Kentucky Patent of the Month – June 2023

In the field of civil engineering, accurate data collection is crucial for the success of projects. The traditional methods of manual surveying are time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to inefficiencies and delays. Carlson Software, innovators in land surveying and civil engineering technology, is working to change the game with their hands-free survey data collection system.

Their newly patented technology is a Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data collection system which allows for electronic height detection, leveling, and hands-free collection from survey range poles.

The system comprises several components that work together seamlessly to provide real-time, accurate data collection. At the core of the system is a GNSS receiver and survey prism that is mounted on a range pole. This receiver generates three-dimensional location data, while the range pole, with its adjustable length, allows for precise distance measurements using an electronic measurement device such as a laser range finder or a linear magnetic encoder.

To ensure accurate leveling, the range pole is equipped with a plurality of inclination sensors along mutually orthogonal axes. These sensors generate inclination data, which is utilized by a virtual level component implemented in the data collector computer. The virtual level displays real-time tilt information on a graphical user interface (GUI), providing instant feedback to the user.

The data collection module implemented in the data collector computer acts as the brain of the system. It receives data from the GNSS receiver, inclination sensors, and electronic measurement device in real-time. As the system is moved along a site, the module automatically captures length data and location data when the pole is within a predetermined level tolerance of the horizontal distance from level. These captured data points are combined to create a precise three-dimensional representation of the site.

To ensure accuracy, the system incorporates an accuracy module that ranks the captured data points. The module divides the data into clusters and stores the highest-ranking point in each cluster. This ensures that only the most accurate data is retained for further analysis and processing.

Furthermore, the data collection module compensates for pole inclination by adjusting the location data. By incorporating directional sensors, such as an electronic compass, the system can also account for the orientation of the GNSS receiver and/or survey prism in a horizontal plane. This ensures that the corrected location information is accurate and reliable. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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