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Spectra Geospatial Donates Nikon Total Stations for Urban Search and Rescue

By Eric Van Rees - 12th October 2021 - 07:50

Spectra Geospatial and Precision Laser & Instrument (PLI), a Spectra Geospatial authorized distributor, have enabled the all-volunteer Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) to significantly upgrade its search and rescue capabilities.

The two companies recently teamed to donate two Nikon reflectorless total stations that will permit the US&R to improve safety by enabling remote monitoring of a structure’s movement in its potential collapse zone without the need to have personnel enter the building to place retroreflectors on the surface of the building.

Serving portions of southern Ohio, Indiana and northern Kentucky, the mission of the Hamilton County US&R is to respond to disaster sites, man-made or natural, to safely rescue those in danger, search for the missing, recover those who have been lost and mitigate major property loss.

According to Collin Grove, rescue specialist, and Pat Aungst, structures specialist, the Nikon total stations, an XF-2 and a NPL322, will be used to remotely monitor structure movement in potential collapse zones, including compromised structures adjacent, for example, to a collapsed trench during a rescue operation. The requirements are for a 5” accuracy – an eighth-of-an-inch at 500 feet – and to record and save side shot measurements, including possible movement over time, allow for easy relocation of the instrument by calculating its location from saved reference points using resection and measure/display 3D coordinates of any point in a user-defined coordinate system. The Nikon total stations also enable the team to obtain distance measurements for possible rigging and crane operations that would otherwise be difficult to acquire accurately by other means.

To date, the two total stations have been used for training sessions. “The training sessions have confirmed their tremendous value to the team. We expect them to help us work more safely in future incidents,” said Grove.

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