Securing Total Stations with Leica LOC8: A Success Story from Sweden
Discovering the theft of a brand-new total station is bad enough. Having to halt work on a major infrastructure project because of that theft is a disaster.
Leading Swedish engineering and surveying firm, Teodoliten Mätteknik AB, found themselves living this unfortunate experience in June 2022 when a brand-new Leica TM60 was stolen from their monitoring installation at a railway tunnel construction site, halting services and stalling progress.
Luckily, however, their story did not end there. In the next chapter of this escapade, the thieves were quickly caught, instrument recovered, and work resumed – a happy ending made possible by the Leica LOC8 solution.
Chapter 1. The Varberg Tunnel Project
As part of a project to upgrade Sweden’s entire West Coast Line to a double track railway, the Varberg Tunnel promises to bring a range of benefits to the coastal city it runs through. More rail lines with higher technical standards will increase service frequency and enable faster transit times, empowering sustainable commuter and commercial travel.
In addition to track upgrades, the railway is moving from its current above ground route along the coast to a tunnel running underneath central Varberg. This move will eliminate the barrier between the city and the sea, open land for development, and reduce traffic crossings.
During large projects like the Varberg Tunnel, monitoring the surrounding area and infrastructure for movements is essential. Collecting and analysing geodetic measurement data helps enable the identification of any deformations outside of accepted tolerances. With this information, stakeholders can take quick, informed actions to maintain safety.
Chapter 2: Monitoring with the Leica TM60 for safety
To fulfil this crucial service for the Varberg project, Teodoliten was contracted to provide real-time monitoring. As one of Sweden’s largest monitoring service providers, Teodoliten has steadily invested in its capabilities to offer fully automated monitoring, where measurements are automatically and continuously collected to offer near real-time results. This method is used on large projects like the Varberg Tunnel where extensive excavations and construction heighten the chances of movement.
As a key component of their automated monitoring systems, Teodoliten invested in several Leica TM60 self-learning robotic total stations. The TM60, designed for monitoring, can locate and measure even densely spaced prisms at long distances while meeting the most demanding 3D requirements, making it ideal for large projects requiring continuous data acquisition.
For one portion of the project, Teodoliten used two TM60s to measure over 120 prisms on the ground and structures adjacent to tunnel construction. The collected data was transferred directly from the total stations to Leica GeoMoS monitoring software for deformation analysis. If deformations are detected, GeoMoS immediately sends alerts to selected stakeholders, enabling timely interventions.
However, only two days after installation, one of the TM60s was stolen from the site. Not only was this the loss of a valuable instrument, but essential monitoring could not continue without it, stalling the project.
Chapter 3: Thieves Thwarted and Stolen Instruments Secured with Leica LOC8
After the theft, Teodoliten contacted the local Leica Geosystems team in nearby Gothenburg for help. To ensure monitoring could resume with limited downtime, the Leica team quickly dispatched a new total station.
However, all was not lost for the stolen TM60, which was equipped with the Leica LOC8 solution. LOC8 allows geofencing, position updates, and tracking, locating, and locking your total station remotely via a mobile phone or computer. While Teodoliten had not yet activated the LOC8 unit, a Leica support engineer guided them through remote activation via the Leica Geosystems myWorld customer portal. With positioning accuracy under 5-metres, the stolen TM60’s location was immediately revealed and traced to a car parked in a city lot.
Teodoliten notified local authorities, providing all the details necessary for the police to obtain a search warrant and recover the TM60, along with other stolen goods – and just in time. The total station had already been wrapped in preparation for shipping, making it clear the thieves intended to send the instrument abroad. Thanks to the fast-tracking possibilities and evidence provided by the LOC8 solution, the police caught the thieves without delay, something that would have otherwise not been possible.
Convinced beyond a doubt by this experience, Teodoliten now includes LOC8 as standard on all their new Leica Geosystems total stations. Having secured future business by investing in instruments that enable expanded services like automated monitoring, Teodoliten has similarly secured these investments with LOC8.