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StarFireTM provides great savings for remote regional surveys

Sep 2015 | No Comment

Peter Terrett

Owner RapidMap Global

How does NavCom offer solutions for unique customer applications like mining?

The NavCom GNSS receivers provide unique advantages over normal RTK GNSS equipment. The integration of RTK with NavCom’s StarFireTM service enables the user to continue to work at RTK accuracies for up to 15 minutes where RTK correction signals can be easily lost. RTK-Extend means you can concentrate on your project and not on your equipment.

By removing dependency on base stations, how does StarFireTM benefit its customers, especially in the field of very remote area gravity and geodetic surveys?

In Australia, 5 cm does not constitute good geodetic accuracy so StarFireTM does not generally apply for geodetic surveys. In regards to gravity surveys it provides great savings for remote regional surveys. In remote areas it can take a couple of hours to travel a couple of kilometers. So setting up a base station, then travelling from and back to it can be time consuming. This is made worse when there may be issues with wildlife, radio propagation, batteries or other factors affecting the performance of the base station. With StarFireTM fully converged, you can simply travel to the points of interest and take your readings. Of interest, we have found that the NavCom will work under a helicopter rotor whereas some other manufacturers simply will not.

Sibelco purchased a LAND-PAK package from Peter Terrett at 4Dglobal (RapidMap Group) in July 2012. This package was splitup for two very different uses. One SF-3040 head-unit was mounted on a dredge at a sand-mining site in Victoria and the other SF3040 head unit plus pole and data-collector have been used as a travelling DGPS (StarFireTM corrected) rover for informal survey, mapping and set-out at sites around the country. Both units have performed reliably and demonstrated sub-decimetre accuracy and repeatability. The DGPS (StarFireTM) rover has proven to be relatively easy to use. Users ranging from surveyors to non-technical personnel have been able to readily complete useful surveys. Tasks completed with this unit include topographic surveys, geological mapping, grade control set-out/pick-up, exploration/resource drilling set-out, blast pattern set-out and pick-up and set-out/validation of earthworks and pit designs. The dredge-mounted unit has been in service almost continually for three years. It is mounted to a mast and powered from a UPS based on a deep-cycle marine battery. This allows the unit to continuously stay in highprecision StarFireTM mode. NMEA data is sent over a custom-built COM cable to real-time navigation and mapping software which assists the operators in mining to plan. The dredge software also logs cutter position and averaged water-level (tide) derived from the NavCom GPS. This logged data (approximately 13.5 million points to date) is used to monitor dredge position, record changing pond levels and model the asmined underwater surface.

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