In commercial operation for over a decade, GPS has revolutionised surveying practices. Utilising a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth, the system offers a 24 hour all weather method of data acquisition, accurate to sub-centimetre level.

MSURV has more than 12 pairs of Leica GPS receivers in operation on tasks varying from large areas topographic surveys; borehole location surveys; earthworks setting out and as-built pipeline surveys.

MSURV has also invested in SmartNet, a system offering a real-time method of determining Ordnance Survey National Grid co-ordinates. More specifically known as OSGB36 (Ordnance Survey Great Britain 1936) a network of control stations, consisting of the familiar Trig Pillars and various other features, were established across the country during the 1930s-1950s. Subsequent observations were processed to produce the National Grid.

Traditional methods of obtaining site specific co-ordinates thus required the occupation and observations from the nearest Trig Pillar (usually located on a remote inaccessible hilltop!) and a levelling operation from one of the half a million Bench Marks located around the country.

Notwithstanding the inherent inaccuracies of the original observations and adjustment, ground movements; damage and even destruction of the control points meant that the system was in need of replacement and updating. In a major exercise, the Ordnance Survey have corrected all of their original points such that they are now defined by a GPS location and a definitive OSTN02 transformation.

SmartNet utilises more than 95 permanent reference stations transmitting data back to their base in Southampton. This raw data is then processed and can be utilised by compatible instruments to provide an instantaneous O.S. National Grid co-ordinate. Surveys can thus be easily overlaid and merged with Ordnance Survey digital drawings required for planning applications etc.

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