A Total Station is a technologically advanced and electrically powered surveying tool utilized for measuring and surveying purposes. This effective instrument can be used to determine horizontal and vertical points, as well as distances.
Total Station is an electronic/optical instrument used in modern surveying and building construction. It is a combination of an electronic theodolite (transit) and an electronic distance meter (EDM). It can measure distances and angles with great accuracy and is typically used in topographic surveying, building construction, and related fields.
The Total station, an instrument employed in surveying, comprises of the Electromagnetic Distance Measuring Device and Electronic Theodolite to acquire field data.
Components of Total Station
The following are major Total Station Parts and Functions
- Electronic transit theodolite
- Electronic distance meter (EDM)
- Electronic data collector & storage system
The keyboard plays a vital role in the Total Station, as it serves as the primary means of inputting commands to the device’s built-in microprocessor. The keyboard features a variety of keys, including incorporate switching keys, command keys, lighting keys, power keys, and so on. These various keys allow the operator to easily and efficiently control the Total Station’s functions.
The data collector is a vital component of the Total Station as it serves as the primary means of gathering and storing data. This includes the measurements and observations made by the instrument. The data collector manages the process of inputting and retrieving data, making it a crucial aspect of the Total Station’s operation.
The reflector is an integral part of the Total Station, as it enables the instrument to take measurements through the use of reflected beams. The reflector is typically made up of a specially designed reflecting crystal, which can be in the form of prisms or reflecting glasses. Without the reflector, the Total Station would not be able to perform its primary function of taking precise measurements.
The operating system commonly used in Total Stations is Windows CE. This system provides a user-friendly interface and a range of features that enable efficient data management, data processing, and communication with other devices. Windows CE is widely adopted in Total Stations due to its ease of use and compatibility with the surveying software.
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In addition to the significant parts, the Total station likewise needs some extra function keys. Such include the control panel, keyboard, data collectors, memories, etc.
Key Advantages of Total Station
The following are major benefits of using the total station in surveying,
#1 Ease of Use
One of the major benefits of using a Total Station in surveying is its user-friendly design. The instrument is easy to operate and understand, making it a popular choice among surveyors and engineers.
Additionally, Total Stations can simultaneously measure both distance and horizontal angles, allowing for more efficient data collection. The instrument also simplifies the process of determining northing-easting (coordinates) which is used for creating maps and plans.
Along these lines, the surveyor can occupy a greater amount of their time and energy on basic design and insightful issues.
#2 Speedy Work
Another benefit of using a Total Station in surveying is its speed and efficiency. The instrument is capable of collecting data quickly and accurately, which enables surveyors to work faster and cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.
This can greatly reduce the time and cost of a project. The speed and efficiency of the Total Station also allows surveyors to complete the task in less time and get out of the field quickly, which can be especially useful in areas with harsh weather conditions or challenging terrains.
Another benefit of using a Total Station in surveying is its ease of setup and use.
The instrument is designed for quick and convenient setup, which allows surveyors to begin their work as soon as possible.
Additionally, the Total Station can be used to take multiple surveys from one station point, which makes it a versatile and efficient tool for data collection. This means that surveyors can take multiple measurements, such as angles, distances, coordinates, and elevations, from a single location.
This feature allows surveyors to cover more ground and reduce the time and labor required for a survey project.
A key benefit of using a Total Station in surveying is its high level of precision and accuracy.
The instrument is capable of measuring angles to a fraction of an arc second and distances to hundredths of a foot over thousands of feet. This level of accuracy allows surveyors to make precise measurements and produce detailed maps and plans.
This precision is especially useful in construction projects and land surveying where accuracy is vital for the design and execution of the project.
The high accuracy of Total Station is also beneficial when monitoring movement on land, building and structures over time.
#5 CAD interface
Another benefit of using a Total Station in surveying is its ability to easily transfer data to a computer-aided design (CAD) program.
The instrument’s data collector can be connected to a computer, allowing for easy transfer of data, such as coordinates, distances, and angles, into a CAD program. This feature allows surveyors to quickly and easily create detailed maps, plans, and 3D models of the surveyed area.
This feature also allows surveyors to share their data with other members of the team, such as architects, engineers, and contractors, which can help to ensure that everyone is working with the same accurate and up-to-date information.
#6 Avoids Manual Mistakes
Using a Total Station in surveying also improves the speed and accuracy of fieldwork. The instrument’s automated features, such as angle measurement and distance calculation, eliminate the need for manual calculations, which reduces the chance of human error.
This results in more accurate data and more efficient fieldwork, which reduces the time and cost of a project. Additionally, the automation of the Total Station eliminates the need for manual data recording, which further reduces the chance of errors and mistakes in the field.
This allows surveyors to work quickly and confidently, knowing that their data is accurate and reliable.
#7 Fast Calculations
The Total Station also offers fast and accurate calculation of coordinates.
It automatically takes into account and makes the necessary corrections for factors such as temperature and pressure, which ensures that the measurements are accurate.
The instrument’s advanced technology and built-in software allow for quick and easy calculation of coordinates, making the survey process more efficient and accurate.
The Total Station’s ability to automatically correct for environmental factors also reduces the chances of human error and improves the overall precision of the survey.
This makes the Total Station an ideal tool for a wide range of surveying applications, including construction, land surveying, and mapping.
#8 Easy Computer Integration
Using a Total Station also facilitates the process of map-making, plotting contours, and creating cross-sections. The raw data collected by the instrument can be easily downloaded to a computer and processed using specialized software.
This allows surveyors to create detailed maps and models of the surveyed area, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including land planning, construction, and resource management.
Additionally, the ability to easily change scales and contour intervals on the computer makes it easy to create maps and models that are tailored to specific needs.
This feature allows surveyors to quickly and easily create maps that are suitable for a wide range of applications, making the Total Station an extremely versatile tool for surveying and mapping.
The capability of a Total station
The microprocessor unit of a Total Station is responsible for processing the data collected by the instrument. It can perform a variety of calculations, such as:
- Calculating an average of the angles measured.
- Calculating an average of the distances measured.
- Computing the distance between two points.
- Computing the horizontal distance between two points.
- Computing the elevation of an object.
This allows surveyors to quickly and easily obtain the results of their measurements, without the need for manual calculations. The microprocessor unit also allows for the storage of data on the field, which can be transferred to a computer for analysis and further processing.
This feature greatly improves the efficiency and accuracy of the survey process and allows surveyors to make more informed decisions based on the data collected.
How to Use Total Station In Surveying
The following are steps involved in the use of total station in surveying…
Step 1: Setting Up Tripod
The tripod is an essential component of the Total Station setup. The legs of the tripod are positioned to be spaced equally, which ensures stability and accuracy during the survey.
The head of the tripod stand should also be level, this allows the instrument to be properly aligned and take accurate measurements.
It is important to ensure that the position of the standing head is fixed so that the top of the mount lies directly over the station mark.
This allows the surveyor to take accurate measurements from a known point, which is critical for producing accurate maps and plans.
Properly setting up the tripod is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and precision of the survey, and it is important to take the time to ensure that the tripod is properly aligned and level before taking measurements.
Step 2: Mounting Total Station On The Tripod
Once the Total Station has been set up and properly aligned on the tripod, the instrument should be mounted onto the stand.
To mount the Total Station, it should be supported with one hand while the other hand is used to secure the centering screw. This process ensures that the instrument is properly secured to the stand and that it is level and stable.
Once the Total Station is mounted, it can be used to take precise measurements and produce accurate maps and plans. It is important to take care when mounting the Total Station and to ensure that the instrument is properly secured to the stand before taking any measurements.
Step 3: Focusing on The Survey Point
After the Total Station has been set up and mounted on the tripod, the next step is to focus on the point to be surveyed. This is done by using the optical plummet, which is a device that helps to align the instrument’s crosshairs with the survey point.
The optical plummet is a small telescope that is mounted on the instrument, and it is used to accurately aim the Total Station at the survey point.
By looking through the optical plummet, the surveyor can align the crosshairs with the survey point, ensuring that the instrument is properly aimed and that the measurements will be accurate.
This step is crucial for ensuring that the Total Station is properly aimed and that the measurements will be accurate.
Step 4: Leveling The Total Station
After the Total Station is aimed at the survey point using the optical plummet, the next step is to level the instrument.
This is done by adjusting the leveling foot screws, which are located on the instrument, until the survey point is centered on the optical drive. This ensures that the instrument is level and that the measurements will be accurate. Additionally, the surveyor will adjust the tripod legs so that the bubble vial, which is used to indicate the level of the instrument, is centered.
This step is crucial for ensuring that the Total Station is properly leveled and that the measurements will be accurate. Once the instrument is level, the surveyor can take measurements with confidence, knowing that the data collected will be accurate.
To properly level a Total Station, the first step is to adjust the air bubble by turning the two-foot screws in the same direction until it is centered.
Then, the excess foot screw is adjusted to keep the air bubble centered. This process is repeated multiple times until the air bubble stays in the central position, indicating that the instrument is level.
This is important to ensure accurate measurements. It is important to ensure that the instrument is properly leveled before taking any measurements, as even a small deviation from level can result in inaccuracies in the data.
Step 5: Verifying The Leveling Electronically
To begin using a Total Station, the instrument should be turned on by pressing and holding the “ON” button on the keypad.
Once the instrument is turned on, a beep will be heard. Then, the screen will display the instrument’s main menu and the user can select the desired function. Next, the leveling foot screws are adjusted until the electronic bubble is centered.
The instrument should then be rotated 90 degrees and the leveling process should be repeated to ensure that the instrument is level in all directions. This step is crucial for ensuring that the Total Station is poperly leveled and that the measurements will be accurate.
Once the instrument is level in all directions, the surveyor can start taking measurements with confidence, knowing that the data collected will be accurate.
Step 6: Adjusting The Image & Focusing on The Cross-Hair
After the Total Station is properly set up, leveled, and turned on, the next step is to focus the telescope. This is done by releasing the horizontal and vertical clamps and pointing the telescope at a distant, featureless light source.
The cross-hairs are then adjusted until the image is in perfect focus. Next, the telescope is centered on the target and the center ring is adjusted until the target is in clear focus. To eliminate parallax, the head of the instrument should be moved slightly to one side while keeping the target in focus.
This step is crucial for ensuring that the Total Station is properly focused and that the measurements will be accurate. With a clear and focused image, the surveyor can take measurements with confidence, knowing that the data collected will be accurate.
Step 7: Taking The Measurements
Once the Total Station has been properly set up, leveled, turned on, and focused, it is ready to take measurements or observations.
The surveyor can then use the instrument to take precise measurements of angles and distances, which can be used to create detailed maps and plans of the surveyed area. The surveyor can also use the Total Station to determine the elevation of an object, the coordinates of a point, and other surveying-related information.
The data can be stored on the data collector or directly transferred to a computer for further analysis and processing. It’s important to follow the above steps in order to ensure that the measurements taken are accurate and reliable.
Types of Total Station
The following are various total station types used in surveying…
Type 1: Mechanical Total Stations
Mechanical total stations are a type of surveying instrument that rely on mechanical parts, such as gears, to perform measurements. They are known for their reliability and accuracy, and they are widely used in surveying and construction projects.
They typically require two people to operate, one to hold the instrument and another to record the measurements.
While they do not offer the advanced features of newer electronic total stations, such as remote control operation and automated features, they are still a reliable and accurate tool for surveying tasks. They are also simple to use and maintain, which makes them a popular choice among surveyors and engineers.
Type 2: Robotic Total Stations
Robotic Total Stations are the most advanced type of total station, which incorporate advanced technology and automation. They allow for remote control operation and can be operated by a single person, which greatly increases efficiency and safety on the job site.
They feature advanced capabilities such as automatic targeting and tracking, which allows the instrument to automatically rotate and aim at the target, this allows the surveyor to move around freely while the instrument is collecting data.
Their capability to work remotely, which can be done through a remote control or a computer, allows surveyors to collect data safely in hazardous areas or from a distance. Due to their advanced features, Robotic Total Stations are typically used in large scale construction projects and land surveying where precision and speed are critical.
Type 3: Prism Total Stations
Both mechanical and robotic total stations fall under the category of prism models. These total stations are considered more traditional than other models, such as laser total stations, and are still widely used in surveying and construction.
They use prisms to reflect infrared waves, which are then used to determine angles and distances by measuring the prism’s location. These total stations are known for their accuracy and reliability, and they are simple to use and maintain. They are commonly used in a wide range of surveying applications, such as land surveying, construction, and mapping.
Type 4: Reflector
Both mechanical and robotic total stations also come in reflectorless versions. These newer models of total stations are useful for taking measurements in challenging circumstances, such as in difficult terrain or in places that are hard to access on foot.
They do not require the use of a prism, instead, they use a laser beam to measure the distance to the target, which is reflected back to the instrument. Reflectorless total stations are known for their accuracy and precision, and they are commonly used in a wide range of applications, such as construction, land surveying, and mapping.
Their ability to take measurements without the need for a prism allows them to be used in situations where a prism would be impractical or dangerous to use.
Uses of Total Station in Surveying
Followings are major total station uses in the field of surveying…
1. Distance Measuring
One of the primary functions of a Total Station is distance measurement. It uses a regulated infrared signal to measure distance by sending it to an object and measuring the time it takes for the signal to be reflected back to the instrument.
This method is highly accurate and allows for precise measurements to be taken. The infrared signal is generated by a solid-state transmitter within the Total Station and the reflected signal is then processed by the built-in microprocessor of the instrument to determine the distance.
This technology is widely used in a variety of applications such as construction, land surveying, and mapping, as it allows for quick and accurate measurements of distances even over long distances.
2. Angle Measurement
Another key function of a Total Station is the measurement of angles between two points. This is accomplished by using the electronic and optical filtering system of the telescope. The telescope is equipped with a rotating glass that contains the scan lenses, and these lenses are used to measure the angles with high precision. In digital Total Stations, angle measurements are directly recorded and stored in the instrument’s memory.
The recorded data can then be transferred to a computer for further processing, mapping and analysis. This feature is widely used in a variety of applications such as construction, land surveying, and mapping. It allows surveyors to take precise measurements of angles between points, which is critical for creating accurate maps, plans, and designs.
3. Co-ordinate Determinations
Determining the location of points in a field is another crucial use of a Total Station. The instrument can be used to calculate the X, Y, and Z coordinates of any point, which is a critical step in creating accurate maps and plans. This is done by measuring angles and distances to various points and using trigonometry to calculate the coordinates of each point.
This capability is widely used in a variety of applications such as construction, land surveying, and mapping, as it allows surveyors to quickly and accurately determine the location of points in the field, which is essential for creating accurate maps and plans.
Before any mining work can begin, it is important to conduct a mining survey. The Total Station is a crucial tool used for this purpose. Surveying is essential to create accurate maps, plans and models of the mining area.
Total Station is used to measure distances and angles, and determine the location of points in the mining area. This information is used to create detailed maps of the mining area and to plan out mining activities. They can also be used to measure the volume of mineral resources, the shape and contours of the land, and to check the stability of slopes and excavations. Total Station plays an important role in mining survey as it provides precise and accurate data which is crucial for safe and efficient mining operations.
5. Civil Engineering Construction Works
The Total Station is a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of civil engineering and construction applications. Its ability to measure angles and distances quickly and accurately makes it ideal for a variety of tasks, including:
- Creating maps and plans: The Total Station can be used to measure angles and distances and determine the location of points in the construction area, which is essential for creating accurate maps and plans of the site.
- Demarcating property lines: The Total Station can be used to determine the boundaries of a property and mark them out on the ground for legal and survey purposes.
- Land surveying: The Total Station can be used to survey large areas of land quickly and accurately, which is essential for determining the contours of the land and the location of features such as roads, buildings, and utilities.
- Determining the alignment of roads, bridges, and tunnels: The Total Station can be used to measure angles and distances and determine the alignment of various structures, which is essential for ensuring that they are built to the correct specifications.
- Building construction: The Total Station can be used to measure angles and distances, which is essential for determining the location of points, and the layout of the construction site.
Overall, the Total Station is a versatile tool that plays a critical role in many aspects of civil engineering and construction projects.
Precautions to be Taken While Using Total Station
When using a Total Station on the field, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure accurate results and to protect the instrument from damage. Some of these precautions include:
- Handling the Total Station properly: The Total Station should be held by both hands and handled carefully to prevent any damage to the instrument.
- Stable surface: The tripod should be placed on a stable surface as much as possible to ensure accurate measurements.
- Battery: Always keep the Total Station battery charged and have a spare battery pack with you.
- Tripod movement: The Total Station should not be moved from one station to another while mounted on the tripod as it may cause inaccuracies in the measurements.
- Tribrach handling: When the tribrach has been removed from the Total Station, it should be handled carefully as it is a delicate part of the instrument.
- Weather conditions: try to avoid using the total station in bad weather conditions as it can cause inaccuracies in the measurements.
By following these precautions, you can ensure that the Total Station is used correctly and that accurate measurements are obtained.
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What is Total Station?
What is Functions of Total Station?
Reflectors: The reflector is quietly the most fundamental function of the Total station. This is because of the Total station capacities or takes the estimations using the reflected beams.