# Topic 6: Angle measurement: Intersection and resection

Traversing with total stations The main advantage of using a total station for traversing is that angles and distances are measured simultaneously at each station. The obvious advantage of this is that it reduces the time taken to complete the survey. Also: as total stations can carry out coordinate calculations, they can also compute the traverse as shown below.

The procedure for completing this is as follows: The total station is set up at point A – and a back sight is taken to point B The coordinates of A and B are entered into the instrument and the horizontal circle is orientated to display the whole circle bearing from station A to backsight B. Following this the total station is rotated through angle A1 and station 1 is sighted on the traverse. The instrument will now display the whole circle bearing along line A1. The horizontal distance D1 is measured and the coordinates of station 1 are calculated by the total station. The total station is moved and set up at 1, point A is sighted as a backsight and the horizontal circle is orientated along this direction. By rotating though angle A2 to sight station 2, and by measuring the distance D2, the coordinates of station 2 are obtained. This process is repeated. To end the traverse, measurements are taken from the last traverse station to a closing point C (whose coordinates are known) Once this is done the total station will display any misclosures

It is also possible to measure 3-D traverses with a total station. In this case the heights of the first control point A and those of the closing point C are entered into the total station together with each instrument and reflector height as individual measurements are taken. Some traverse programs allow the user to fix the positions of additional points along the traverse called side shots. To coordinate these, the side shot point is sighted in between the back sight and the next station as shown below.

Another feature found on some total stations is radial traversing. This is simply an extension of the coordinate measuring program and is carried out by setting up the total station at an existing control station and orientating onto another.

Further points are then coordinated by measuring distance to them and using polar to rectangular conversions to compute their coordinates. Although this offers the ability to coordinate a series of control points much more quickly than by conventional traversing.

The drawback of radial traversing is that it is only possible to check the results obtained by measuring the distances between the points surveyed.

As this can involve as much work as ordinary traversing, the need for checking cancels the advantage of a single station set up.

The missing line measurement The missing line measurement (MLM) software option installed in many total stations allows a user, from a single instrument position, to determine the horizontal distance and height difference between a start point and a series of sub sequentially selected points. As shown in the diagram below.

Points 1 and 2 are sighted and the distances and circle readings to them are recorded at the instrument station. The MLM program then computes the horizontal distance D12 and height difference ∆h12 between these two points. If the distance and circle reading to a third point are included in the sequence, the total station can display D13 and ∆h13 (radial MLM) or it can display D23 and ∆h23. Any number of points can be calculated in the sequence.

Total stations are very sophisticated instruments and can provide several advantages while conducting control surveys. However, it does have some disadvantages too. E.g. consider a traverse to be a recognised survey procedure for obtaining the coordinates of control points and can be checked with a total station by closing onto a known point. By using radial traversing a total station could produce the same ser of coordinates for a series of control points much quicker than traditional traversing, as the observations can be taken from a single instrument position. While this does save time – it can be open to a number of mistakes occurring. Therefore all measurements must be checked and great care taken.

Intersection and resection Intersection This is a method of locating a control point without occupying it. On construction sites, predominate marks around the site, such as tall buildings and other clearly defined features may be used as control points during construction. It is obviously not possible to set up an instrument at these but it is possible to obtain their coordinates by using intersection. Since they are usually in elevated positions they can be seen when the lines of sight to other control points at ground level become obscured as construction proceeds.

A and B are points in a control network with known coordinates (EA , NA) and (EB , NB). To coordinate unknown point P which lies at the intersection of the lines from A and B, a total station or theodolite is set up at A and B and the horizontal angles α and β are observed. The coordinates of P can be calculated by a number of different methods. Intersection by solution of triangle In triangle ABP, the length and bearing of the base line AB are obtained from their coordinates and are given rectangular – polar conversions as

These distances and bearings are used to calculate the coordinates of P along AP using polar – rectangular conversion as:

Intersection using the observed angles If one takes a clockwise lettering sequence, the coordinates of P can be obtained directly from

A disadvantage of this method compared with solving the triangle is that there is no check on the calculations.

Intersection from two baselines When solving intersections using the previous formulae, it is not possible to check the fieldwork because a unique solution is obtained for the position of point P. the method that should be used to detect errors in the observed angels and hence errors in the coordinates of P is to observe the intersection from the least two baselines and to determine the coordinates of the intersected point by solving two or more separate triangles. Example The coordinates of three control points S, A and L are: mE S A L 1309.652 1395.454 1268.855 mN 1170.503 1078.806 1028.419

You are also given the angles ASB, BAS, LAB and BLA

Using the data provided, the layout of the stations and the observed angles given above. For triangle SAB, the clockwise sequence SAB is equivalent to ABP in the last example.

The coordinates for B are estimated by

Since the two sets of results for EB and NB differ by 0.015m and 0.009m respectively no gross error has occurred in the observations and the final coordinates are mean values from the two sets, hence

EB = 1180.154m and NB = 1145.947m

Resection This is a method of locating a new control point by taking observations from it to other known control points on a network. Two types of resection can be carried out, angular resection where horizontal angles are measured and distance resection in which horizontal distances are measured. Both types are useful for coordinating temporary control points on site which are called free station points.

Angular resections These are used to coordinate a point by taking observations from it to existing control points – an advantage of this method is that a resection can be done without occupying any of the control points to which the observations are taken.

A good example of this occurs on high-rise buildings when ground control is no longer available or cannot be transferred through the upper floors. In this case, intersected points can be fixed around the site prior to construction and used later as control for resections as the building is constructed. A point can be coordinated in an angular resection by observing angles from it to at least three existing control points in a three-point resection as shown below.

In this, horizontal angles α and β subtended at the resection point P by control points A, B and C are observed. If the triangles ABC are lettered clockwise, the coordinates of P are given by

Example At a resection point P, the following horizontal angles were observed to three control points, L,M,N.

The coordinates of L, M and N are known:

Distance resections These are carried out on site using total stations. As seen in the FIG below the total station is ser up at an unknown point P and the horizontal distances DPA and DPB to two existing control points A and B are measured together with the horizontal angle α subtended by the control points. Unlike an angular resection, it must be possible to occupy the control points in this case and place reflectors at A and B.

To determine the coordinates of the total station at P, the distance and bearing along AB are first calculated from their coordinates using rectangular – polar conversions. Following this step, all three angles in the triangle ABP are calculated using the distances and the cosine rule. These can be checked by ensuring they sum to 180º and by comparing the measured value of α with its calculated value. It is no possible to compute the whole-circle bearings along AP and BP and these are used with the measured distances, to calculate the coordinates of P as an intersection by solution of triangle. To check fieldwork calculations, a second resection can be observed and calculated using different control points. On site it is normal practice to include a third station and a resection is carried out with this and control point A or B.

Free stationing The majority of total stations have an applications program installed for performing distance resections – called free stationing

Using this program all the operator has to do when using these to enter the coordinates of the two control points and measure the distance between them – the total station will then calculate and display the coordinates of the instrument position.

Control networks Extending control into networks As an alternative to traversing, the positions of control points for a construction project can be fixed using a network. A triangulation network consists of a series of single or overlapping triangles as shown below. By carrying out a traverse of a site we establish control points around the perimeter from which it will be possible to carry out mapping or setting out surveys. However it is usually necessary to create a network of points within the site to speed up these processes, e.g. Munich Airport: