Survey equipment

The Water Research Laboratory has a Trimble 5800 Real Time Kinematic Differential GPS (RTK-DGPS) which uses information from satellites to determine horizontal and vertical positions with centimetre accuracy as you survey.

Alice Harrison with survey equipment photo by Chris Drummond

This equipment can be used in a wide range of field settings such as beaches, estuaries, ports and plains. The system consists of two parts - one GPS fixed on a known survey mark and another GPS that is free to roam and collect the survey data.

Mounting the freely-roaming GPS on a four wheel drive quad bike allows surveys to be undertaken rapidly and over large areas (i.e. 10 km’s). For smaller areas or those inaccessible with a quad bike, a three wheeled cart or a survey pole can be used.

The RTK-DGPS can also be used along with a survey grade echo sounder to obtain high resolution bathymetric data. This system is mounted on a kayak for shallow water bathymetric surveys over small spatial areas. It can also be mounted on larger vessels for surveys in deeper water or over larger areas.