When a topographic survey for the main runway of the East Midlands International Airport was performed during nighttime closure, the Spectra Precision FOCUS 35 robotic total station turned in a stellar performance. Through cold November windy and rainy nights, with no task lighting permitted, the FOCUS 35 total station performed efficiently and flawlessly tracking the prism to 200 meters and beyond to help keep the project on time.
Prior to a planned full resurfacing of the busy three-kilometre asphalt runway, a topographic survey was needed. Because the airport, a regional hub for European destinations and long-haul holiday destinations, serves more than 100 takes offs and landings daily, weekend night-times were only available times for the survey.
Mark Hayes of Survey and Engineering Projects, Ltd., the firm conducting the runway survey, was under pressure to complete the work within the three allotted 12:30 am to 5:30 am time slots. Because of the anticipated harsh work conditions and tight schedule, Hayes chose the FOCUS 35 total station for its reliability, durability and ease of use. Hayes reported that at no time, even in heavy rain and high winds, did the instrument lose the prism lock or the radio link between the FOCUS 35 and the field controller. This was a feat he knew was stellar because concurrent surveys using other brands were continually losing radio link and seldom getting beyond 60 to 70 meters tracking the prism. Hayes estimates that the excellent reliability of the FOCUS 35 increased his productivity by more than 50 percent compared to other surveys that were ongoing at the same time.
The runway topographic survey of 4,000 points was taken at 7.5m intervals longitudinally and at set locations across the tarmac. The set locations were predefined and uploaded as AutoCAD DXF onto the field controllers prior to commencing the survey. The positions were then located onsite and surveyed in the map screen to ensure the correct location was surveyed.
About the Spectra Precision FOCUS 35
The FOCUS 35 robotic total station moves the power of the observer from the instrument to the range pole to improve efficiency. Using the motorized drive it is possible to precisely turn to and repeat angle measurements. This results in quick and reliable measurements, which substantially increases productivity. The speed of observation and precise positioning is provided by the patented step drive technology of the FOCUS 35, which controls the horizontal and vertical motion of the motors, eliminating the need for traditional motion locks. The FOCUS 35 includes a tracking sensor that enables the instrument to constantly lock onto the prism. The FOCUS 35 is available in 1”, 2”, 3” or 5” accuracies and is controlled by the Spectra Precision Survey Pro field software using an onboard Windows CE touchscreen interface.