GNSS Enabled Rugged Tablets Streamline Road Construction Projects

Applying-Mobile-Solutions-to-Construction-Mapping-and-Surveying2With a new year ticking over, the number of crisscrossing lines for electricity, water, gas mains, and more across the nation has never been higher. Roadway designers and construction managers can utilize rugged tablets with GNSS modules to accurately track and avoid existing infrastructure, allowing for less chance of utility disruption due to an accidental line break during excavation or road laying.

Department of Transportation officials in many states face the challenge of repairing, replacing, and expanding existing roadways or making way for new highways and bridges. Knowing precisely where every line is can prevent costly delays and interrupted service for thousands of people, bringing in road construction projects on time, on budget, and with a streamlined process that is beneficial to everyone in the vicinity.

GNSS rugged tablets provide the ability for highly accurate mapping and checking in the field to allow road plans to be made, revised, and finalized in the field, with instant updates to all copies of every file and map, from the architect’s office to the project manger’s device.

The tablets have a dual frequency GNSS module built-in, providing stand-alone sub meter accuracy to centimeter level accuracy thanks to connectivity with Real Time Kinematics from GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO satellites.

Each tablet is also compatible with existing survey and GIS software for mapping applications, and capable of bringing together the advanced workflow from initial data capture to confirmed, accurate positioning and device syncing for final data transmission.

This avenue for high-accuracy geospatial measurements has been a game changer for state workers, since the tablets enable them to save time, reduce costs and improve the accuracy of projects. Every physical aspect of the job can be improved through ‘digital-as constructed’ measurements, which deliver precise results for faster completion and less chance of accidents on site.

Furthermore, GNSS enabled rugged tablets also provide road construction vendors and state officials with a contract verification system. The highly accurate digital-as-constructed measurements are delivered immediately and stored forever. This results in a streamlined process for billing, since there is no need for disputes or independent re-measurement checks if billing discrepancies appear at the end of a project. The data on file can be referred to and quickly settle any issues.

States can also take advantage of GNSS tablets for other engineering projects, forest fire control, wetland projects, biology and geology initiatives, and more.

RTK Tablets have Cross Industry Impact From Crash Site to Construction Site

Applying-Mobile-Solutions-to-Construction-Mapping-and-Surveying2DT Research is introducing a powerful new tool with cross-industry benefits for in the field work in the form of a portable, seven inch, military grade rugged tablet with scientific-grade GNSS and integrated RTK positioning.

This tablet can effectively transform the way land surveying, e-construction and building information modeling, forensic mapping and collision reconstruction are handled in the field, enhancing the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems.

Benefits for Public Safety

While multiple applications for the RTK tablet abound, the most impressive benefits are identified in crash scene clearing and reconstruction, and the speed and accuracy of these tablets for mapping and recreating crash scenes allows for sites to be cleared in a fraction of the time required by normal site survey methods, resulting in lowered time and financial costs as well as minimized risk for law enforcement and civilian personnel on scene.

Customized for Portability and Ease of Use

The DT372AP-TR RTK tablet has the same high end, military grade build that can be expected from customized rugged tablets from DT Research, with an IP65 rating and lightweight, portable rugged case to allow for maximum versatility for office to vehicle to field use. Sunlight readable displays make it easy to view from indoors to outdoors and back again.

This is a compact tablet that offers all the functionality of a rugged RTK tablet with ultra-mobility. The flexibility is crucial to law enforcement and first responders, who need weight and portability to be considered when adding extra pieces of equipment to an already massive array of heavy items they must carry onto a developing scene.   

Capable of Meeting Scientific and Legal Standards

Built in dual frequency GNSS modules utilize real-time reference points from aerial photogrammetry, to create 3-D recreations of sites with 1-2 centimeter accuracy. RTK GNSS positioning can be utilized to measure directly using an external antenna, for 3D Point Cloud creation that delivers centimeter-level accuracy and meets or exceeds court standards for evidence.

The tablet provides ease of use, featuring programmable side buttons and directional pad as well as being compatible with existing survey and GIS software for mapping applications.

Cross Industry Applications

Public safety teams, investigators and crash reconstructionists will be able to utilize this tablet to collect accurate, scientifically and legally defensible data by utilizing tablet / drone parings to drive down costs and time investment on the scene while delivering superior results.  

Surveyors can use the tablet to measure altitudes, angles and distances and plot to land surface maps to help determine property boundaries and construction layouts. Construction workers can readily complete all processes having to do with highway construction contract documents, relying on an accurate and paperless environment for speed and efficiency.

This RTK tablet is the ideal device for collecting and data capture, accurate positioning, and data transmitting for streamlined workflows and real time communication of vital details.


3 Ways Rugged Tablets are Revolutionizing Forensic Mapping

FR1Rugged tablets have become crucial tools in many industries ranging from the military and government work to hospitality, healthcare, and construction.  Purpose-built rugged tablets can save time and money, while driving outcomes that surpass traditional methods and usher in a new era of digitization.

Forensic mapping is being revolutionized by GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) rugged tablets. Non-land surveying work is now possible at a higher level of accuracy, delivering scientific-grade results more quickly and easily than conventional surveying equipment can and at a smaller cost.  First responders to collisions, natural disasters and crime scenes can benefit by this technology, which provides them with additional safety on site while delivering exceptional results.

Law enforcement personnel can now deploy GNSS-RTK rugged tablets with drones to obtain the necessary measurements for crime scene re-creation and deliver pinpoint accuracy that is able to meet legal requirements for evidence. The centimeter-level measurement accuracies of forensic mapping with rugged tablets is aided by the incorporation of aerial photogrammetry software, allowing multiple photos of scenes to be taken and processed to create a point cloud. The data points can then be used to reconstruct a 3D version of the scene.

Rugged tablets contain the storage, computing power, and software to quickly complete these processes, and produce survey grade accuracy for documentation that will stand up in court if required. Comparable methods relying on laser scanners can be exorbitantly expensive but using RTK-GNSS enabled rugged tablets gets the job done at a fifth of the cost.

Likewise, conventional total station equipment can take several hours to complete when relying on GPS systems alone. The same task could be completed in 20-30 minutes by combining GNSS-RTK rugged tablets with drones.

When reconstructing crashes close to major roads or in rugged terrain, drone/tablet pairing allows data to be obtained swiftly so the scene can be cleared and traffic congestion relieved. Many states can qualify for grants for this equipment as it can improve incident management and first responder safety. Secondary crashes occur in one out of five accidents and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, law enforcement officers, EMTs and rescue personnel. Clearing highway crash sites swiftly reduces the risk of such fatalities.

Conducting forensic mapping with GNSS-RTK rugged tablets and drones can improve not only the accuracy of data collected at non-land survey sites, but can mitigate negative downstream effects as well.



Applying Mobile Solutions to Construction Mapping and Surveying

Applying-Mobile-Solutions-to-Construction-Mapping-and-SurveyingGPS enabled rugged tablets have now managed to completely revolutionize contemporary construction mapping and surveying processes. Professional, survey-grade levels of accuracy allow construction managers to obtain necessary measurements with a handheld device that can record accurate map and survey data in the field.

Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation Global Positioning Systems (GPS) establish tight parameters for accuracy. When combined with rugged tech the centimeter level accuracies of measurement can be deployed for either primary mapping or ground control when deploying drones. Drone mapping incorporates aerial photogrammetry, enabling tablet users to rapidly take multiple photos which can be analyzed and incorporated into the bigger picture.

Once imaging of a site is complete, software that reconstructs three-dimensional images of the terrain can be employed. Subsequently, the RTK GPS refines the accuracy of aerial data (accurate to 3 meters) down to an accuracy of mere centimeters by matching, positioning, and verifying the real world coordinates of the data points.

Survey-grade accuracy is essential to contractors working on building sites, but the time involved in standard surveying (and its dependence on worker availability, equipment transport, and more factors) can make this task difficult to accomplish on a tight deadline.


Deploying rugged tablets and drones can significantly reduce the time needed to accomplish for surveying and mapping, particularly in rough terrain where rapidly collecting accurate data is doubly difficult. A task that would typically take hours can now be completed in 20 minutes by combining the RTK GPS capability of rugged tablets with speed and penetrability of drones.

These rugged tablets contain the storage, computing power, and software to quickly complete mapping procedures with the survey-grade accuracy essential to documenting building sites. The results are certifiable and can be used to drive construction planning forward quickly, even in areas that are hard to reach or which have rough terrain that must be worked around.

Conducting surveying or mapping with rugged tablets and drones also opens new possibilities for an entirely new avenue of remote analysis. This technology provides ways for architects, main constrictors, subcontractors, site managers, and construction crews to integrate smoothly with city, county, and state governments.

Utilities can benefit by sharing and integrating information to correctly mark pipelines and underground wiring based on previous GPS mapping, minimizing risk of interference. In addition, rugged tablets are user-friendly, providing time and cost savings by allowing operators to be trained quickly and efficiently. Implementing accurate mapping via RTK GPS enabled tablets and drones is the future of surveying.