SP80 under cover in Chile’s rainforests

November 13, 2015  - By
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Image: GPS World

In the temperate rainforest of the Los Lagos region of Southern Chile, where rainfall annually exceeds 1,500 millimeters and two-thirds of the days are rainy, the dense forest canopy poses a huge challenge for GNSS receivers.

Motivazion, a survey firm based in Puerto Montt, just below the rainforests, makes its living surveying in the rugged terrain under the densely canopied forest. Motivazion works primarily for hydropower development companies, surveying contours, cross sections and longitudinal profiles, as well as staking out proposed facilities. To ensure it was using the best GNSS receivers for the conditions, Motivazion conducted field tests of several sets of equipment this summer. 

Motivazion owner Jorge Mesias said he typically uses a combination of total stations and GNSS receivers for his work. “If understory performance could be improved, efficiency would increase dramatically and reduce the need for using the more time-consuming total station,” Mesias said.

A light rain fell at all times during the two-day test. The test routine consisted of surveying a total of 21 points in two days. Results were compared to points established by a total station. 

Base stations were set up in a small area cleared for the purpose, and the rovers moved from point to point under the canopy. Spectra Precision’s SP80 achieved fixed solutions in less than three minutes 95 percent of the time.

“The SP80 achieved remarkable results,” concluded Mesias. Geocom S.A., Spectra Precision’s dealer in Chile, provided the SP80 and technical support. 

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