Quick fix to monitoring conundrum saves time and money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

W: www.monitoringsolutions.com.au

A Trimble S9, lost…..and found in just 30 minutes!

When an opportunistic theft by moped resulted in Central Alliance losing a Trimble s9 they notified the police and KOREC, the local Trimble dealer.

All new Trimble S-Series Total Stations come with L2P (Locate2Protect) built-in, so the KOREC Technical Support was able to locate the instrument and track it live. When the instrument position remained static, KOREC sent the latitude and longitude of the missing instrument. It was retrieved from the bush where it had been dumped, unharmed and needing nothing more than a check.

Principal Land Surveyor Milen Charov said, “KOREC’s response couldn’t have been faster. The down-time caused by the loss of an instrument along with the hassle of dealing with insurance claims is extremely inconvenient. L2P is a great service and it’s saved us trouble, time and money. After an incident like this we have realised how important the locator functionality is. It’s absolutely worth it and I strongly recommend it.”

L2P finds an asset’s location by receiving a GPS signal from a clear line of sight with satellites in the sky. If your equipment and goes indoors (in a garage or storage facility), the L2P A-GPS technology takes over the tracking. This gives it the ability to find an asset’s location both indoors and outdoors down to the city street level address.

L2P comes standard with the later version total stations and can also be retrofitted into your S3, S6 or S8 total stations.

See the original story about Central Alliance on the KOREC website, or learn more about L2P on the Trimble website.

Multi-track Prism Technology Explained

trackerTried 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-target-123x300ActiveTrack 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.
k-multitrack1The 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 www.KorecGroup.com 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 $10 000 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 – contact us today! 

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.
  • AllTerra and Trimble reserve the right to cancel or modify this program at any time.


The camera in your Total Station

Anthony McClaren, Victorian Survey Industry Member
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, the Australian Trimble Geospatial reseller, since 2006 and specialises in Trimble Geospatial solutions for the Surveying industry.