Level Ground Excavation is a vital step in any construction project. It can help with various tasks, including drainage and foundations. It can also help with erosion control. Technology tools have made excavation services easier for workers. These tools are safer and faster, reducing the risk of on-site accidents.
Vacuum excavation is a non-mechanical method of digging that uses high pressure and suction to excavate soil. It allows construction and utility crews to safely uncover existing utilities without causing damage, which reduces project costs by minimizing time and money spent on labor, backfill and repair. It is a more accurate, safer and quicker way of excavating than traditional methods of digging and trenching.
The process of vacuum excavation utilises either water or air to break up the ground and remove the debris from the jobsite. Hydro excavation, or hydravac, is a common form of vacuum excavation that utilizes pressurized water jets to cut into clay, compound surfaces, mud, rocks and other types of soil. The water jets then suck up the dirt and underground material through flexible hosing that is connected to the unit’s debris tank. The waste is then sucked away from the jobsite and transported to a disposal site or used as backfill on the jobsite.
Another advantage of this technology is that it doesn’t have to come into contact with pre-existing underground infrastructure, which dramatically reduces the risk of accidents and property damage during the digging and excavation processes. This makes it the ideal choice for jobs that require delicate flora and fauna to be preserved, such as sites with tree preservation orders or where the roots of existing trees need to be carefully excavated.
While there are a number of specific applications for this technology, it is particularly effective when unearthing utilities and clearing underground workspace in congested areas. It allows construction and utility teams to work without disrupting traffic, while also ensuring that any damage caused is easily patched.
Another benefit of this technology is that it allows utility locators to see where the buried lines are located, which significantly reduces their time and effort. This helps to eliminate the possibility of damage during traditional mechanical excavation and greatly reduces insurance premiums as well as remediation expenses. It can also help to lower overall project costs by allowing for less disturbance to the surrounding environment and requiring fewer backfills due to its non-invasive nature.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a global navigation satellite system owned and operated by the United States Air Force that provides free, worldwide, continuous coverage and highly accurate positioning, velocity and timing. The service is comprised of two levels of accuracy: Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Precise Positioning Service (PPS). PPS is reserved for military, government, and select commercial users; SPS is available to anyone with a GPS receiver.
GPS has become a pervasive technology, enabling many of the products and services that we take for granted. For example, GPS is critical to aviation, maritime navigation, land and space-based applications and the tracking of assets like shipping containers or oil and gas wells. In addition, it is important for NASA’s mission to explore the planet – from navigating spacecraft to improving astronaut safety and scientific discovery.
It is important to understand how GPS contributes to our economy, particularly when making policy decisions to protect the service. Economic values are essential to assessing the impacts of actions like preventing interference, spectrum reallocation, or developing supplemental and backup systems. Additionally, value estimates can help inform planning for GPS modernization.
The NIST Boulder Time & Frequency Lab recently hosted a briefing led by RTI’s Director of Innovation Economics, Alan O’Connor. He presented the kickoff of a study that quantifies the benefits of GPS to the private sector from NIST-funded research and technology transfer contributions. The study examined 10 sectors of the economy that use GPS in their day-to-day business activities: agriculture, finance, location-based services, surveying, mining, telecommunications and energy.
The study uses a two-fold approach to estimate economic benefit: direct economic value and indirect economic value. Direct economic value represents increases in value to users above what would have happened without the GPS application or technology, while indirect economic value reflects benefits to suppliers and the rest of the economy. The direct economic benefits include productivity gains and savings in operating costs, as well as the cost of developing and maintaining alternatives to GPS.
Laser scanning, also known as high-definition surveying or reality capture, is an imaging technology that allows you to document a space by collecting millions of points. The points form a point cloud which can then be used to create maps, models or drawings for your project.
During the scanning process, a laser is directed at a surface from an angle and each time it reflects back to the scanner it is recorded by sensors. A computer then interprets the data to determine an object’s geometry. The data is then saved as a digital file for further analysis. There are two types of laser scanning technology: phase shift and time of flight. Phase shift laser scanners use the timing of returning pulses to calculate distance, while time-of-flight scanners are able to measure a larger range using a constant beam.
These technologies are useful for various applications in both the field and office. For example, architects and construction technicians use laser scanning to create 3D documentation of building structures and entire projects. This enables them to make accurate measurements of existing buildings for renovation or as-built surveys. This saves valuable time in comparison to manual measurements and enables the project team to meet deadlines more efficiently.
The same technology is used by archeologists to document excavations in the field. It provides an alternative to traditional tools such as tape measures, piano wire, plumb bobs and total stations which require manual measurements that can take days or weeks depending on the size of the space.
A long-range terrestrial laser scanner can be used in many environments to provide accurate, detailed measurements and to spot archaeological sites that are not easily accessible. For instance, a laser scanner can be used on oil platforms to document complex piping systems and prevent errors during installation, or to map underground tunnels so they are easier to navigate.
These scanners can also be used on road construction sites to speed up the timeline and deliver projects to their customers sooner. The savings in both time and costs are a major benefit for any company looking to improve their bottom line. Whether you choose to purchase the equipment, rent it, or use a service, laser scanning is an investment worth considering.
3D scanning technologies work by utilizing light, lasers, or sensors to digitally acquire the shape of a physical object. The result is a data matrix of surface samples blanketing the object’s surface three-dimensionally that can then be analyzed, used for prototyping, or modeled digitally to recreate an object. 3D scanners generally fall into two categories: contact and non-contact. Contact solutions use a probe that physically touches the part being scanned to record its position as it scans the surface, while non-contact solutions utilize a laser or other light source to detect the shape of an object’s surfaces.
The most common types of non-contact 3D scanners use a laser or other light to “scan” an object by emitting a series of laser pulses. A sensor then measures the time it takes for each pulse to reach each surface and return to the laser. This information is then used to reconstruct the object’s surface as a point cloud. This massive data set can then be processed into a 3D model, used for inspection, or compared to the original design’s CAD nominal data.
Some of the more advanced and sophisticated 3D scanners use structured light to examine an object’s surface. A pattern is projected on the object’s surface, and cameras mounted off of the projector and aimed at the subject’s shape measure how the pattern shifts as it moves across the surface to create a 3D model.
Another type of non-contact laser 3D scanning technology is called photogrammetry, or a “3D scan from photography.” It uses specialized computational geometrical algorithms to reconstruct 2D captures from the object’s surface into a 3D model. This is typically done on a large scale, such as in the case of a stadium or building.
Whether it’s to inspect construction progress or to help a design team develop new product prototypes, a high-quality 3D scan can save valuable man-hours and money. It also helps eliminate the need to produce costly molds and tooling based on blueprints, saving thousands of dollars in wasted materials. Adding this measurable data into a construction workflow can also help streamline the process for generating change orders and other essential documents like RFIs, submittals, and punch lists.