What is Total station? TC & Co Civil Engineering & Groundworks

What is Total station?

A total station is an electronic or optical instrument used in surveying and building construction that uses electronic transit theodolite in conjunction with electronic distance meter (EDM). It is also integrated with microprocessor, electronic data collector and storage system. The instrument is used to measure sloping distance of object to the instrument, horizontal angles and vertical angles. This Microprocessor unit enables for computation of data collected to further calculate the horizontal distance, coordinates of a point and reduced level of point. Data collected from total station can be downloaded into computer/laptops for further processing of information. Total stations are mainly used by land surveyors and civil engineers, either to record features as in topographic surveying or to set out features (such as roads, houses or boundaries).

How Accurate are they?

A typical total station can measure distances with an accuracy of about 1.5 millimetres (0.0049 ft) + 2 parts per million over a distance of up to 1,500 meters (4,900 ft).” That means is can hit a pin head from almost 1 mile away.

What is a robotic total station?

Robotic total station is a total station that can be operated remotely from a distance, meaning that only one operator is needed in the field rather than a two person team. While previously operatives had to physically turn total stations vertically and horizontally to sight them to the positions to observe or set out, through automation robotic total stations follow human lead by tracking a prism held by the surveyor at the pole end.

The instrument transmits in real time the angle and distance information measured to the prism on to the data logger, also at the pole end with the surveyor. This enables them to take measurements for surveys and set out points, lines and surfaces without having to return to the instrument. Robotic total stations gives you greater speed and also limits labour costs.

What is a reflector less total station?

A typical total station can measure distances up to 1,500 meters with an accuracy of about 1.5 millimetres, they do this via a purpose-built glass prisms which acts as a reflector for the EDM signal, Reflector less total stations can measure distances to any object that is reasonably light in colour, up to a few hundred meters with out the need of a prism. Is makes it easy and fast to plot or measure with a single operative.

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