Texas is oil country. But before the rigs start pumping and the black gold flowing, pipes need to be laid and drilling locations must be staked. And that is where Topographic Land Surveyors, Inc. comes in. As a full-service special- ist in land surveying, GIS/mapping, and civil engineering, Texas-based Topographic Land Surveyors serves both the traditional and emerging energy sectors. “Our bread and butter is the oil and gas industry,” says Josh Waldrip, Manager of As-Built Services at Topographic. “From Texas to New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and North Dakota, we pro- vide our clients with the location and positioning for installing under- ground pipelines and for staking drill sites.” The Right Solution for Rural, Remote and Rough Terrain Before GNSS surveying came along, Topographic’s crews needed to start every job from a known or assumed control point. “This meant doing things the ”old school” way – carrying a total station or even using tape measures and chains,” says Waldrip. Today, 95 percent of Topographic’s work is done using GNSS. The company has 15 crews equipped with Trimble® R10 GNSS Receivers and Trimble CenterPoint® RTX correction service. Topographic regu- larly uses CenterPoint RTX for major projects such as staking wells and pipeline routes, along with smaller as-built projects. The company is currently using CenterPoint RTX to survey a 185-mile pipeline that runs from Oklahoma to Texas. Trimble CenterPoint RTX correction service uses GNSS data from a global network of GNSS reference stations. The data is streamed to Trimble control centers where it is processed by advanced modeling algorithms to generate correction data for real-time precise GNSS positioning. The corrections are broadcast to roving GNSS receivers via communications satellites or over the Internet via cellular phone services. The rover uses the information to produce high-accuracy GNSS positions. Users can achieve horizontal accuracy of 2cm in real time, equivalent to RTK but without the need for reference stations and radio datalinks. This use of satellites to deliver the GNSS corrections makes the system particularly well-suited for Topographic’s work in remote locations. “Getting to job sites is often a challenge for us,” explains Waldrip, “They tend to be in hilly, rocky, and generally rough areas. Precise Accuracy for Underground Pipelines Centimeter-level accuracy in remote locations is key to installing underground oil pipelines and staking drill sites. By Nick Klenske
The beauty of RTX is that it provides real-time location anywhere, meaning our crews don’t have to traverse through forests or other rough and sometimes dangerous terrain just to set up RTK base sta- tions or operate total stations.” In addition to dealing with rugged landscapes, crews regularly need to route pipelines around private property, archeological sites, protected habitats, utilities, and waterways. Waldrip said that CenterPoint RTX re- moves the headache of setting up, maintaining, and moving base stations. “Because we don’t have to set up a base station, use a radio or worry about cell service with RTX, we can hit the ground running,” he explained. “All we need to do is get in the truck, go to the job site, calibrate and start collecting data – it’s that simple, which is exactly why our crews love it.” Waldrip notes that satellite delivery comes with a cost-saving benefit. “RTX replaces both the radio and the GNSS base station, meaning we save the cost of regularly buying – and repairing – these units,” he adds. Providing the Needed Accuracy After using CenterPoint RTX on a number of smaller projects, Topo- graphic is putting the service to work on a pipeline surveying project Trimble CenterPoint RTX removes the headache of setting up, maintaining, and moving base stations.
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