jürgen Kliem refineries or offshore platforms.
General Manager,
Survey Division For those of you who could not attend Trimble Dimen-
sions 2007, we include post-conference coverage. So
don’t forget to mark your calendars for the next Trimble Dimensions, which will Ireland Pg. 16
be held in February 2009 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

And finally, if you have an innovative project you’d like to share, we’d like to hear
about it: just email Survey_Stories@trimble.com. We’ll even write the article for

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Technology&more.

Jürgen Kliem
U.S. Pg. 19

© 2008, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved.

Published by: Editor-in-Chief: Omar Soubra Trimble, the Globe & Triangle logo, DiNi, NetRS and
Editorial Team: Angie Vlasaty, Recon are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited or
Trimble Engineering its subsidiaries, registered in United States Patent and
Lea Ann McNabb; Heather Silvestri;
& Construction Trademark Office. Connected Site, FX, GPSNet, GX, Juno,
5475 Kellenburger Rd. Eric Harris; Susanne Preiser; LASERGen, MS750, NetR5, RealWorks Survey, RTKNet,
Dayton, OH, 45424-1099 Stefan Schiepe; Emmanuelle Tarquis; Survey Manager, TSC2, VRS, VX and Zephyr Geodetic
are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited or its
Phone: +1-937-233-8921 Grainne Woods; Christiane Gagel; subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of
Fax: +1-937-245-5973 Lin Lin Ho; Bai Lu; Maribel Aguinaldo; their respective owners.
Email: T&M_info@trimble.com Masako Hirayama; Stephanie Kirtland
* A longer version of this article ran in POB Magazine: see
www.trimble.com Art Director: Tom Pipinou www.pobonline.com

n Labor Day weekend 2007, one of the busiest The “retrofit-by-replacement” strategy meant that a
bridges in the U.S.—the San Francisco- wider, safer section of deck was built alongside the
Oakland Bay Bridge—underwent a daring older deck on temporary columns. These matched all
feat of infrastructure. Immediately after shut-down new permanent columns added to accommodate the
on Friday, August 31, a section of bridge was sliced up new deck’s greater width. As-built surveys of the new
and removed from its supporting columns. Rails were columns found variances from plan, and temporary
then set in place and 16 massive jacks went to work, columns were built to match. As-builts of the temporary
sliding a 106.68 m (350 ft) long, 6,500-ton replacement columns after construction revealed departures from
section 30.95 m (101.54 ft) to settle into the new gap. the layout that wouldn’t have been significant by most
Though the project was massive, tolerances were ex- construction standards, but on this project led to
traordinarily tight. Bent pins on the new deck, which repositioning the bent pin to ensure proper fit.
fit into sockets in the newly built columns at the old
bridge site, needed to be within 6 mm (0.24 in) of On the day of the slide, R.E.Y. surveyor Martin Gonzales,
as-built positions, so designers and surveyors worked PLS, devised a plan to quickly verify that the new deck
within tolerances of 3 mm (0.12 in). was staying in alignment during transit. Tripods and
reflective targets were placed at corners of the deck
To meet this tight standard during the two years of and after each 1-m (3-ft) move, the Trimble S6 and a
careful survey work that preceded the Labor Day slide, Trimble TSC2™ Controller had 30 seconds to measure
R.E.Y. Engineers, Inc. used Trimble R6 and R8 GNSS deflection.
receivers and a Trimble S6 Total Station. Existing
control for the project was provided by California Seventy hours after beginning deconstruction of the
Department of Transportation (CalTrans), but R.E.Y. existing structure—11 hours ahead of schedule—the
Engineers’ Jim Brainard, PLS, found that some values bridge was again open for traffic, with local news
were as much as a centimeter out of constraint, organizations declaring the move “as smooth as sliding
probably due to seismic disturbance. GNSS work tied in a drawer.” Drivers on the replaced deck noticed little
the control network to California Coordinate System difference, and there were certainly no bumps—after
(CCS) 83, and the Trimble S6 and a digital level were two years and one long weekend, precise surveying
used to “tighten” control to required accuracies. and good technique put the massive piece of bridge in
the exact right place.*

-1- Technology&more; 2008-1

Cover Story

The Measure of Power

ermany’s RWE AG is one of the largest energy suppliers
in Europe. The power plants of subsidiary company
RWE Power produce over 180 billion kilowatt hours
of electricity annually, providing about one-third of Germany’s
electricity requirements and around nine percent of Europe’s.
With 100 million tons of lignite—often referred to as “brown
coal”—mined per year, RWE Power is the world’s largest lignite
producer. About 90 percent is converted into electricity.

RWE Power oversees the Garzweiler opencast mine, one

of three in the Rhenish lignite mining area, the largest
continuous lignite deposit in Europe. About 20 excavators
mine 100 million tons of lignite each year. The raw material
is transported to several nearby power stations by means of
conveyor systems and company-owned railway tracks.

The Garzweiler opencast mine has lignite deposited in

three seams with an average thickness of 40 m (131 ft).
Since mid-2006, after 20 years of planning and 20 months
preparation, the adjoining Garzweiler II field has been
opened. It has 1.3 million tons of lignite at a maximum depth
of 210 m (689 ft), and should continue to produce until 2044.
This new field has an area of 48 km2 (18.5 mi2); 13 villages
with 7,600 inhabitants will need to be moved by 2044. This
is necessary to allow about 40 million tons to be mined
annually, providing about 6 percent of Germany’s electricity
supply for around 40 years based on current projections.

Garzweiler’s showpiece is the Bagger 288 bucket wheel

excavator, one of the world’s largest movable machines. It is
almost 100 m (328 ft) high, up to 240 m (787 ft) long, weighs
13,500 tons and moves up to 240,000 m3 (8,475,519 ft3) of
coal and spoil per day. “If this material were transported
by a convoy of trucks, they would line up from Cologne to
Stuttgart, a distance of 370 km (230 mi),” comments mine
manager Lutz Kunde.

The Garzweiler team was the first in the world to use

Trimble grade control equipment for a bucket wheel exca-
vator, as well as on the Bagger 288. Garzweiler also uses the
Trimble GSC900 Grade Control System on several excava-
tors and dozers. Because the grade control systems provide
all the information inside the cab, the team is able to finish
the work on stockpiles of lignite or excavated material
faster and with less manpower. The Bagger 288 and other

Technology&more; 2008-1 -2-

excavators get the needed data from the mine’s Trimble power stations. Spoil is immediately deposited on the
NetR5™ Reference Station located at the central conveyor other side of the excavation according to specified res-
collection point. About 35 different Trimble products are toration plans. Only the topsoil is excluded as it is only
utilized at Garzweiler, including the construction grade filled in at the end.
control equipment and GNSS surveying systems. With four
surveyors and 13 other surveying staff, Garzweiler uses 15 “Surveying work on the excavation stockpile took up a lot
Trimble GNSS rovers including the Trimble 4800, 5800 and of time,” said Garzweiler surveyor Thomas Keulertz. “In
R8 GNSS receivers. Mine surveyors use the GNSS receivers addition to the surveyor, a survey assistant also had to go
when measuring coal heaps or constructing a power plant, along. Surveying required a lot more personnel on site.”
checking company railway tracks or piping.
The Garzweiler surveying department came to Trimble
Garzweiler also uses SAPOS, the SAtellite POSitioning with their request for a simpler solution for checking
Service of the German State Survey. Providing RTK cut/fill differences between the actual position and a
service, SAPOS will integrate the GALILEO European digital terrain model (DTM) design. Trimble developed an
satellite system in the coming years. SAPOS RTK service easy-to-use program for showing the cut/fill based upon
transmits the required data via cellular GSM to the existing software. The Recon field computer contains the
appropriate rover. GNSS technology can thus be effectively DTM design for the excavated material. Simply by making
used in areas far away from the opencast mine’s reference a few entries, a worker can graphically see whether the
station. calculated cut/fill value has been reached.

“We use Trimble products due to the dataflow handling “Trimble’s solution was a great relief for the field service,”
and the integration of their various systems,” says says Bulowski. “We now get quicker and more accurate
Garzweiler mine surveyor Thomas Bulowski. “In addi- data and it is available whenever we need it, independently
tion, since 2006 we’ve utilized a Trimble R8 GNSS System, of the planned field activities of the survey team.”
which allows us to receive GLONASS, when used with our
Trimble NetR5.” “We couldn’t manage today without our GNSS rovers,” he
said. The entire Garzweiler mine survey team agrees. The
The mine surveyors were particularly relieved to reduce rovers have enabled many additional survey tasks to be
their workload by using the Trimble Recon® Controller carried out. Thanks to GNSS, surveying work can be done
using Trimble Survey Manager™ software combined with even if it is foggy or misty. Even places on coal heaps with
a Trimble 5800 GPS System. Prior to using Trimble, the difficult access can now be measured without risk.
Garzweiler surveyors had to travel to the excavation
heap for every survey to determine how much room was “Trimble products not only provide us with improved
available for additional material. Coal not immediately measurement accuracy,” says Bulowski, “but they have
used is first stored in heaps and from there transported also helped us speed up our evaluation of results, because
by means of conveyor belts and railway wagons to the we get the data so much faster.”

-3- Technology&more; 2008-1

Melbourne’s One-Billion-Dollar Upgrade

n Melbourne, Australia, a proposed $1-billion upgrade to the city’s most heavily used and
economically important transport route has commanded the services of nine different
survey companies and the accumulation of more than half-a-million survey points.

the design, construction and future transport manage-

ment systems. It was important to place these points
where they will be readily and safely accessible with
minimum traffic disruption.
At the heart of the survey work is MELBpos, an RTK net-
work of continuously operating GNSS reference stations
around Melbourne. MELBpos uses Trimble VRS™ technol-
ogy to stream live real-time correction data to network
users, without requiring additional base stations.
Trimble GNSS receivers and antennas provide the
foundation for much of the MELBpos network, while
Trimble R8 GNSS rovers, Trimble S6 and 5600 total
stations and Trimble control units were the preferred
tools for most survey teams. The reflectorless total
Survey work on Melbourne's Westgate Freeway continued stations helped obtain data from inaccessible locations
day and night. and where disruption to the 160,000 vehicles per day was
not an option.
Five different organizations have been involved in the The advanced technology simplified the surveyors' work
construction of Melbourne’s 37.5-km (23.3-mi) Monash– considerably; however, the project’s complexity and the
City Link–Westgate Freeway over the past 40 years. requirement for vertical accuracy of +/-10 mm called for
During that time four different survey datums were used, special innovation.
so anomalies exist in design data produced for the various
sections. Over the same period, temporary bench marks Heat shimmer and the reflection of satellite signals off
were used for the addition and modification of many buildings as close as 4.7 m (15.4 ft) to the freeway provided
route structures and services, so the task of pooling and challenges for surveyors. In other places, to ensure data was
rationalizing all survey data was virtually impossible. collected from particularly crucial points, Trimble DiNi®
Digital Levels were used in conjunction with mini prisms
A complete resurvey of the current freeway alignment, hand held by technicians working from elevated work
using Australia’s latest survey datum, Geocentric Datum platforms and mobile cranes.
of Australia (GDA94), was considered the only means to
ensure data used for the redesign truly represented what The accuracy of positioning from the MELBpos network,
was in situ. the capacity to draw data from different collection
methods into one database, and a little innovation from
Multiple teams worked on the project over several months, survey crews enabled a massive and complex task to be
surveying much more than just road pavement alignment carried out quickly and efficiently.
and levels. Positional data on utilities, buildings, overhead
signage, tunnels and the undersides of overpasses and Now that the survey work is complete, the builders have
elevated freeway sections were all important. an accurate, 3D model of the entire freeway, simplifying
the designer’s work and allowing many of the problems
An early job involved establishing a new system of major that usually crop up during construction to be addressed
control points related to GDA94 to bring consistency to before they occur.

Technology&more; 2008-1 -4-

A Smooth Road to the
Summer Olympics
ith the 2008 Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, preparations in Beijing are moving forward at a
tremendous pace. Numerous engineering projects are underway—and Trimble technology is helping ensure
the Olympic Games will open smoothly.

In addition to playing an important role in the construction The BISMDR obtained all required survey data with
of Olympic sites and stadiums, Trimble VRS technology is exceptional speed and efficiency using network RTK
contributing to the success of one of the Games’ most excit- techniques: BISMDR is responsible for managing the
ing events: road cycling. relatively new (operational since 2006) Beijing GPS
Integrated Application and Service System (BJGPSIS),
The planned road cycling race course will showcase an RTK network based on Trimble VRS technology.
some of the most beautiful scenery in Olympic road-racing The system employs 15 Trimble NetRS® Reference
history. Starting at Yongdingmen Gate south of Beijing Stations, plus Trimble GPSNet™ software, and covers
at the Temple of Heaven, the cyclists will encounter approximately 16,807 km 2 (6,489 mi 2)—the entire
sites as important and impressive as Tiananmen Square, Beijing region. The BJGPSIS network provides Beijing
Yonghegong Palace, the Temple of Earth Park, and the surveying and Geographic Information System (GIS)
Beijing Olympic Tower. The winner will cross the finish organizations with a modernized reference service for
line in the northern Bada Mountains. high-precision 3D measurements in real time.

However, with gold on every rider’s mind, it's likely the Since its development, the BJGPSIS system has been
route’s distance and elevation will be more of a concern widely used for topographic surveying and mapping
than the historic landmarks they race past. projects in ever-expanding Beijing. Along with BISMDR,
a growing number of Beijing organizations are
In April 2007, the Beijing Institute of Surveying and Map- experiencing greater accuracy and efficiency via the
ping Design and Research (BISMDR) contracted the survey system.
of the official road cycling race course, a route on existing
roads composed of two parts: an urban and rural road But it’s in the race against the clock to ready Beijing
section of 78.8 km (49 mi) from the start to Yuntai, and for being host of the 2008 Summer Olympics that the
a loop section of approximately 23.8 km (14.79 mi). The network is proving itself invaluable. As BISMDR’s road
actual distance includes midline and slope of the road to cycling race project demonstrates, measurement
a precision of 100 m (328 ft) in length and 0.1 m (0.33 ft) in accuracy, speed and efficiency are what will contribute
elevation. To survey the route, the BISMDR measured all to the success of the Olympic events—and to the success
main crossings and winding roads as well as elevations of of their host city, Beijing.
mountain rises and flat sections at every 5 km (3.11 mi).

-5- Technology&more; 2008-1

The Case of the
Shrinking Volcano

here’s a new #1 on the list of the world’s highest volcanoes. And part of the credit
for this change in rankings belongs to Austria’s Peter Schön, his bicycle, and a
Trimble 5800 GPS Receiver.

Stretching north to south for 7,242 km (4,500 mi) along Peter Schön, a 22-year-old Austrian geography student,
South America’s west coast, the Andes form the longest already an experienced mountaineer and Andean aficio-
mountain range in the world. With 102 peaks above 6,000 m nado, was one of the first to provide an accurate height
(19,685 ft), the range is also one of the worlds highest. reading for Pissis. His story shows that fancy vehicles,
elaborate support parties and lots of money aren’t always
Argentina’s Aconcagua, at 6,962 m (22,841 ft) is the highest necessary. Schön did it with a friend, bicycles, skis, a tent,
peak in the range—and, in fact, in all of the Americas. and a Trimble 5800 GPS Receiver. And guts. Lots of guts.
However, it has been debated for years whether Cerro Pissis
or Cerro Ojos del Salado is the second highest. Both are Together with his 30-year-old Belgian colleague Andy
located in the remote Puna region; Pissis in Argentina, Debakker, Schön set off for Chile on October 7, 2005. They
Ojos del Salado in Chile near the border of Argentina. And, traveled by several buses from Chile’s capital of Santiago
since both are volcanoes (Aconcagua is not), the taller of to the small Argentinean town of Fiambalá. Because
the two would be the highest volcano in the world. Debakker had gotten sick, they were several days behind
schedule. Ruth Jonson, the daughter of a local mountaineer,
The Instituto Geografico Militar (IGM) Argentina lists gave them a ride for 90 km (56 mi) from Fiambalá to an old
Pissis at 6,882 m (22,579 ft) and Ojos del Salado at 18 m (59 ft) mine road, at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,480 ft).
lower. IGM Chile had Ojos del Salado at 6,893 m (22,614 ft);
this was confirmed as the most likely elevation number Schön says: “During the next few days, we rode or pushed
during a mapping project of the University of Technology, our heavily loaded mountain bikes, transporting heavy
Dresden, in March, 2002. However, NASA Shuttle Radar luggage and our backpacks, until we reached the foot of
Topography Mission (SRTM) data and measurements with the mountain. Most of the time, we had to double back to
recreational GPS units showed that Pissis is likely no more transport our remaining luggage, because the sandy road
than 6,800 m (22,310 ft), although it could not determine did not allow us to transport all of our belongings by bike.”
the exact height. If Pissis’ lower height could be confirmed,
Ojos del Salado would without doubt rise to the rank of They left their bikes at the foot of the mountain (4,300 m;
world’s highest volcano. 14,100 ft) and began their ascent on foot. On November
13, they established base camp at 5,300 m (17,390 ft).

Technology&more; 2008-1 -6-

They had to wait out a violent storm there for four days before
starting their climb to the summit.

On November 18, Schön set off at 4:40 a.m. to allow time to make
his measurements before being joined by Debakker, who left camp
at 6:00 a.m. Carrying his equipment and skis, Schön reached the
summit after a tough, 10-hour, 1,500-m (4,920-ft) ascent. “I felt the
height cruelly and was never as slow as that morning,” he reported.
“Above 6,000 meters (19,685 ft) at roughly –13° F (–25° C), I needed
to rest every three steps to fill my lungs with oxygen.” At 3 p.m., after
regaining his breath, Schön began his measurements to determine
the mountain’s exact altitude.

Schön said: “I proceeded fastidiously. Using a spirit level, I accurately

set up the photo tripod I had prepared to fit the Trimble 5800. The
instrument is easy to use, which is of enormous advantage under
these extreme conditions.” He performed his measurements at
intervals over a span of about two hours. The accuracy of the results
increased with the number of values captured.

Schön describes his descent: “I started my descent around 7:00 p.m.

At about 6,500 meters (21,325 ft), I reached the edge of the Pissis
Glacier and put on my skis. Exhausted, I skied down the glacier, not
an easy feat due to the thin air and the undulating surface. I was able
to ski down close to our tent, which I reached with the last rays of
sunlight. Andy, who had aborted his ascent shortly below the peak
due to exhaustion, was expecting me.”

“The last four days we rode our bikes the 180 kilometers (111 mi)
back to Fiambalá. Overcoming sand, passes and uphill passages
was extremely exhausting and time-consuming. Our food supplies
ran out during the last legs of the journey. We reached Fiambalá at
10:00 p.m. on November 21—exhausted and famished, but relieved
to have made it.”

“While still in Fiambalá, I sent the collected data to Trimble Europe

in Raunheim, Germany. Then we returned to Santiago. Shortly after-
wards, Andy was on his way home. And I set off on another 11-day,
High Andes expedition—again traveling with my Trimble 5800 and
my skis.”

The results of the differential processing at Trimble Raunheim

recorded the ellipsoidal height with decimeter accuracy. The result-
ing orthometric height is 6,793 m (22,287 ft). “Inaccuracies in the
EGM-95 ellipsoid currently available to us amount to approximately
±5 meters (16.4 ft),” says Schön.

Schön’s measurements (closely corroborated by subsequent groups,

most recently one in 2007) clearly establish that Cerro Pissis at (a
rounded) 6,795 m (22,293 ft) is about 100 m (328 ft) lower than Ojos
del Salados. This elevates Ojos del Salados to its new status as the
world’s highest volcano. And it proves that meticulous scientific
work, with experience, enthusiasm and extreme physical exertion,
can overcome almost any obstacle.

-7- Technology&more; 2008-1

Efficient by Choice

uch of South Carolina Highway 5
(SC 5) is little more than two-
lane country road, but thanks to
a local funding initiative called “Pennies
for Progress,” 15 km (9.5 mi) of SC 5 in York
County is being upgraded to a four-lane
divided highway. With new paved shoulders
and ditches, and upgraded culverts and
bridges, the multi-lane section is projected
to be much safer. It’s a big staking job for
South Carolina’s fast-growing survey and
engineering firm Dennis Corporation; they
expect to stake well over 8,000 points during
the life of the project—and about 75 percent
of those points will be calculated and set
by one man, working by himself. In fact,
the job is turning out to be a laboratory for
one-person staking technique using Trimble

Efficient Equipment Choices He does all his own calculations, working from paper
With five offices in South Carolina and West Virginia, plans. “I might call the office for a calc because some-
Dennis Corporation has been using Trimble GNSS re- times the plans don’t have all the information I need,”
ceivers, controllers, and survey instruments since the he says. "But other than that, I’m able to do it all with
company’s beginnings in 2005. “We like maintaining the TSC2.”  When office assistance is needed, Bailey will
a single database of points and the TSC2 is great for typically fax the calculations to a job-site trailer, as that
that,” says Dennis Corporation’s Steven C. Bailey, PLS. is most convenient for Gwin.
“For example, we have one employee who specializes in
GPS, and he’s able to work on nearly all our projects and Another Trimble TSC2 feature that Gwin finds par-
transfer his data easily to the surveyors who’ll be doing ticularly useful is the automatic tracking of points set.
the day-to-day staking work. It helps us to be more ef- Because Dennis Corporation is being paid by the point
ficient.” for restaking—and because there are a lot of points to
account for—it’s a big help to know instantly where he’s
Dennis Corporation uses another specialist on the SC- already worked: “I just pop up a map that tells which
DOT project—surveyor Jeff Gwin, who works alone 80 points are restakes, with the station information, and I
percent of the time. “One of our most experienced guys, can send that to the office for billing. It works out pretty
Jeff has been doing this for 23 years, and has lots of cer- well.” The controller works so well for him that he’s able
tifications in heavy construction inspection, materials to keep a much simpler paper field book. He typically
testing, things like that," Bailey says. records just setup information and almost nothing else.

On SC 5, Gwin has been working with a Trimble S6 Gwin also likes being able to set control quickly and
Robotic Total Station and a Trimble TSC2 Controller. accurately. Since he’s working on a construction site,

Technology&more; 2008-1 -8-

points are often knocked out and he has to
set new control before moving ahead. With
the Trimble S6, he’s able to work from the
prism pole and turn ten times between the
backsight and new control, averaging angle
and distance readings, in the time it would
take an operator to turn just two shots. This
increases the accuracy of his control net—and
his confidence in it.

He isn’t overburdened compared to the rod

man on a two-person crew. The controller is
mounted on the rod, and he carries his field
book, flagging, hammer, stakes and a few other
items in a bag, and one piece of equipment that
isn’t strictly survey-related: a radio. “I do get a
little lonely sometimes,” he admits, “and talk
radio helps pass the time.”

Saving Money and Time

All things considered, Gwin believes he’s faster than a two-person crew because he can respond more quickly to the
contractor’s needs. “I believe the contractor is getting 100 percent of what he’s paying for, because he’s not paying for an
instrument man,” he says. Gwin is also on site consistently, where a two-person crew would be rotated to other jobs. The
contractor likes the constant availability.

Bailey agrees, and believes he’s saving employee time in the field and in the office. “With someone less experienced,”
he explains, “I’d have to have a two-person crew, plus a CAD technician shadowing them in the office.” So the field
computer and robotic station are helping Dennis Corporation leverage the expertise of one of their most senior workers,
and Bailey couldn’t be happier: “Whatever I’m paying Jeff, it’s 60 percent or less of what I’d be paying for a crew.”

There are times when a two-person crew is needed, particularly when staking is being done in a wooded area—Gwin
likes to have someone working a brush hook to clear sight lines. But usually it’s just him, and that’s the way he likes
it. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. It’s working out for the company and the contractor is happy too,
because I can keep up with him so easily and
switch quickly to whatever he needs. It’s really
working great.”

By standardizing equipment and making a

commitment to one-person crews, Dennis
Corporation has been able to maximize their
investment in progressive technology and
experienced personnel, while also providing
accurate, timely service to some of their most
demanding customers. So in addition to saving
money, they’re also getting jobs done faster and
keeping quality high. It’s not just the equipment
of course, but intelligent use of advanced survey
technology is part of the reason this progressive
firm is one of the fastest-growing consulting
engineering firms in the South.

-9- Technology&more; 2008-1

GNSS Comes to South Africa
he Republic of South Africa, long known for its diamond and gold production, is now gaining
recognition for its GNSS infrastructure. Developed by the Chief Directorate: Surveys and Mapping
(CDSM), the TrigNet network consists of more than 40 active GNSS reference stations. TrigNet provides
Differential GPS (DGPS) coverage over the entire country; RTK positioning in much of the country; and
RTK networks in two urban areas. CDSM offers the service free-of-charge to users.

Building a Reference Network In 2007, the nine receivers in the VRS networks were
TrigNet has grown from 4 reference stations in 1999 upgraded to Trimble NetR5 GNSS Reference Stations,
to today’s 44 stations spaced roughly 200–300 km which support the modernized GPS L2C and L5 signals
(124–186 mi) apart over most of the country. Data as well as GLONASS L1/L2 signals.
from all stations is available for post-processing
applications. Thirty of the stations have real-time Verifying Network Accuracy
telecom infrastructure, enabling users to do RTK To verify the accuracies TrigNet users could rely on,
positioning. Optron Geomatics conducted a series of tests to measure
network RTK solution repeatability; initialization
Nine of the 30 RTK-capable stations are configured times; and to compare the network RTK solution to
into two network “islands,” which use Trimble VRS that of a single base station.
technology to improve real-time survey accuracy. Four
stations encompass Johannesburg and Pretoria; five The repeatability of the network RTK solutions and the
stations service Cape Town. single-base RTK solutions was excellent; all points fell
within less than 1 cm of each other. The initialization
times averaged 8 seconds, except where the baselines
In 2006, CDSM equipped the entire network with
were longer than 30 km. In addition, all DGPS positions
Trimble NetRS GPS receivers. Trimble GPSNet and
fell well within sub-meter accuracy.
Trimble RTKNet™ infrastructure software tie the
stations together to provide countrywide DGPS The tests verified that the TrigNet network provides
correction service, as well as RTK service within 30 km extremely accurate results and excellent ease of use for
(18.6 mi) of the RTK-capable stations. surveyors in South Africa. As South African surveyor
Mark Straughan, PLS, says, “VRS rocks!"*

Technology&more; 2008-1 -10-

RTK Network Integrity

he growing availability of RTK networks has caused the GNSS user community to revisit its processes,
procedures and results when using RTK for production survey work. This renewed focus has helped yield
firm conclusions about best practices, and has further established RTK networks as a stable, essential
utility for rapid development of large infrastructure projects.

Due to increasing reliance on RTK networks for critical field operations, administrators must focus on tech-
niques for managing data accuracy and assuring network integrity. Attaining these objectives requires assessing
three main areas: communications; atmospheric modeling methods and quality; and management of reference
station position dynamics.

The Communications Component

Communications is key to effective RTK network operations. Both communications links—from the permanent
reference station to the central server and from the central server to the field rover—must be highly reliable with
low latency.

The rover-server link plays a critical role in network performance and is supported by one of two main
communications choices: unidirectional (or broadcast) or bidirectional (or two-way) communications.

For network operators, this communications choice determines the network modeling format and services
offered. For end users, two main considerations help determine their communications choice. First, what
communications method does the network support? And, equally, what method does their equipment support?

Unidirectional or broadcast communications requires a radio transmitter such as UHF or spread spectrum.
Radio-based infrastructure requires an initial setup cost for both network operator (radio towers and transmit-
ters) and user (receiver). While there are no ongoing access costs, there are additional issues with radio including
line-of-sight requirements; transmitter power and broadcasting antenna height limitations, reliability of the link
and governmental restrictions such as licensing and other operational limitations.

-11- Technology&more; 2008-1

Bidirectional receives all data from the server to re-create the raw
Bidirectional communications, which include Internet- reference station data and create its own model. This
based cellular or wireless local area network (LAN) method depends on the rover for complex atmospheric
connections, have become crucial for RTK users. Be- modeling; without the massive processing power of a
cause of radio spectrum issues, more users are utilizing central server, rover-generated models are generally less
bidirectional modes today; increased investment and complex and may not take into account some residual
development by telecommunication providers have atmospheric effects. Additionally, in this method, two
made these methods more reliable and available. rovers can operate side by side and attain different re-
sults. Because the rover does the modeling, the quality
An additional benefit of using a cellular link is the of atmospheric modeling applied to the rovers is highly
growing number of augmented services available, such dependent on embedded firmware of the rover used.
as access to Internet-based information in the field.
Rover-centric solutions are normally broadcast using
User considerations for both choices include assess- unidirectional communications links. These solutions
ing the method that carries the fewest issues, such as: are useful to fill in areas that do not have cell phone
up-front expenses versus recurring service costs; and coverage; they must, however, deal with the radio issues
communications coverage and reliability. In addition, it noted earlier. In addition, these formats are not back-
is critical to know the modeling formats local networks ward compatible: If the user’s rover is not compatible
support before making this decision. with RTCM 3.1net, it cannot be used in rover-centric
RTK network solutions.
Ensuring Accurate Modeling
Any time-of-flight measuring technology, whether Server-centric
optical or GNSS, RTK or network RTK, must deal The server-centric approach relies on two-way commu-
with atmospheric errors, usually expressed in parts nication between rover and server. The server receives
per million (PPM). Correcting optical total station raw GNSS data from the reference stations and creates
measurements for local atmospheric—temperature data consistency to solve ambiguities for all network
and pressure—conditions is commonplace. Correcting stations. Rather than sending the data to the rover, the
PPM errors inherent in GNSS is more complex. server computes sophisticated models to estimate the
network’s PPM errors. In addition, the rover sends its
GNSS signals incur potentially significant errors from position for use in interpolating the model; the server
ionosphere and troposphere atmospheric conditions. then provides customized data for that rover’s location.
While users can’t necessarily correct for PPM errors at
the rover, the complex algorithms—or modeling for- The server-centric method means that complex mod-
mats—available in network RTK software can. Due to its els and analyses are performed by the network and
real-time operations, network RTK modeling allows us- monitored by network administrators; less processing
ers to deal with the dynamic and changing atmosphere. power or post-processing is required of rovers or field
From the users’ perspective, two approaches exist for personnel.
applying a model for network RTK: rover-centric and
server-centric. The server-centric method also allows for backward
compatibility with older receivers since legacy RTCM
Rover-centric formats can be used. Because the server is continually
In rover-centric solutions, the central server pre- receiving data to produce a model, it only needs to
processes raw GNSS data to make the reference station update the model as opposed to producing it from
data consistent. It then broadcasts information to the scratch for each user. Rather than the rover producing
rover to create its own model. the model after connection, the model is instantly
available as soon as the user connects to the system.
Examples of predominantly rover-centric solutions As a result, the system has enhanced quality control.
are FKP (Flächenkorrekturparameter or flat plane cor-
rection) and Master Auxiliary Concept (MAC), which Today, the most widely used server-centric approach is
use two different methods. In MAC solutions the rover the Trimble VRS method. A common misconception of

Technology&more; 2008-1 -12-

Trimble VRS technology is that it is not tied to anything is real and guarantee users are receiving reliable
physical. In reality, however, all data is tied with vectors data. Monitoring software used by operators can be
back to the nearest physical reference station. As this configured to sound alarms when movement rates (as
method archives modeling information and raw data, quick as 3 cm/sec between epochs) or magnitudes (in
the data can be easily re-created with post-processing the mm to cm level) exceed preset values. These tools
methods. give network operators additional high-level data for
informed decision making.
Most networks can provide multiple formats, both
rover- and server-centric. What is actually used depends Performance Expectations and Considerations
on which communications method is chosen or for Users
available—and what options users’ equipment will The practical outcome of utilizing reliable communi-
support. cations links, proper modeling and system design, and
network dynamics management of network RTK is
Managing RTK Networks for Reliability clear: reliable, accurate positioning ability. This is the
Today, network operators have numerous ways to benefit of highest importance to users. When using
ensure system availability including backing up com- RTK networks, however, users must take into account
munications lines to provide greater than 99 percent several field considerations.
uptime. However, how do operators know that the sys-
tem is performing correctly, that nothing has moved, RTK networks work well for providing precision re-
that reference station results are consistent and that peatability, or how well observations fit over time. But
network results are correct? in determining accuracy, it is crucial to make sure the
geodetic reference frames between the reference sta-
In order to monitor and ensure network integrity, net- tions and the control being evaluated are consistent.
work operators need to evaluate the subtle or obvious
movements of reference stations. Network integrity RTK solutions and techniques provide a double-differ-
and positioning results rely on the known positions of ence, fixed-ambiguity solution. The advantage of this
its stations. But reference station location is surpris- solution is that its availability is quick and accurate;
ingly dynamic: Sources of movement include acute, the main drawback is that solutions are highly depen-
localized movement (accidents, weather or vandalism); dent on satellite geometry and are still susceptible to
acute, widespread movement (tectonic movement and multipath at the rover.
earthquakes); and chronic movement (shifting due to
aquifer flows, mining activities, drilling, etc.). So while modeled RTK solutions eliminate some
error sources in GNSS solutions, there are still errors
Two considerations are paramount in evaluating inherent to RTK techniques that require proper survey
reference station dynamics: understanding the level procedures to be addressed. Site calibrations, especially
of movement that requires concern, and determining for the vertical component, are still necessary to ensure
the given time to detect that movement and notify the optimum results.
Managing Integrity for Reliability
Network operators can get millimeter-level results Managing the different system integrity issues of RTK
by applying long-term post-processing techniques; networks makes them more reliable and provides
however, detection time on those results is much longer. greater product quality for the end users. With expert
Conversely, operators can detect movement quicker by system administrators operating and managing the
other methods with slightly lower accuracy. networks in real time, RTK network systems today are
significantly more reliable than any surveying technol-
A network operator needs multiple methods to deter- ogy available in the past.
mine motion; movement verification should not rely
on one analysis method alone, which would result in See feature article in POB’s October 2007 issue:
false alarms. By using several different cross-checked www.pobonline.com
analyses, operators can analyze and verify movement

-13- Technology&more; 2008-1

Norway Moves

orway is a land of extremes. Its topographic features—a coastline of more than 25,000 km
(15,500 mi), about 150,000 islands and 26 mountain peaks over 2,300 m (7,550 ft) high—present
Norway’s national mapping agency Statens kartverk (Norwegian Mapping Authority) with
unique challenges.

Since 1999, Statens kartverk has relied on the benefits of its own fixed GNSS network. Initially using
Trimble MS750™ and Trimble NetRS GPS receivers, Statens kartverk expanded and updated the system
in March 2007 to its current state-of-the-art equipment. Statens kartverk has installed 35 Trimble
NetR5 GNSS Reference Stations and Trimble Zephyr Geodetic™ 2 Antennas; both reference stations
and antennas are able to track GPS L1, L2, L2C, L5 and GLONASS signals.

Because the Trimble Zephyr Geodetic 2 broad-spectrum antennas are Galileo-compatible, no further
antenna hardware costs will be incurred when Galileo frequencies become available. Due to the
greater satellite signal availability, positioning performance has been enhanced in reception-critical
areas, such as foliage canopy areas and zones with extreme topographic conditions.

Statens kartverk is also utilizing Trimble VRS infrastructure software—Trimble GPSNet and RTKNet—
to provide an accurate real-time correction service. Statens kartverk offers a correction service with
various degrees of accuracy through the GNSS network: CPOS, DPOS and MPOS, for centimeter,
decimeter and meter-range accuracies, respectively. In addition to these real-time correction services,
Statens kartverk also offers a post-processing correction service called ETPOS.

Because of Norway’s size and varied population density, the entire country is not fully covered with
the dense network required for the RTK service CPOS. The network now covers large parts of the
country along the coast, where the population density is the greatest. The rest of the country will
be covered by the network within a few years. The operator forecasts a significant increase in end
users in the coming years, particularly in the construction sector, which, as an emerging user of the
correction technology, has expressed strong interest in the services. In addition, the technology is
employed by users in other industries such as energy supply or agribusiness.

Technology&more; 2008-1 -14-


uilt in 1949 by Harold Brasington, South technology—and Sanborn Map Company, Inc. was
Carolina’s Darlington Raceway was the first hired for the job.
superspeedway built specifically for NASCAR
racing—and its peculiarities delight fans and drivers Sanborn established 21 primary control points using
alike. The track’s narrow west end has a tight radius Trimble GPS equipment and rapid-static technology, us-
and steep banks (to accommodate a minnow pond, ing South Carolina State Plane Coordinates to facilitate
according to legend) while the east end is broader, aerial photography overlays. A Trimble GX™ 3D Scanner
and thus faster. The egg-shaped configuration makes was selected for the work; due to the low angle of inci-
it hard for drivers to get into a groove; Darlington is dence for most track shots, a 76-m (250-ft) maximum
said to reward driving skill, not just fast cars. In fact, a scan distance was set. A Trimble 5600 Total Station was
good performance at Darlington is a badge of honor; used to densify control so that multiple points would be
when rookie drivers hit the wall there, as they often do, available at each of more than a dozen scanner setups.
they’re said to have earned their Darlington stripes.
The GX Survey Workflow feature proved to be essential.
So in 2007, when owners launched a $10-million Sanborn Vice President James P. Peterson II, PE, PLS,
repaving project on the Lady in Black (so called be- said, “Without Survey Workflow, each scan would have
cause the track was the first paved superspeedway in started at arbitrary coordinates of 0, 0, 0, and in the field
NASCAR’s history), preserving track characteristics they all would have been stacked on each other. This
was an important goal. But they also wanted to ap- way, we were able to check scan data as it was gathered.”
ply some of the knowledge that’s been gained about Trimble RealWorks Survey™ software was used to fur-
high-speed racing in the 60 years since Darlington ther refine data and produce the track model. Peterson
was built—subtle tweaks can improve speed and noted that the GX scanner’s galvanometer indexing,
safety. These contradictory goals, preservation and atmospheric corrections, dual-axis compensator and
improvement, would both be served by a highly accu- other features also made work more like conventional
rate computer model. Since job specs called for shots surveying for field crews, and kept work accurate even
every 7.6 cm (3 in), with vertical tolerances of 3.0 mm in a brutal Southern summer.
(0.01 ft) and horizontal tolerances of 9.0 mm (0.03 ft),
millions of highly accurate shots would be needed on Millions of shots gathered were within tolerance, so
the 2.25-km (1.4-mi) track. The project’s lead contrac- scanning technology will faithfully preserve a piece of
tor decided that 3D scanning was the best available NASCAR history for future fans.*

-15- Technology&more; 2008-1

Lighting the Way in Dublin

or the past ten years, Dublin has been at the
center of Ireland’s explosive economic growth.
With more than 500,000 residents, Dublin is the
Republic of Ireland’s capital and largest city.

A youthful city and popular tourist destination, Dublin

has a strong arts scene, famous shopping districts and
a vibrant nightlife—which is one reason the Dublin
City Council is diligent about maintaining its 46,000
city streetlights.

Until recently, the Dublin City Council’s night scouts,

who are responsible for checking the city’s streetlights
each night, recorded details about malfunctioning
lights, time and date of their light checks, necessary
repairs and other information on paper forms. Look-
ing for a more efficient system, the Dublin City Council
adopted the use of GPS technology for tracking and
recording streetlight data in 2004.

“The handheld computers with GPS receivers that we

were using were a great solution when they picked up
a signal, but a lot of our work is done around tall build-
ings in very urban areas,” said Shay Fogarty, electrician
for the Dublin City Council. “We needed a GPS receiver
able to pick up location data in the heart of the city
and could still be used to record all the light check

As a result, the Dublin City Council purchased two

Trimble Juno™ ST handheld GPS receivers for field data collection. A compact, fully-integrated field computer
powered by Windows Mobile® version 5.0 software, the Juno ST handheld provides 2 to 5 m (6 to 16 ft) GPS
positioning in real-time or after postprocessing.

The Juno ST handheld uses a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that has been specifically designed to work well in
challenging environments, such as up against tall buildings or under forest canopy.

Today, two teams of night scouts take to the streets each evening equipped with Juno ST handhelds as they drive
more than 80 km (50 mi) over 300 streets, checking more than 3,000 streetlights per night.

“Dublin is split into 16 routes and our scouts work in teams of two: one driver and one scout,” said Fogarty. “One
team takes a route on the north side of the city, the other is responsible for the south side, and over seven or eight
hours they check and record the status of every light on their route.”

Technology&more; 2008-1 -16-

Both of the Dublin City Council’s Juno ST handheld
units run customized ArcPad mobile GIS software from
ESRI. Using ArcPad, the night scouts are able to view a
map of the entire route’s streetlight infrastructure on
the pocket-sized handheld.

As the night scouts travel to each light, they select one of

three icons to represent the condition of that particular
light: black for a burned-out light, red for a light that is
running low, and green for a fully functioning light. On
average, the night scouts find 20 to 30 burned-out lights
each night.

The Juno ST handheld also keeps a track log, or an

automatically generated log of where the user has been,
which includes information including date, time and
vehicle speed.

“The Juno ST handheld units pick up a GPS signal even

in the most urban areas where the vehicle is surrounded
by buildings, so we’re able to get very accurate, consis-
tent track logs,” said Fogarty. “Correct track logs are a
requirement for us because the authorities often need to
confirm the status of a streetlight, as well as when it was
last checked, at the scene of an accident.”

Once the route is complete, the night scouts return the

handheld units to the office, where the morning crew
downloads all of the data collected the night before
into the city’s GIS, which is linked to its public light and
management database.

Once in the public light and management database,

city workers can view a history of any particular light
or section of lights to determine if something unusual
is happening to cause light failure, and work orders are
issued so that the burned out lights can be repaired the
next day.

As a next step, the Dublin City Council is considering

moving to an entirely electronic workflow, including
equipping electricians with Juno ST handhelds and
creating electronic work orders.

“The Juno ST handhelds are the perfect solution for us,”

said Fogarty. “They’re small, lightweight and easy for
our workers to use, yet highly productive all across the
city. We can’t wait to eliminate even more paperwork by
issuing electronic work orders.”

-17- Technology&more; 2008-1

Finding Strength in Numbers
It takes more than just wearing the same shirts.
Commitment, respect and passion are what make a team.

he job of today’s surveyor can be lonely work. There are times when it feels like you are the
only one in the world who can understand the challenges you face. These are the times when
it helps to know that someone else out there knows exactly what you are going through.

Implemented just one year ago, the Trimble Survey Team

loyalty program is providing an important service to the
surveying community. Through the team, members have
access to a wide network of other Trimble users and Trimble
experts who all share a common bond: surveying experience.
Maximizing the value of the collective experience is what
the team is all about. Every day, all over the world, users are
discovering easy solutions to particularly complex surveying
challenges. Through the help of this network, those solutions
are made available for the greater good.

Membership Benefits
Today the Trimble Survey Team is rapidly growing. This
demonstrates the value members are deriving from
the program. And, because team members are actively
involved, the rate of new ideas and new contributions
is escalating every day.

The Locker Room

The Trimble Survey Team website is like the team locker
room: Members gain elite access to privileged information
including surveying tips and tricks. In addition, Trimble
surveying application specialists are available to answer
your surveying and technology questions. You can even
read and share innovative surveying field stories!

In keeping with the theme, the website also contains a

sports scores ticker, an event calendar, a team forum and
much more. The Trimble Survey Team website is updated
with new content regularly to keep Trimble surveyors
up-to-date with the latest techniques and solutions.

No Tryouts Necessary
Becoming a member of the Trimble Survey Team is easy.
Contact your Trimble Survey Distributor today for details
on how to join. Or send an e-mail to:

Technology&more; 2008-1 -18-

Carving a Mountain

he world’s largest mountain carving is being blasted into existence
in South Dakota’s Black Hills: a bust of Crazy Horse, the Native
American Lakota Chief. When complete, the model will rise to a
height of 172 m (563 ft) and a length of 195 m (641 ft), a stone colossus of
the renowned warrior astride his horse.

Compared at times to Mount Rushmore, the work in progress marries the

fine arts not only to explosives but also to high-tech Trimble technology.
In October 2006, two Trimble surveyors spent one-and-a-half days on the
mountain face outside Custer, S.D. Using two Trimble 3D scanners, the
surveyors collected 14 million data points, which, after post-processing,
became an invaluable tool for moving the project forward.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a complex job with a long history: In the
mid-1940s, a young Boston-reared sculptor named Korczak Ziolkowski
was recruited by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear for the Black Hills’
project. “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red
man has great heroes also,” the chief told Ziolkowski.

Ziolkowski moved to the land around the future memorial in 1947,

carved from marble a 1:300 scale model of the mountain sculpture he
envisioned—a second 1:34 plastic model was carved in the mid-60s—and
personally hand-drilled the bore holes for the first dynamite blasts in the
rock face in 1948. Ziolkowski died in 1982, but his family has kept on with
the project. June 3, 2008 will mark the 60th anniversary of the dedication
of the Memorial and the first blast on the mountain. 

The Memorial is a non-profit enterprise depending on private philan-

thropy. The project remains ongoing, without a scheduled completion
date. Due to the project’s non-profit, ongoing status, Trimble’s loan of 3D
scanning technology and staff surveyors was an important contribution.

3D scanning is ideal for a colossal job like Crazy Horse, because of its abil-
ity to quickly cover the entire mountain in intricate detail. The October
scanning project used a portable Trimble GX 3D Scanner.

On the mountain, the surveyors capitalized on the Trimble GX’s ability to

use conventional survey routines to orient, set out control and provide quality control checks to ensure the quality
of field measurements

Data processing with Trimble RealWorks Survey software also allows efficient handling and analysis of large data sets
to easily create desired outputs for the design team. At Crazy Horse, the scanner data provided an accurate 3D model
of the mountain. This enables continued refinement of Ziolkowski’s scaled model to accommodate the changing
geology exposed by on-going blasting. As geologists, engineers and blasters do their work, the model is refined, then
scaled back up to the mountain face for more finely-tuned blasting of the image. With the help of Trimble technology,
the mountain is better adjusted to the model—and the model to the mountain—and the imposing image of Crazy
Horse continues to emerge in the sacred hills.*

-19- Technology&more; 2008-1

The Connected Plant

ou’ve got a $100-million retrofit project running hundreds of feet of pipe, equipment and/or high
voltage power through a facility that already includes miles of these items crammed like spaghetti
into a tight space. Every day that your project is delayed in order to field-fit or re-route assets can cost
your company millions of dollars.

How important is it for you to know the precise location of the existing items and improve the integrity of the
design of the new items?

And how important is it for you to know whether the pre-fabricated pipe, steel and equipment will fit properly
in the existing plant?

Rhetorical questions, perhaps, but if you are the 3D scanning has become standard practice for most
plant or project engineer for a power plant, refinery, plant retrofit projects. In 2006, Trimble acquired
petrochemical or similar plant, you need to know BitWyse Solutions, Inc., a plant design and existing
your assets’ locations very precisely. A processing conditions software company, and formed the Power,
plant is a living entity. There is always maintenance Process and Plant (PPP) business segment. The
being carried out in one part or another. Shutting new segment serves that industry’s customers and
down a refinery even to just change a valve or pump assists them in applying Trimble’s industry-leading
can cost thousands of dollars a minute, especially 3D imaging, positioning and tracking solutions
with the current rise in the price of natural resources. to maximize productivity and create a safer work
One of the challenges of a plant owner-operator environment at their facilities.
and/or its engineering procurement company is to
make sure that the replacement part or the addi- Trimble is uniquely qualified to meet the as-built,
tion made to the production line is designed to fit dimensional-control and life-cycle data needs of
the existing facility exactly (or with a minimum of engineers, designers and constructors of plants.
rework). Bottom line, workers in the field can then Trimble offers a portfolio of products and solutions
install the new equipment quickly and easily, getting to address these needs. The products include:
the plant back on line, on time and on budget. • the recently introduced Trimble FX™ Scanner,
which was specifically designed to meet the
This is the daily life of a plant operation and this is requirements of scanning in congested plant
why, to the plant engineering and design industry, environments;

Technology&more; 2008-1 -20-

• the Trimble GX 3D Scanner for scanning objects that can be captured from a distance (like towers and conveyors);
• the Trimble VX™ Spatial Station for survey and dimensional control and locating discrete connect points;
• and the Trimble R8 GNSS Receiver and Trimble S6 Total Station to provide control and accurate positioning of
assets around the plant.

Along with Trimble LASERGen software, these instruments provide the solutions for customers to measure and 3D-
image as-built conditions of a plant asset and to integrate that data into their plant design, engineering and life-cycle
management work-flow.

Another related challenge and opportunity comes with today’s global market. The new equipment and/or pipe might be
fabricated in one continent for installation in another or on an offshore platform. In this case, engineers want to make
sure that the part has been fabricated strictly in accordance with the design, and that the design fits with the existing
facility within the small allowed tolerances. Because plant parts may be huge and weigh from hundreds of pounds to
several hundreds or thousands of tons, the part may need to travel on a ship for a month before being installed. This is
not an easy overnight shipment that can be returned to the manufacturer the next day if there is a problem. Therefore,
integrity of design and fabrication is crucial. Again, the Trimble FX Scanner provides scanning measurements at the site,
and/or the Trimble VX Spatial Station may be used to find the precise location of connect points for the equipment and
pipe, making sure the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle go together correctly.

Trimble’s PPP business segment focuses on solving the positioning and tracking needs
for this market segment and offering existing Trimble solutions into these
environments. With today’s high demand for energy, customers need an
efficient solution to be able to connect their entire plant, refinery or off-
shore platform geospatially. The integration of LASERGen software into
the Trimble product offering has provided a means for transforming
the “Connected Site” model to create the “Connected Plant.”

Through the Connected Plant model, Trimble PPP is expanding and

developing technologies that are familiar to the surveying world,
but are just beginning to be known to the plant market. Because the
success of any scanning project depends not only on the scanners
themselves, but also on the survey and control management at the
site, Trimble’s cutting-edge survey technologies have PPP applica-
tions as well.

For example, Trimble VRS networks enable plant owners to maintain

accurate and repeatable control networks at their facility, including
the ability to precisely locate assets while constructing new projects in
a plant. The installation of a Trimble VRS network on a plant site, combined
with the use of the Trimble R8 GNSS Receiver and the Trimble S6 Total Station,
provides additional benefits such as enhancing as-built documentation,
regulation compliance, and many more.

For more information, please contact PPP_Sales@trimble.com

Trimble FX Scanner

-21- Technology&more; 2008-1

An Elevated Tripod

ocated in Wilmslow Cheshire, U.K., Survey Systems Ltd. was commissioned to calculate the volume of a
spoil heap of waste material to determine if the quantity of waste was within local planning regulations.
As with many such cases, the land owner would not allow surveyors to enter the land; the survey had to
be conducted from a neighboring field.

Survey Systems faced several obstacles:

• Surveyors had no access to the heap
• There was a very high, dense hedge adjacent to
the heap
• The area was in the middle of open but inacces-
sible land
• No electrical power was available
The surveyors rose to the challenge, confronting
each obstacle with creativity and skill to determine
the best solution:

No access
­q Survey remotely with 3D scanner
­q Survey remotely with reflectorless total station

The hedge
­­q Use a very large tripod plus box for surveyor
to stand on
­q Construct a Bilby Tower
­q Elevate the instrument
­q Chop the hedge down

How to get there

­­q Lay temporary track plus a mobile platform
­­q Use available farm machinery
­­q Use a 4 x 4 with an elevated platform

­­q Use a very long extension cable
­­q Use vehicle power (24 volts)
­­q Use a generator
Shown in the photo, the solution used a Trimble 3D scanner mounted on a Terex loader. The scanner provided
efficient data collection and the loader provided an elevated platform to “see” over the hedge. A 110-volt
petrol generator powered the scanner and a laptop computer, via a long crossover cable.
Job done. Customer satisfied, with the help of Trimble.
This story and photo were submitted by Paul C. Taylor, BSc (Hons), Chief Land Surveyor of Survey Systems Ltd.
This photo wins one of the honorable mention prizes.

Technology&more; 2008-1 -22-

Photo Contest
e continue to receive many creative photographs of projects using Trimble equipment around the world for
the Technology&more photo contest. Because of the uniqueness of each shot, it is a challenge to choose the
top winners. And so we again have several. First place—and a Trimble jacket—goes to surveyor Thomas
Keulertz of RWE Power AG for the impressive shot of a Trimble R8 GNSS Receiver and Trimble S6 Total Station
being used in front of the Bagger 288's impeller (radius of 21 m; 69 ft). You'll see the photo on page 3 and on the back
This month’s Honorable Mention winners, who will
each receive a Trimble watch, include Elevated Tripod
on page 22 as well as the photos below:

Step Into My Office

Surveyor Bob Keylar of LandPartners Limited in South
Brisbane, Australia, titled his photo, “Step Into My
Office,” as this particular topographic survey was a
"must complete" project and could not be impacted
by the pouring rain. The project was the construction
of a 90-km (56-mi) gas pipeline from Condamine to
Braemar in southeast Queensland. The pipeline would
supply gas for a new power generation station at
Braemar. LandPartners provided initial survey control,
route detail surveys for engineering design, right-of-
way delineation for clear and grade, set out surveys for
pipeline construction and cadastral surveys for ease-
ments over the pipeline. All surveys were carried out
using Trimble GPS equipment in both static and RTK

Locating Leftovers from 1944

Engineer Ulrich Gaesing of the City of Bielefeld, Germany,
submitted this photo with a fascinating explanation.
Using old aerial photographs that showed the points
of contact of unexploded ordnance from World War II,
Gaesing and his crew used a Trimble R8 GPS Receiver
to locate each of the still-dangerous ordnance. Specialists
then defused and disposed of the ordnance. The
challenge at this location was that the former World
War II meadow had been transformed into an artificial
lake. So Gaesing placed buoys using coordinates from
the aerial photographs, enabling the specialists to find
several unexploded 250-kg (550-lbs) ordnance. The
ordnance were from a 1944 Allied Air Force attack that
destroyed a bridge on the main train route from Berlin
to Cologne, successfully interrupting the transport of
Nazi military supplies.

-23- Technology&more; 2008-1

Trimble Dimensions 2007

y now, you may have heard about the Trimble fantastic; it’s great to listen to those who are using the products to
Dimensions Conference 2007. You may have been their limit. Networking with Trimble employees is very valuable
told about it by colleagues or read about it in to me and client networking opportunities are plentiful.”
industry publications. But unless you experienced it first- ­—Tom Ruby, PLS, GPS Survey Manager,
hand, it’s hard to understand what makes Dimensions so J-U-B ENGINEERS, Inc., U.S.
unique and electrifying. Maybe it’s the balance of gain- “Dimensions was extremely informative, particularly in the
ing in-depth and practical technological information, areas of software development, hardware development and the
hearing from exciting and well-known keynote speak- Connected Site. Leighton Contractors is a major user of Trimble
ers, networking with users from around the world, and products and it was great to see that Trimble is moving towards
enjoying creative entertainment. Whatever the reason, the future with survey and construction-based software and
the outcome has been consistent: satisfied attendees hardware. I will certainly be recommending to anyone using
who plan to return. And that’s the best endorsement Trimble products that they attend the next Dimensions in 2009.”
for future Dimensions conferences—so take a look at ­—Brad Chambers, Acting Survey Manager,
some of the feedback Trimble has received: Leighton Contractors PTY LTD, Australia

“Trimble did an amazing job with the Dimensions conference. Now the basics of the event—and more attendee feed-
We were impressed with the event's international scope, both back: Held November 5-7 at the Mirage Hotel in Las
in the attendees and the unique technical presentations from Vegas, Dimension’s theme—Transform Your Business
around the world. It was well worth our time and investment.” with the Connected Site—provided insight into how
­—Prof. Gao Zhendong and Dr. Lou of Wuhan University, China surveying, engineering, construction, mapping and
geospatial professionals can apply process integra-
“Trimble Dimensions 2007 was a successful and well-organized tion, positioning and communication technologies to
event. The range of topics was broad and covered all survey
streamline processes and improve profitability.
applications. Partners Pavilion exhibits provided information
about the latest technological developments in equipment and “Trimble Dimensions is the one conference I look forward to
applications and showed where the "future of survey" is head- each year. I learn more than at any other conference. This past
ing. I made many new contacts and have maintained them year I appreciated the increased focus on mapping and GIS,
since the conference. I would definitely attend again!” which benefits those of us who utilize both surveying and
­—Juergen Weber, Managing Partner, IU Plan GmbH MGIS solutions.”
Consulting Engineers, Germany ­—Matthew C. Shellenberger, P.E., Sr. Engineer,
American Electric Power (AEP), U.S.
“I consider Dimensions the best training opportunity available.
Trimble's commitment to having the people who "build" the prod- More than 2,500 people from over 50 countries learned
ucts available is invaluable to me as a user. The presentations are how building a connected site allows businesses to

Technology&more; 2008-1 -24-

incorporate seamless workflows, reduce rework and “Another great conference—I will never miss one!!! For me,
maximize productivity. The more than 300 sessions crossing the surveyor and photogrammetry worlds by having
across multiple tracks focused on increasing productivity Applanix's user group at the same time makes it even more
in field and office. worthwhile.”
­—Jim Peterson, PE, PLS, Vice President, Sanborn Map, U.S.
“Dimensions’ technical instruction sessions were very helpful—
after the conference we were able to directly apply the knowledge Highlighted solutions and technologies included GNSS;
we gained for immediate cost savings! The executive track provided total stations; field computing and data collection;
valuable business insight on the use of technology at the corporate 3D scanning; pre-design construction planning; 3D
level and the popular panel discussions involved the audience and visualization; construction project management; aerial
provided a forum to express questions/comments.” mapping; wireless communications; data transfer; and
­—Devin Kowbuz, Chad McFadden, Senior Project Managers, field and office software applications.
Flatirons, Inc. Surveying, Engineering and Geomatics, U.S.
“The biggest benefit of Dimensions was seeing Trimble products
Keynote speakers included Trimble president and CEO used in different applications than I am used to. This has given
Steven W. Berglund, who spoke of the practical benefits me ideas about future projects and how Trimble technology
of integrating the Connected Site approach; explorer, would benefit them.”
Mt. Everest climber and author Peter Hillary, who ­—Mark Hannam, Surveyor, INB HUB Alliance, Australia
balanced his exciting adventure stories with input on
how to develop skills valuable in any field; Daniel Burrus, Other technology providers who are Trimble partners
founder and CEO of Burrus Research Associates and participated to extend the conference’s range of products
international best-selling Technotrends® author, who and applications. Sixteen sponsors also participated in
spoke on capitalizing on the next wave of technological the event.
change; and Dr. Robert Ballard, legendary explorer and "Trimble Dimensions was a great event, both on the educa-
discoverer of the Titanic, who talked about discovering tional and networking levels; attendees were able to exchange
the shipwreck, the advanced technology used, and information and develop personal relationship globally and
what’s ahead for the future in deep sea exploration. regionally. The Las Vegas venue was unique and fun."
­—Prof. Yun Soo Choi, Dept. of Geoinformatics,
“The most valuable part of Trimble Dimensions 2007 were the University of Seoul, Korea
keynote speakers, all very informative, well prepared and with
motivating messages.” Trimble Dimensions 2009 will be held in February in Las
­—Kyle Rich, Party Chief, Otter Tail Power Company, U.S. Vegas. See Trimble website for more information.
The Partners Pavilion showcased Trimble construction, “Dimensions reinforced my belief that Trimble is the only
survey, engineering, aerial and mobile mapping, GIS and manufacturer making a real effort to supply the surveying and
infrastructure solutions, including products from Applanix, civil engineering industries with real solutions to manage the
INPHO, Meridian Systems, Pacific Crest, Quantm, Tripod juggernaut of technology.”
Data Systems (TDS) and XYZ Solutions. ­—Byron Watkins, Survey Data Manager,
Survey & Technology Applications, Thiess, Australia

-25- Technology&more; 2008-1

Photo Contest
Enter Trimble’s Technology&more
Photo Contest!

The winners of the Trimble Photo Contest

receive Trimble prizes and the photos are
published in Technology&more. This issue’s
first place winner is the Garzweiler mine shot
submitted by Thomas Keulertz. Honorable
mention winners are published on pages
22-23. Send your photo at 300 dpi resolution
(10 x 15 cm or 4 x 6 in) to Survey_Stories@
trimble.com. Make sure you include your
name, title and contact information.

To subscribe to Technology&more for free, go to: www.trimble.com/t&m

You can also send an email to: T&M_info@trimble.com or call +1-913-338-8270.

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