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Surveyors Achieve Productivity and Accuracy Remotely with Trimble RTX

How we helped wind farms bring clean energy online
Cape Survey Ltd. explains how it reduced time and costs using Trimble RTX technologies to survey a site for a wind farm in South Africa.
Challenge

Cape Survey Ltd. was selected to determine the location for 61 large wind turbines, capable of powering 120,000 homes. While the site provided excellent conditions for GNSS, its remote location made it difficult to achieve the required accuracy and ties to South Africa’s reference system. There was no connection to cellular service, and the nearest survey reference station was more than 100 kilometers away.

Approach

The Cape Survey crew was equipped with a new Trimble R2 GNSS receiver and a subscription to Trimble CenterPoint® RTX positioning service. The Trimble R2 and CenterPoint RTX provided precise real-time positioning without the need for RTK base stations or cellular connection to the Internet. Using the Trimble R2 with a Trimble TSC3®controller running Trimble AccessTM software, the crew initialized their survey and began collecting points. They checked into the 2014 control points with good results and used the points to calibrate precisely to the project grid. Because they could work without ties to an RTK base, they could move freely – or as fast as the deep sand and rutted roads would allow.

“The value of the system is clear. On just this one job we’ve more than paid for the year’s subscription to RTX.” Ian Thompson, Surveyor, Cape Survey Ltd.

Results

They cut the time on-site by two-thirds, while consistently achieving around 20 mm accuracy. The CenterPoint RTX solution initialized in 15 to 20 minutes and could be done while driving to the first points. Once converged, the satellite-delivered RTX solution could be held as the team moved around the site.

About Trimble CenterPoint RTX

Built on Trimble’s exclusive RTX technology, Trimble CenterPoint RTX provides high-accuracy GPS positioning services via satellite or cellular delivery worldwide. It’s ideal for jobs requiring high accuracy in remote locations.
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