Modern surveying instruments provides faster and more precise surveying than conventional instruments. Their types and uses are discussed in this article.
In conventional surveying, chain and tape are used for making linear measurements while compass and ordinary theodolites are used for making angular measurements. Leveling work is carried out using a Dumpy level and a leveling staff. With such surveying instruments, survey work will be slow and tedious.
Hence modern surveying instruments are becoming more popular and they are gradually replacing old surveying instruments such as compass and Dumpy level. With modern surveying instruments, survey work will be precise, faster and less tedious. Some of the modern surveying instruments are discussed in this article.
Modern Surveying Instruments and Their UsesFollowing are the modern surveying instruments which are used for surveying:
- Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Instruments
- Total Station
- Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Automatic Level
a. Infrared Wave InstrumentsThese instruments measure distances by using amplitude modulated infrared waves. At the end of the line, prisms mounted on target are used to reflect the waves. These instruments are light and economical and can be mounted on theodolites for angular measurements. The range of such an instrument will be 3 km and the accuracy achieved is ± 10 mm. E.g. DISTOMAT DI 1000 and DISTOMAT DI 5
b. Light Wave InstrumentsThese are the instruments which measures distances based on propagation of modulated light waves. The accuracy of such an instrument varies from 0.5 to 5 mm / km distance and has a range of nearly 3 km. Eg: Geodimeter
c. Microwave InstrumentsThese instruments make use of high frequency radio waves. These instruments were invented as early as 1950 in South Africa by Dr. T.L. Wadley. The range of these instruments is up to 100 km and can be used both during day and might. Eg. Tellurometer
Total StationTotal Station is a lightweight, compact and fully integrated electronic instrument combining the capability of an EDM and an angular measuring instrument such as wild theodolite. Total Station can perform the following functions:
- Distance measurement
- Angular measurement
- Data processing
- Digital display of point details
- Storing data is an electronic field book
The important features of total station are,
- Keyboard-control - all the functions are controlled by operating key board.
- Digital panel - the panel displays the values of distance, angle, height and the coordinates of the observed point, where the reflector (target) is kept.
- Remote height object - the heights of some inaccessible objects such as towers can be read directly. The microprocessor provided in the instrument applies the correction for earth’s curvature and mean refraction, automatically.
- Traversing program - the coordinates of the reflector and the angle or bearing on the reflector can be stored and can be recalled for next set up of instrument.
- Setting out for distance direction and height -whenever a particular direction and horizontal distance is to be entered for the purpose of locating the point on the ground using a target, then the instrument displays the angle through which the theodolite has to be turned and the distance by which the reflector should move.