Q&A on Leica TS13 Mid-Range Robotic Total Station

Hans-Martin Zogg, Business Director TPS at Leica Geosystems, discusses how the new Leica TS13 supports the industry.

Leica TS13 Expert Insight
Hans-Martin Zogg, Business Director Geomatics at Leica Geosystems AG

Hans-Martin Zogg, Business Director TPS at Leica Geosystems, discusses how the new Leica TS13 supports the industry.

The Leica TS13 was recently introduced to the market. Can you tell us more about this new automated total station?

The Leica TS13 is Leica Geosystems’ new mid-range automated total station. It is scalable and provides an attractive starting point to Leica Geosystems’ automated total stations. The TS13 has been developed for the civil engineering industry focussing on utilities. For measurement tasks such as determining the position of an existing pipe, the TS13 is the ideal measurement instrument. Furthermore, it allows users to lay out the position of pipe installations before they are build. This new automated total station can perfectly support the utilities industry due to its versatility in taking measurements as well as doing the layout.

The new TS13 comes with AutoHeight. Would you mind describing this exciting feature a bit more in detail?
Measuring the instrument height needs to be regularly done for instrument setups. Previously, measurement tapes have been used to measure the instrument height, and they got manually typed into the field software. Besides the additional equipment which is needed, these height measurements have been quite error-prone – during the measurement itself but also when manually typing it into the instrument. Now, with the AutoHeight functionality, the instrument height gets measured by the press of a button – quick, error-free and without any additional equipment.

Can you highlight and briefly describe the characteristics of the new TS13 total station?

The TS13 total station is automated and upgradable. Furthermore, it gives the users unrivalled support and offers the highest quality. Its performance and reliability allow users to complete demanding measuring tasks. The Leica TS13 is upgradable, customers can purchase a TS13 with only a 4-button keypad and later, if needed, to upgrade to a total station with keyboard and display unit. It can also be upgraded from a two-person surveying instrument to a one-person surveying instrument by adding the Lock and Robotic option. The Leica TS13 mid-range total station is designed and tested to the same quality standards as the Leica TS16 high-end total station.

With many other automated total stations on the market today, why and when should users invest in the TS13?

The Leica TS13 has been designed with customers in mind who are looking for high quality and reliability but the best measurement performance is not crucial for their daily tasks. A customer should invest into the TS13 when he looks for lowest total cost of ownership (sum of purchasing price, support and service over lifetime) and having greatest reliability over lifetime of his instrument but measurement performance is not his key requirement. Typically, total stations are used on a wide variety of sites quite often in extreme conditions. The TS13 total station ensures greatest reliability and durability for any rough job site conditions avoiding failures that can result in direct and indirect costs such as delays, missed deadlines and loss of reputation.

What is the difference between the Leica TS13 and the Leica TS16?

Besides the ability to upgrade, the Leica TS13 with “Lock” functionality, display and robotic capability, its overall measurement performance is 10-25% less compared to the Leica TS16 total station. This means that less points can be measured and laid-out during a working day comparing to measurements done with a Leica TS16.

The performance difference is mainly originated in the automatic target aiming technology. The TS13 uses ATR technology whereas the TS16 uses ATRplus technology. ATRplus features self-learning capabilities, better lock stability and longer ranges. Furthermore, the TS13 is equipped with SpeedSearch to fast search for prism whereas the TS16 is equipped with PowerSearch which is even quicker to search and find the prisms. Finally, the TS13 has a reduced keyboard without function keys for fast access to functionalities such as the ones the TS16 features.

When is the most appropriate time to use the TS13 in comparison to the TS16?

The TS13 is used when users need to measure a few points per day. This means that measurement performance is not crucial, but quality and reliability matters. The TS13 is a perfect solution for customers in utility and civil engineering industry that measure objects or layout design data occasionally.

The TS13 features SpeedSearch technology. What does this technology do and what benefit does it bring to customers on site?

The TS13 is equipped with SpeedSearch technology which allows users to find and lock on to the prism quickly. SpeedSearch works onto Leica round prisms as well as Leica 360° prisms. There is no additional equipment needed on the pole side to fast search the prism. This makes the pole light and the user does not depend on any additional battery power on the pole side.

What is the difference between SpeedSearch of the TS13 and PowerSearch of the TS16?

SpeedSearch is the fast search method of the TS13 and PowerSearch is the fast search method of the TS16. The main difference between these two methods is the time to search and find the prism. Both consist of a horizontal and vertical search; with SpeedSearch, the horizontal and vertical searches are slower. PowerSearch detects the distance to the prism and accelerates the vertical search speed for prisms closer than 100 metres. SpeedSearch searches with a search speed independent of the distance to the prism. In addition, the TS16 is equipped with a PowerSearch filter which allows to exclude prisms or other reflective objects from being detected with the PowerSearch search. This speeds up the fast prism search with PowerSearch significantly compared to the search with SpeedSearch.

What is the difference between ATR and ATRplus?

ATR technology is the automatic target recognition of the total station. This technology is crucial for aiming and locking onto a prism. Locking a prism means the instrument is following the prism. The TS13 is equipped with ATR and the TS16 with ATRplus technology. The difference between ATR and ATRplus technology is in the aiming ranges and locking performance. The ATRplus is developed to keep the instrument locked on the prism whether the prism is on a surveying pole or on a moving machine. According to the specifications, the measurement range of the ATR is up to 1000m and the ATRplus up to 1500m. The locking performance of the ATRplus is much stronger at shorter ranges and when several prisms are in the field of view of the telescope and crossing each other compared to the ATR. The ATRplus uses an internal virtual target ID and can follow the prism with its dedicated internal virtual ID. The ATRplus keeps track on the right prism independent if this prism is moving in front or behind another prism. The ATRplus can also lock onto prisms which are shaking or vibrating due to its setup on a pole or machine.

To learn more about the Leica TS13 visit: leica-geosystems.com/ts13

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