Route mapping at Emlichheim wind farm

Case Study

route mapping

Author: Christoph Babilon

Westnetz GmbH is the largest distribution network operator in Germany with more than 5,000 employees and a coverage area of 51,000 square kilometres. The company supplies approximately 7.5 million people with electricity, gas, water and district heating. This includes being responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of a 182,000-km electricity grid and a 24,000-kilometre gas distribution system.

The Emlichheim wind farm project, on the border between Germany and the Netherlands, recorded the 21-km route of cables serving existing and new wind turbines. The cables will supply existing turbines and be ready to serve new ones. The existing turbines are 95 metre high, whereas the new ones will reach an overall height of up to 143 m.

Up to 400 points needed to be surveyed each day during the one-year project. Topography, such as roads, hydrants, slopes and buildings, were added from the land registry at the start of the project. The extensive field work was carried with a one-person surveying unit – the Leica Zeno GG03 Smart Antenna.


Carrying out the work in the field

Carrying out the work in the field

Numerous project participants and construction companies were working on the project site at the same time. At peak times, there were up to four drilling companies on-site, operating four drilling rigs next to each other. Surveying, therefore, was done partly on open trenches and needed to be done at the same time. To reduce costs and increase efficiency, coordination and management tasks needed to be carried out in the field.

Measuring, monitoring and surveying could all be done simultaneously on-site thanks to the flexible Zeno Smart Antenna paired up with FX Survey, a third-party and cadastral software. Designed for versatile use, the upgradable GNSS Smart Antenna allows users to choose the field software and setup to suit each workflow and budget and embed custom applications. The entire system, consisting primarily of the tailor-made frox-it software and Zeno, was ready to use straight away.

The surveying system served as a central data hub, bringing together distinct types of information from current planning to boundary identification and topographical details.

"Using the graphic field book made it possible to plan and coordinate building operations on-site and in real-time. The cost advantages of having information immediately available on-site are obvious. Combined with the high precision Leica GNSS Zeno Smart Antenna it was possible to control, adjust and rerecord the planning down to the last centimetre," said Mr. Markus Focks, network documentation and rights at Westnetz GmbH. Plan preparation needed to be done alongside surveying and be completed without the need for post-production. All planning data out of the FX Survey was transferred to the field into the Zeno Smart Antenna controller without the need of reworking the data. Further processing of the surveying data by the back-office team was provided as a DXF output, hence, the entire survey was available as a CAD graphic.


High accuracy, everywhere

By using Zeno Smart Antenna at its highest surveying quality, there was no need to use a tachymeter. A measuring tape was not required either. The system delivered reliable positional accuracy within at least 3 centimetres.

The latest Leica Zeno GG04 Smart Antenna has a compact and lightweight design with enhanced tracking performance and precise point positioning without a mobile data collection. The GG04 can be used on Apple, Android and Windows smartphones or tablets. The newest Smart Antenna has extensive software support to be used with most data collection apps and software, making geospatial data collection easier than ever before.

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