Norcross, Ga., 31 May 2007) - When Steckbeck Engineering and Surveying, a full service civil and infrastructure consulting firm in Lebanon, PA, was asked to provide survey support for the construction of a 40 acre windmill farm in western Pennsylvania, they were told the job required speed, submeter and centimeter accuracies and a certain degree of mobility. The overall task included a forest clearance and right-of-way survey, subsequent utility surveys and a complete as-built data file at the conclusion of the project.
Rex Clark, PLS, Director of Surveying at Steckbeck opted for the Leica System 1200 SmartStation - a high performance total station with a powerful GNSS/GPS integrated receiver and the Smart Rover - the lightest cable-free RTK GNSS system in the world. Clark also integrated his two existing SR530 geodetic RTK receivers into the PA Reference Station Network, which is ran and controlled by Precise Geosystems Inc.
"We're about midway through the project and the combination of power and mobility as worked well. I'm particularly pleased with the ability to complete "open-ended traverses" and tie them down with GPS coordinates," Clark adds. "We are continually losing ground control and the Smart Station allows us to eliminate additional traverse after the initial construction has taken our previous control. We can set up and establish coordinates anywhere we have GPS capability. Bottom line, we could not complete this project under the given schedule any other way."
Clark believes that robotic technology is key in achieving Steckbeck's strategic goals, which include expanding in both its geographic service area and to larger more complex projects. The firm has already doubled in size in the last five years and anticipates similar expansion over the next five years.
"GPS, cell phones and wireless technology have transformed the way I work. Bottom line, this suite of products allows me to do more types of projects - like the windmill farm survey-faster and more accurately," Clark says.
Precise Geosystems Inc. worked closely with Steckbeck's Clark to find the most effective technology for the windmill farm survey job. Peter Ruel, president of Precise Geosystems, recalls, "The Leica SmartStation combined with the Smart Rover was clearly the best solution for the job. Using Pennsylvania's Reference Network, surveyors could received instant RTK positions on the coordinate system of their choosing, allowing them to set up the robotic total station anywhere. The versatility that this system allows today's surveyors is unmatched by any other product on the market. It is simply incredible."
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