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Topcon Positioning Group’s new mapping kits for its Sirius Pro fixed-wing unmanned aerial system are designed to improve automated mapping accuracy.

Topcon enhances UAS packages

Topcon Positioning Group released two new mapping kits for its Sirius Pro fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS). The kits are designed for automated mapping of construction sites, building façades, mines, quarries, disaster areas, and more without regard to terrain. Both systems include an enhanced MAVinci Desktop Flight Planning software upgrade.

The first new package — Sirius UAS City Mapping Kit — includes a Fuji X-M1 8 mm lens designed to better capture urban surroundings. “It allows the image capture of vertical façades such as buildings, infrastructure, and construction sites,” said Charles Rihner, vice president of the Topcon GeoPositioning Solutions Group. “The upgraded flight planning software optimizes the planning, preparation, and processing to automatically produce a textured 3D model. Additionally, the kit allows acquisition of 3D models and orthophotos when flying below 50 meters altitude.”

The second new package — Sirius UAS High Resolution Mapping Kit — comes with a Fuji X-M1 27 mm lens. “This package allows the collection of images at the highest possible resolution for applications such as construction site monitoring, survey, and mapping topography,” Rihner said. “It allows operators to obtain higher-resolution images at the same altitude as compared with a standard lens.”

Information provided by Topcon Positioning Group (www.topconpositioning.com).


FHWA releases report on information modeling for bridges

Following a two-year effort, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a report, Bridge Information Modeling Standardization, which sets a path to implement the use of computer modeling for bridge construction in the United States.

During the last several decades, many industries have improved efficiencies by moving from document-based information exchanges to integrated data models. The construction industry, including buildings and heavy/highway, has lagged behind manufacturing industries for a number of reasons. The FHWA’s goal was to build on the progress that the buildings sector has made in building information modeling (BIM) standardization, through the work of the National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART Alliance, the buildingSMART International, and other industry participants, to advance the standardization of digital information for bridges — otherwise known as bridge information modeling (BrIM).

By developing the basis for industry consensus standards for BrIM and related data exchange protocols, FHWA provides a common approach to coordinate the various phases of bridge design and construction projects, as well as the ongoing maintenance and operation associated with asset management.

As the project lead, the National Institute of Building Sciences formed a team of experts in bridge design and construction and in open standards-based BIM using the buildingSMART International Industry Foundation Class (IFC) model. The team began by researching existing modeling standards and efforts; evaluating bridge planning, design, construction, and operations processes; and analyzing the state of practice to identify a path to BrIM implementation.

The resulting report, which is available in four sections, includes example component models of steel girder and reinforced concrete box beam bridges for use to exercise available approaches and determine capabilities and shortcomings. The report is for use by practitioners in transportation agencies, design firms, and software companies in the bridge domain. It is available to FHWA, the American Association of State of Highway Transportation Officials, state departments of transportation, and technology companies to implement the report’s recommendations to advance a common methodology for establishing BrIMs.

In addition, FHWA and the National Institute of Building Sciences are releasing a comprehensive BrIM exchange specification, IFC Bridge Design to Construction Information Exchange (U.S.), to support implementation by software vendors.

Information provided by the Federal Highway Administration. Download the FHWA report at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/pubs/hif16011. View and download the BrIM exchange specification at www.nibs.org/?page=bsa_bridge.


GSSI configurable GPR system for utility detection and more

UtilityScan Pro can be used to locate gas, communications, sewer lines, and other metallic and nonmetallic targets, including underground storage tanks and PVC pipes.

UtilityScan Pro can be used to locate gas, communications, sewer lines, and other metallic and nonmetallic targets, including underground storage tanks and PVC pipes.

Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (GSSI) released UtilityScan Pro, the latest addition to the company’s UtilityScan ground penetrating radar (GPR) product line. UtilityScan systems are used to identify and mark the location and depth of subsurface utilities. Featuring the SIR 4000 control unit, the UtilityScan Pro is configurable and flexible to address a wide range of utility applications.

According to GSSI, UtilityScan Pro is ideal for locating gas, communications, sewer lines, and other metallic and nonmetallic targets, including underground storage tanks and PVC pipes. The UtilityScan Pro also allows for real-time data collection, with a back-up cursor and cross-hair cursor that allow users to accurately locate targets. Additionally, the new GPR system allows users to utilize multiple techniques to calculate the depth of targets. It integrates with GPS and has the ability to store and replay data.

In addition to utility detection, UtilityScan products have a number of cart and antenna configurations to meet the needs of non-destructive testing and environmental applications, including bridge deck assessment and concrete scanning.

Information provided by Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (www.geophysical.com).


Bentley OpenRoads Navigator CONNECT Edition brings the civil Engineering office to the field

Bentley Systems’ OpenRoads Navigator CONNECT Edition provides civil and transportation professionals quick access to civil design information in the field. OpenRoads Navigator integrates with ProjectWise to support collaboration.

OpenRoads Navigator is available on Windows, iOS, and Android to ensure users have the right information at the right time to help save time, reduce errors, and make better decisions with the latest project information. Image: courtesy of Bentley Systems

OpenRoads Navigator is available on Windows, iOS, and Android to ensure users have the right information at the right time to help save time, reduce errors, and make better decisions with the latest project information. Image: courtesy of Bentley Systems

Key capabilities allow users to:

  • view, analyze, and augment a wide variety of project information, including geometry, 3D models, and 2D topography;
  • search and filter models based on attributes such as feature definition or geometric criteria;
  • locate model elements, station, offsets, and embedded properties;
  • walk through projects using GPS to view locations in real-world coordinates;
  • combine design artifacts with pay item tracking for field inspection; and
  • create mark-ups, including screenshots, pictures, mark-up text, and comments.

Information provided by Bentley Systems (www.bentley.com).

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