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Leica Total Stations have been equipped with a software package used to simplify the survey tasks thus it is fast and effective. The total station is an optical instrument that uses the electronic distance meter together with the electronic transit theodolite in building construction and modern surveying.
The Leica total stations can, therefore, be used by a wide category of professionals, among them being engineers and archeologists; the total stations are also used in land surveying to record the man-made features and topography.
There are numerous construction and surveying applications around, but if you are looking for one of the best options, then Leica Total stations would be a great place for you to start. Total Stations are ideal instruments used in modern surveying. A total station (TS) or a total station theodolite (TST)n refers to the optical or the electronic instrument used in building construction and surveying.
What is total Station, and how does it works?
A total station is an electronic transit theodolite with an integrated system for electronic distance measurement (EDM) designed to simplify the measurement of both the horizontal and vertical angles, as well as slope distances from the TS to one specific point.
The Total Stations also measure topographic elevations, and you could also use it to carry out geodetic works and tachometric surveys. These measurement results will then be recorded directly into the device’s internal memory before the results are transferred into your computer interface. Besides recording excavations, these devices are also used by crime scene investigators, police, private accident reconstructionists, as well as insurance companies who make use of these devices to measure and evaluate scenes.
The Total Station also works as an electronic theodolite or transit that is then integrated with the electronic distance meter or EDM, as well as the internal data storage and the external data collector.
Note that because of the use of these devices in measuring distances and angles in surveys and coordinates, the recorded measurements are in X, Y, Z coordinate format for northing, easting, and elevation.
So, how do these stations work?
How do Total Stations Work?
While digital theodolites work great, the total stations work much better, which is why you need to invest in the best of Leica Total Stations. Not only are these devices more accurate and versatile, but they are also quite efficient, and they make it very easy for you to take measurements and to log in specific coordinates. These devices also make it easy for you to record and measure distances from specific points of reference. So, if you are planning to run a complete survey, the total station survey would be the most efficient option for you.
So, how exactly do the Total Stations work?
Total Stations are a combination of electronic theodolite, the electronic distance measuring device or EDM, and a microprocessor that comes with a memory unit. Thanks to this combination, it would be possible for you to determine the correct coordinates of the reflector that aligns with the instruments’ crosshairs on the device’s reflector, which will simultaneously facilitate the measurement of the vertical and the horizontal slope distances and angles. The microprocessor in the Total Station is vital as it ensures that the total Station takes care of the recordings, all readings, and computations.
The Total Stations can be used effectively where there are two points given when there’s only one coordinate provided, and the coordinate for the back station can be determined by any other method. Total Station also can be used when there aren’t any coordinates given, and in which case, an arbitrary system could be used.
To measure/ record data from these locations, the devices, also called Electronic Tachometers, will automatically measure the vertical and horizontal angles, along with slope distances, all from a single setup.
From the data collected, the tachometers will instantaneously compute the elevations, vertical and horizontal components, as well as coordinates; then, these numbers will be displayed on an LCD screen.
Besides recording and computing data, the Total Stations also store data, either on an external data collector or on board. In case the coordinates from the occupied Station as well as the references azimuth have been input into the system, the coordinates for the sighted point will be obtained immediately. Manual recording is avoided and eliminated where the information is stored in the automatic data collector.
Note that for the Total Stations to offer the most accurate data from some of the most delicate components, they have to be carefully packed and transported, then handled with care as they are removed from their cases. The Total Stations, like ordinary Theodolites, include leveling, centering, and the removal of parallax.
What are the Advantages And Disadvantages of Total Stations?
Advantages of Total Stations
- Versatility: The most significant advantage that comes with the use of the Total Stations is that the device can be put in multiple purposes, including topographic, cadastral, construction/ project surveys, and hydrographic surveys.
- Quick setup made possible by the placement of the equipment on a tripod and the use of a laser plummet
- It’s programmed on a computational board area during the computation of the field area in question.
- Zero writing or recording errors, and it offers more accurate measurements compared to all other surveying instruments.
- Greater accuracy for the computational area and better database integration
- Easy integration and automation of the old maps
- Full GIS function and creation, as well as are computation at the required scale.
- It measures distances between 3 and 5km
- It comes with support for local languages.
- It offers a graphical view of plots and the land being surveyed.
- They are used for averaging multiple distances and angle measurements.
- Easy data saving and transferability to PCs, and it integrates with the database with ease.
- It’s fast and time-saving, and you cause it to run multiple tasks at the same time.
Disadvantages of Total Stations
- The surveying devices are quite expensive in comparison with conventional instruments used in surveys,
- Some surveyors find them troublesome when it comes to investigating and checking the work/ area being surveyed.
- Skilled surveyors can only operate it since working it isn’t straightforward.
- For thoroughness in the survey work, you’d need to go back to the office then prepare new drawings, but only by using the right surveying software.
Functions of Leica Total Stations
- Making curvature along with refraction corrections for the elevations that are determined by different trigonometric leveling
- Correction of electronically concluded/ measured distances from atmospheric pressure, prism constant, and the temperature.
- Total stations help reduce the slope distances in their vertical and horizontal components.
- The stations also help in calculating the point elevations from vertical distance components. These components are the ones that are supplemented with the keyboard input of the instruments and the reflector heights.
The other functions of the Total Stations include the computation of coordinates for survey points, from the horizontal angles or distances. The different number computed include:
- Averages for multiple distances and angle measurements
- Vertical plus horizontal distances
- Inverses, resections, and polar
- Corrections for humidity, pressure, and temperature
- Computation of X, Y, and Z coordinates
How do you use Leica Total Station?
The operation of the Leica Total Station is a simple process that requires specialized use, but an understanding of the overall operational function is crucial.
To set up and operate this equipment, follow these steps.
Setting up the Total Station
First, identify the right location to set up your survey equipment. The area you choose could be a known point known by specific coordinates, for example, a monument or a survey pin. In the absence of a known location, you might place the surveyor’s stake with something like a crosshair in the ground; a crosshair pushed flush directly into the soil. It should be noted that in the absence of a coordinate, the device should be set up on top of a specific distinct feature.
Next, open the survey-grade tripod then extend the legs outwards to about three-quarters its maximum extent, while keeping in mind that you will have to look through the Total Station’s eyepiece. When setting up the tripod and the Total Station’s eyepiece, it would be a good idea to set it up to a comfortable height for your use.
Once done, you need to place your tripod at a position that is centered approximately over the top of the point and level with the legs spread out evenly and wide enough for maximum stability. Make sure that one of the three tripod legs is firm on the ground, focusing the peg at the end of the leg for extra assistance. Next up, attach your Total Station to the tripod stand by the use of the underside screw at the top of your tripod mount. Snugly screw down your Total Station, then insert fresh batteries and a memory card into the appropriate spaces.
Center and Level the Unit
Now that your Total Station is correctly fixed, it’s time for you to center and level the Total Station unit.
To do that, you have to first turn on the unit by pressing the shift key them the press button (the button with the headlamp icon)for the initialization of the electronic level. The red plummet laser will come on (activated) and visible directly on the ground. To confirm the redpoint, you need to place your hand right beneath the Total Station unit for verification.
Once you have the laser plummet on, you have to grasp the two other legs of your tripod right above the crosshair to plant the legs into the ground firmly.
Readjust the unit until you have the whole thing centered for the right setup.
Note that the electronic level works in the same way as the bubble level on the conventional survey tribrach. A small leveling circle within the set crosshairs of your target circle will appear on the display screen. You can use the tribrach’s small black foot screws to adjust the unit’s level. The tilt values will grow smaller as you get closer to leveling the unit.
To finely calibrate your Total Station, make use of the small external survey bubble in the middle of your Total Station, allowing you to get the approximate level.
Determining the Instrument Height
This is also called H1, and it’s crucial when using Total Stations. The accurate height is necessary for the surveys because your Total Station will use that H1 value to simplify the calculation of the value of the survey point right on the ground, a point based on geometrical offsets from a set optical sensor that records the survey measurements.
You need to space the brackets, extend the black leg’s height meter, then remove the height meter plus the spacing brackets to ensure the right height for your Total Station.
Top 10 Leica Total Stations for Surveyors used in construction and surveying applications
Califf Surveying Offering professional surveying equipment tools for working in construction. Here is the broad selection of Leica total stations we have, so you can find one that meets your specific needs.
1. Leica Nova MS60 ($24,900.00)
Nova MS60 from Leica is the new version of the world’s leading MultiStation, and it boasts elegant multitasking abilities. It offers advanced sensor fusion functions by combining the highest-end capabilities, GNSS connectivity, 3D laser scanning up to 30’000 points/ second, and digital imaging.
Nova MS60 from Leica also comes with Leica’s leading onboard software, Leica Captivate, which is easy to use and boasts top performance. The other features include AutoHeight and the Dynamic Lock designed to enhance its performance.
Leica nova ms60 – folks in the construction and survey industry can now perform all their surveying tasks with one instrument, the Leica Nova ms60 has successfully advanced sensor fusion by combining about four important activities in one total station. The unit can, therefore, be used for digital imaging, 3D laser scanning enables GNSS connectivity, and has the total station capabilities.
The Leica nova ms60 can also be used when analyzing complex structures and objects within a plant, utility, marine objects, and in construction. It can be used to measure buildings and structures among other functions.
- Can be used for both the real-time and periodic measurement of structures
- Applicable in the construction and mining spheres to check on the surfaces and material volumes
- Problems with measurements in adverse weather conditions
2. Leica Viva TS16 ($15,900.00)
Designed with the revolutionary Leica Captivate software, Leica Viva TS16 offers the most realistic 3D models that are quite workable. It’s the world’s nest self-learning Total Station made with the most intuitive technology that will adjust to different environments.
Leica Viva TS16 engaging software offers infinite opportunities while providing the best customer care support at the click of a button.
It further sports the 5-generation ATRplus that takes the device’s automation performance to a high level.
Leica Viva ts16 boasts of its comprehensive imaging capability, which enables users to capture the exact conditions of any work site. Even better is that the unit comes incorporated with the Leica captivate software, known to turn complex data into a realistic and workable 3D model. The total station works seamlessly by transmitting on-site information back to the office.
The unit has also incorporated the ATR plus technology, which enables the total station to focus only on your target thus gives zero consideration to other distractions within the environment.
- The unit is equipped with an engaging software
- The seamless data transfer keeps all the projects on track
- Needs software upgrade
3. Leica TS12 ($6,950.00)
Leica TS12 is one of the best robotic surveying packages that allow for the best find/ search, lock, and measure settings up to 1km with one click.
It delivers a high level of accuracy and reliability, optical range balance, beam balance, time measurement, and laser-dot size measurement.
Leica TS12 is robotic surveying that will find, lock, and measure up to 1000m with a single keypress.
The Leica ts12 is a total station designed for the future, first because it offers a 1000m range, prism not included, but with the lock icon, the TS12 will stay locked to your prism. The unit has additionally been equipped with a powerful search necessary for locating your prism moments after setup, the location notwithstanding.
For professionals on the ground who are into surveying and construction applications, they can expect a fast response from the Leica total station. The unit is also equipped with a lightweight CS10 radio field controller, complete with a fully integrated antenna technology for secure fast and long-range wireless connectivity.
- The unit is simple to use and offers clear graphics
- Incorporated the best search lock measure
- Involves a steep learning curve before use
This Leica MS50 is one of the first Multistation instruments that features a high level of efficiency, precision, accuracy, versatility, and quality. It offers the most integrated scanning for all details, unmatched versatility thanks to the use of the best technologies, as well as imaging assistance for all situations.
The Leica ms50 is considered the world’s first multi-station and can only be described in four words, smart, fast, better, and simple. The unit combines the total station’s functionality in one instrument; you will also be able to find GNNS connectivity, 3D laser scanning, and digital imaging.
Leica ms50 is still part of the Leica Nova Solution and therefore, contains an integrated data flow, which is straightforward and easy to understand; the total station has additionally been built on the latest technology and their services and support are accessible globally.
- The unit emphasizes high dynamic automation
- Power search allows quick finding of the target points
- Low sampling rate
5. Leica Nova TS60 ($19,900.00)
Regarded as the most accurate of Total Stations, this Leica Nova TS60 is a piece of precise total station equipment with AutoHeight, Dynamic Lock, and Leica Captivate.
Leica TS60 comes with the highest level of accuracy on stakeout tasks, measurement of structures and buildings, reference network and monitoring measurements, as well as control of the slab track installations, as well as clearance surveys.
The Leica Nova TS60 is believed to be the world’s most accurate total station and can effectively tackle the most demanding projects. The total station will afford you a high-level performance even in the harshest of conditions, be it the heat shimmer and reflections; or rain, dust, and fog. An interesting feature with this unit that is significantly missing in other Leica total stations is that it will provide you with the fastest re-lock in the event of an interrupted line of sight.
- Can be used when measuring buildings and structures
- offers high accuracy on stakeout tasks
- Dependent on computers for map making
As part of the FlexLine line of Total Stations by Leica, the Leica TS02 is one of the primary Total Stations that boasts state-of-the-art simplicity, a low number of operational elements, and the largest HD displays in its class. Its design makes it one of the best Total Stations for new users.
Leica ts02 turns out to be the perfect unit for standard measuring and by utilizing the standard application software; it has been configured for moderate accuracy applications. Transfer of information is seamless and convenient via the incorporated Bluetooth technology and processing is through the Leica smartworx Viva or any other relevant software.
The total station uses Lithium-ion batteries necessary for long life, takes a short time to charge, and has an operation time of up to 20hrs.
- Features an ergonomic key layout and large display
- The Flexline is water and dust protected
- Initial costs are high
7. Leica TS15 ($7,500.00)
Leica TS15 is a total R400 Imaging Total Station that offers the best in class robotic surveying.
It takes image notes, imaging for assisted surveying, and the best of search, lock, and measure features for reliable performance and accurate photo documentation of all the site conditions surveyed.
Leica Ts15 can be a handy surveying instrument given the incorporated features, for example, the advanced image sensor features a unique capture sketch link functionality that allows photo documentation of the site conditions. The unit has also incorporated an image-assisted surveying, that allows users to tap on the display and the total station will turn and measure the relevant target.
Users also have the liberty of integrating the full GNSS functionality to their total station and combine it with TPS efficiently.
- Allows users to capture image notes
- Unique power search is capable of easily finding your prism
- Usage involves a steep learning curve
8. Leica Flexline TS07 ($6,090.00)
Boasting a mid-to-high accuracy range, this Leica FlexLine manual Total Station offers a high level of precision and efficiency. It’s the new generation manual total station with AutoHeight for revolutionized height measurement.
Leica Flexline TS07 uses the FlexField Leica software for intuitive, easy to use, and comprehensive usage.
Leica geosystems are out to cater to all categories of users, so for the professionals who are into using the manual total stations then the Leica Ts07 is your unit as it will allow you to stake out tasks efficiently and easily. The unit has been determined to serve at least four groups of professionals, the first one being the civil engineers, the surveyors, mapping professionals, and building constructionists.
So what benefits can the above group derive from this total station, well for those in the construction field they can expect minimal downtime; surveyors will benefit from product durability, which then increases their planning certainty.
- The total station is pretty intuitive to use
- The total cost of ownership is budget-friendly
- Problems with a clear line of sight in adverse weather
9. Leica TS13 ($11,800.00)
This scalable mid-range robotic total Station is now regarded as the new standard for the most efficient surveying.
Leica TS13 upgradable, and it offers infinite possibilities thanks to Leica Infinity and Leica Captivate software for data simplification, 3Ds, and fast information processing.
Leica Ts13 is a unique total station that allows users to upgrade thus benefit from additional functionalities. The unit has incorporated engaging software and can turn complex data into workable 3D models, which can be communicated back to the office using Leica infinity.
The seamless data transfer ensures that the project stays on track and with high productivity; the Leica total station also features an automatic target recognition technology that contributes to a fast lock on prisms and offers accurate measures to targets.
- Project editing is fast and efficient thanks to Leica infinity software and captivate
- Users are sure of accurate measurements on targets
- Not easy to use
10. Leica Nova TM50 ($15,500.00)
Fitted with unique and high-performance components, this total station boasts one of the best monitoring solutions that integrate with other complete solutions seamlessly.
Leica TM50 also features GNSS antennas and receivers, as well as geotechnical sensors for the best management and monitoring systems. The software integrated and IT communication infrastructures further enhance its performance.
It features a 30X magnification telescope camera with autofocus and an overview camera for the best processing and complete visual documentation. Leica GeoMoS software offers a high level of flexibility for deformation monitoring systems.
Leica nova tm50 is a total station necessary for use in the management and monitor of structures, the unit has, therefore, been equipped with an advanced image processing technology, thus delivers good quality images best for visual documentation of the relevant environment.
Additionally, users can inspect the obstructions in the line of sight for safety in high-risk environments. The Leica total station is also known to offer the perfect results when used under the bright sun or in pitch darkness.
- Can be used in varied climatic conditions
- Incorporated a state of the art image processing technology
- Hard to achieve accuracy in adverse weather conditions
The Leica Total Stations come in different designs, and they run on the most advanced surveying software. There are Multistation, Robotic, and Manual Total Stations, and they all offer some of the best functionalities to ensure the best surveying functions for varied applications.