Total station

electronic distance measurement (EDM)surveying stationTotal station theodolite
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is an electronic/optical instrument used for surveying and building construction.wikipedia
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Theodolite

transittheodolitesphototheodolite
It is an electronic transit theodolite integrated with electronic distance measurement (EDM) to measure both vertical and horizontal angles and the slope distance from the instrument to a particular point, and an on-board computer to collect data and perform triangulation calculations.
The modern theodolite has evolved into what is known as a total station where angles and distances are measured electronically, and are read directly to computer memory.

Free stationing

Resection (Free Stationing)
To determine an absolute location, a total station requires line of sight observations and can be set up over a known point or with line of sight to 2 or more points with known location, called free stationing.
There is a zero point of reference called a total station.

Surveying

surveyorsurveyland surveyor
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is an electronic/optical instrument used for surveying and building construction.
They use equipment, such as total stations, robotic total stations, theodolites, GNSS receivers, retroreflectors, 3D scanners, radios, clinometer, handheld tablets, digital levels, subsurface locators, drones, GIS, and surveying software.

Position resection

resectionResection (orientation)intersection
A set of plugs can be used to locate the total station set up in a drift or tunnel by processing measurements to the plugs by intersection and resection.
Measurements can be made with a compass and topographic map (or nautical chart), Theodolite or with a total station using known points of a Geodetic network or landmarks of a map.

Retroreflector

retroreflectiveretroreflectionretroreflectors
This eliminates the need for an assistant staff member as the operator holds the retroreflector and controls the total station from the observed point.

Weather balloon

weather balloonsballoonsmeteorological balloon
Meteorologists also use total stations to track weather balloons for determining upper-level winds.
For such balloons, a theodolite or total station is used to track the balloon's azimuth and elevation, which are then converted to estimated wind speed and direction and/or cloud height, as applicable.

Prism (surveying)

prism
Most total stations use purpose-built glass prism (surveying) reflectors for the EDM signal.
In surveying, a prism is a corner cube or retroreflector, normally attached on a surveying pole, used as a target for distance measurement using, for example, a total station.

Tacheometry

tacheometerTachymetersubtense bar
In western countries, tacheometry is primarily of historical interest in surveying, as professional measurement nowadays is usually carried out using total stations and recorded using data collectors.

Construction

construction industrybuilding constructionconstruction site
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is an electronic/optical instrument used for surveying and building construction.

Rangefinder

rangingrange finderrangefinders
It is an electronic transit theodolite integrated with electronic distance measurement (EDM) to measure both vertical and horizontal angles and the slope distance from the instrument to a particular point, and an on-board computer to collect data and perform triangulation calculations.

Triangulation (surveying)

triangulationtriangulation networktriangulations
It is an electronic transit theodolite integrated with electronic distance measurement (EDM) to measure both vertical and horizontal angles and the slope distance from the instrument to a particular point, and an on-board computer to collect data and perform triangulation calculations.

Robotics

roboticroboticistFuture of robotics
Robotic or motorized total stations allow the operator to control the instrument from a distance via remote control.

Minute and second of arc

masarcsecondarc second
The best quality total stations are capable of measuring angles to 0.5 arc-second.

Infrared

IRnear-infraredinfra-red
Measurement of distance is accomplished with a modulated infrared carrier signal, generated by a small solid-state emitter within the instrument's optical path, and reflected by a prism reflector or the object under survey.

Wavelength

wavelengthswave lengthsubwavelength
The distance is determined by emitting and receiving multiple frequencies, and determining the integer number of wavelengths to the target for each frequency.

Frequency

frequenciesperiodperiodic
The distance is determined by emitting and receiving multiple frequencies, and determining the integer number of wavelengths to the target for each frequency.

Metre

metermmetres
Reflectorless total stations can measure distances to any object that is reasonably light in color, up to a few hundred meters.

Coordinate system

coordinatescoordinateaxis
Angles and distances are measured from the total station to points under survey, and the coordinates (X, Y, and Z; or easting, northing, and elevation) of surveyed points relative to the total station position are calculated using trigonometry and triangulation.

Elevation

hightopographic elevationelevated
Angles and distances are measured from the total station to points under survey, and the coordinates (X, Y, and Z; or easting, northing, and elevation) of surveyed points relative to the total station position are calculated using trigonometry and triangulation.

Trigonometry

trigonometrictrigonometricaltrigonometrically
Angles and distances are measured from the total station to points under survey, and the coordinates (X, Y, and Z; or easting, northing, and elevation) of surveyed points relative to the total station position are calculated using trigonometry and triangulation.

Triangulation

triangulatetriangulatedtriangulating
Angles and distances are measured from the total station to points under survey, and the coordinates (X, Y, and Z; or easting, northing, and elevation) of surveyed points relative to the total station position are calculated using trigonometry and triangulation.

Satellite navigation

GNSSnavigation satelliteglobal navigation satellite system
For this reason, some total stations also have a Global Navigation Satellite System receiver and do not require a direct line of sight to determine coordinates.

Data logger

data logginglogginglog
Some models include internal electronic data storage to record distance, horizontal angle, and vertical angle measured, while other models are equipped to write these measurements to an external data collector, such as a hand-held computer.

Map

Mapspolitical mapelectronic map
When data is downloaded from a total station onto a computer, application software can be used to compute results and generate a map of the surveyed area.