In early 1996 the Schällibaum engineering company, based in Ebnat Kappel in Eastern Switzerland and with several subsidiaries, prepared to purchase new surveying equipment, principally for the basic surveying involved in construction projects and for setting-out and inspection surveys on construction sites. The efficient use of personnel, and the improvement of the reliability and speed of fieldwork, were among the most important parameters considered during the evaluation. As a result, the short-list was soon whittled down to two candidates, the Real Time GPS (Leica GPS System 300) and the Leica TPS System 1000 with RCS 1000 remote control system. Because of the poor visibility of satellites from many construction sites, the GPS solution was rejected in favour of the remote-controlled total station.Application in practice
The new remote-controlled total station is already in regular use by the survey team from Schällibaum. On the Säntis 2000 construction site, where the weather conditions are often appalling (temperatures below freezing even in summer, and snow and rain) and where fast work is essential, the advantages of the automatic target recognition system of the TCA 1800 and those of the RCS 1000 remote control system are being exploited to the full.
The many inspection options offered by the on-board software of the total station enhance the reliability of the setting-out procedure. The automatic target-recognition system produces constant targeting accuracies and requires considerably less time than do manual procedures.
The ground surveys which serve as the basis for construction projects can partly be carried out solo with the new equipment, as can even the setting-out of points and of sight boards. In tracking mode, the setting-out is performed dynamically, as for GPS. By dispensing with at least one assistant, the costs of fieldwork can be reduced appreciably without sacrificing quality.Meeting requirements
The purchase of the new equipment has markedly improved the efficiency of the Schällibaum survey team. and although the decision to purchase represented a significant risk on account of the lack of practical experience, the equipment has fully come up to expectations. The larger capacity of the PCMCIA memory card, the ease with which data can be transferred, the expanded choice of user programs and the many configuration possibilities, all contribute to the higher productivity achieved in comparison to that of the previously-used Leica TC1600.