Survey Equipment

Survey Equipment


Merry Jen

The surveying instruments have changed a lot since the old days. It is easily accessible as it helps the world understand the dimensions and curves of the earth surface by measuring the distances, angles and heights. Some surveying instruments only measure one of these three components, because of which you will need different type of instruments to complete the work.

There are many surveying instruments that are commonly used. These are Hand level used to determine the height of a surface, Total station used to measure the distance, vertical and horizontal angles with the slope distance, Wheel measuring used to measure the rough distance, Level rods measures the difference in elevation and Abney level used to measure the elevation like the Hand level with crude measurements of vertical angles and slopes.

A hand held surveying instrument used for the rough checks of elevation and leveling work is called a Hand Level . It consists of a metal sighting tube. A bubble tube lies on the top of this metal tube and using a 45 degree mirror, it reflects the image into the tube which may allow you to see the landscape and the bubble itself. When the bubble centers itself between the horizontal lines within the tube, you have the level line of sight. However, it cannot be used in a wide open area.

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A Total station is an optical instrument used in modern surveying. It has a built-in Electronic distance measuring device and microprocessor. This makes the Total station measure the angles with the slope distance in one setup. It calculates the distance and angles automatically. It can also store some data so that you can download it onto your computer later on.

A Measuring wheel is used by rolling the wheel along the surface you need to measure. It has an odometer attached to the wheel. An odometer counts the number of complete revolutions made by the wheel which is changed into distance later on. A Measuring wheel will give an accurate result on a smooth surface but the result is affected if the surface is uneven.

Level rods measure the differences in elevation between the line of sight and the point which is above or below that line of sight. There are two different conditions, either use a wood or an aluminum level rod. Wood level rods can become bloated or compress when exposed to humid or wet environments, giving you false readings. However, an aluminum level rod can expand or contract in extreme weather conditions. Never allow the device to drag on the ground or hit hard objects since this will wear down the base of the device.

The Abney level allows you to measure the elevation with crude measurements of vertical angles and slopes. A protractor is added to the sighting tube and bubble level moves around the protractor to give angles. Half of the view will show the bubble and other half will show the landscape. And the horizontal lines give the angles and elevation reading.

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