Investigation into Total Station On-board Software


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Author: Simon Cheung

Supervisor: Dr. Bruce Harvey


Leica TCRP1203+ on CSE Rooftop pillars



This thesis is an investigation into on-board software in total stations. The software that is installed in total stations (electronic tacheometers) is often assumed to be correct and without problems. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the accuracy and assumptions in the programs algorithms, test the user-friendliness of the on board menu systems and also investigate some case studies of problemsí that surveyors have come across.Three (3) popular brands of total stations in the market were investigated in this study.

This study focuses on the on-board correction formulas that operators of total stations can set or select to turn ON/OFF in their instruments, including the First Velocity Atmospheric Correction, Curvature and Refraction, Mean Sea level Correction, Scale Factor, and Prism Constants. The thesis also investigates one of the most common methods of instrument setup, the resection that involves observing two (2) or more targets to compute the position if an unknown point.

There are field tests that test the routine of standard resection programs in good conditions and bad. A case study was also analysed regarding the resection software in a fourth (4th) popular brand of total station.

Some limitations of the on-board resection program were found, which may open up to a review of the failsafe messages programmed into a total station.

This project aims to open up a discussion on whether there should be an international standard on how total stations should be programmed in regards to the algorithms used.

School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems | Faculty of Engineering | UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052 | GMAT4015:THESIS 2009

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