Hybrid+ Surveying – Make the Most of Your Instruments with New Module!

By Doug Aaberg • October 16th, 2018
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……an advanced field solution for collecting data.

When I first learned about this new module for SurvCE it was at the Go West user’s conference in San Diego last spring. I watched a demo of what was then a beta version of the software and being the practical application kind of person I am, was mostly interested in how this new technology could be used in day to day surveying. It didn’t take long to figure that part out.

In short, the Hybrid+ module is an add-on to SurvCE or SurvPC. It is designed for use with both a total station and a GNSS receiver. When in use, SurvCE/PC is collecting measurements from both the total station and the GNSS (GPS) receiver at the same time. Logistically, this works by placing both the 360° prism and the receiver on the pole when you survey.

Then you begin surveying in pretty much the same way as you always do but here are some of the really cool advantages:

1. One Button Switching
You can switch between GPS and Total Station mode right on the data collector with a simple toggle. It’s on or off. This makes it very easy to implement the hybrid mode on demand if you prefer to not always be present.

2. Grid Position on Startup
A very typical work flow for a lot of surveyors that are implementing GPS RTK receivers in their surveys is to establish beginning control points via their GPS unit. They then set up their total station on those GPS points, check the distance between both and usually end up holding one for position and elevation. With the hybrid module, there is no need for setting up grid coordinates prior to commencing the survey. It will essentially establish grid coordinates at the total station via a resection or localization. You do NOT need to first establish known coordinates but if you are tying in to an existing project or perhaps published control, you certainly can.

The program will scale the project upon setup so you won’t have to worry about the whole grid vs ground issue back in the office.

You will also receive a solution for your project coordinate system that is based on multiple points instead of just one or two, ie. position and rotation.

3. GNSS Tracking
One of the headaches I have always experienced with using a robotic total station is tracking. It is completely necessary so you don’t have to relocate yourself to the instrument on every shot, but sometimes when you need to tie your shoe or walk behind an obstruction, the total station loses lock and you have to re-establish position. There have been great improvements in that regard with much more intelligent tracking but with the hybrid module, the total station always knows where you are because you are always establishing a position. What that means is, you don’t have to have your instrument on tracking mode, which helps save some battery life. It even has a “follow me” mode that will turn the total station to your position every few seconds based on the GNSS location.

4. No Line of Sight? – No Problem
Since you are measuring continuously with your RTK unit, if you walk behind a building or lose line of sight with your instrument, it is no longer a problem. You can just switch to GNSS mode and continue surveying. Alternatively, if you lose satellites, you still have the use of your total station. It adds flexibility for your survey.

5. Position Validation
Another really useful feature to me is position validation. I once had a survey turned in where the data showed about a dozen shots all on the back sight. It turned out that the surveyor did not realize that the RTS (Robotic total Station) had locked on the back sight prism while he walked down the road collecting shots. There has also been more than one situation where a tail light from a car made its way into the survey. The hybrid module checks both the RTS and GNSS position and validates them within user controlled parameters. You will be alerted the next time your RTS decides to follow a car down the road.

6. Improved precision
Here is one enhancement that I was surprised to learn recently. Since this new module came out, many of the folks here at Carlson have been out testing results in the field to see how well it all works. Recently, Jesús Latova, Director of Data Collection Product Design went to a soccer stadium in Spain to test out the Hybrid+ module. The RTS he was using was a 5” instrument. He performed a resection using the Hybrid+ on 4 GNSS locations.

The results (in meters) are as follows:

–Points Used:21,22,23,24
–Dist RMS:0.0021
–Ang RMS(Sec):17.2065
–Elev RMS:0.0130
–Escala ET: 0.99958459
–GPS Escala: 1.00000000
OC,OP25,N 3108207.43014,E 455054.44390,EL257.115,–base

Those RMS values are just great. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but with the program using both measurements at the same time it sure seems like it is producing very good results.

Check it out!
I do believe it worth your time to contact your nearest dealer or Carlson Representative and ask for a live demonstration. I can easily see how some of these features would save time and more importantly to me, headaches in performing surveys especially when alone with a RTS.

What’s Next?
I haven’t actually tried this one out yet, but there is now also a voice feature. You won’t have to look down at the data collector when performing a stakeout!

This business never gets boring!


Let’s Grow Together.

Douglas L. Aaberg, PLS
Survey Product Manager

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