Topcon helps infrastructure owners keep an eye on their structures

Topcon automated monitoring systems provide peace of mind on projects where the risk of movement is a safety consideration.

How a project impacts surrounding infrastructure is a concern for all companies that must continuously monitor and react to any risks to the stability of their job sites and nearby structures. Missing any change in a structure’s health could have very damaging consequences, threatening to undermine public and site safety.

On any project, particularly those in urban areas, capturing the amount of data needed for consistent monitoring is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

This is where automated monitoring solutions can make all the difference, helping to keep a watchful eye over job sites and their surroundings without the need for repeated manual survey work.

Topcon’s MSAX2 Total Stations (MS) and Delta solution enables automated monitoring of target locations at user defined intervals over any 24 hour period. It can be done using the MS Monitoring Total Station, GNSS receivers or a combination of the two.

The Delta Link communications box automatically transfers the observed data to the Delta Watch processing software where a network adjustment is performed. Any change in the monitored positions (prism, retro target or reflectorless) is calculated by the software. If it is outside the parameters set by the user, an email or text alert will be sent, allowing for prompt investigation.

After each monitoring cycle, the observed and processed data is presented graphically for easy analysis.

Reports can be automatically exported or viewed in the Delta Live Web portal which can be accessed at any time, reducing unnecessary site visits and providing peace of mind with real-time up to date information available.

Totally independent

Advances in survey technology mean that total stations are more capable than ever, allowing a higher degree of accuracy. With angle accuracies of either 0.5 seconds or 1 second and sub-millimetre precision, no change is too small to be picked up.

Hardware that works independently makes continuous monitoring a less laborious task, with no need for constant input from an operator while still giving users the confidence that they will be alerted of any changes.   

The need for automated monitoring often means that MS total stations and GNSS are typically exposed to the elements and installed in positions that are challenging to reach. The MS, GNSS and Delta Link are extremely robust and can stay in location for up to two years before the first service interval.

In practice

The level of accuracy and data available through monitoring solutions is helping engineers to improve workflows, reduce costly errors and boost efficiency. For example, Topcon’s Delta monitoring system is being used on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. For a 7km long section of the new tunnel, the joint venture between Bam Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty had to ensure the integrity of the river walls and surrounding structures, requiring intricate detail on any movement without taking up too much time, money or resource. The team opted to use 10 of Topcon’s Delta monitoring systems to closely watch for any deformations.

Morgan Sindall engineering survey manager Alastair Cruickshank said: “The system gives me complete control from my desk and can automatically send alerts for any significant movement for us to keep a close eye on the area. All monitoring systems are connected with Delta Link, enabling us to properly allocate resource as there’s no need for the team to be manually checking each of the instruments.”

  • Published in association with Topcon

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