controller. He also used three prisms: a single prism for readings up to 
2,500 m (8,202 ft), a triple prism for precision distances over 2,500 m, and a 
360° prism for topographical surveys in robotic mode. During the survey, 
Greco relied primarily on the quad ATV for transportation; during stakeout, 
however, he mainly used the personal transporter, followed by the electric 
robotic cart with his supplies.

Greco started by performing the topo survey of site conditions, while 
simultaneously creating eight benchmarks in a circle, identified either by 
survey markers or milestones. During this phase, he used the Trimble R8 
receiver: After setting up the GNSS base on the first benchmark, Greco 
installed the rover on the quad—appropriately equipped for transport-
ing equipment—staking and surveying in real time. He chose the quad 
when it became clear that this part of the survey would involve significant 
height differences and numerous stops. This approach enabled Greco to 
complete the survey well within the planned timeframe.

The second phase involved staking out the site. Using the Trimble S6 robotic 
total station with a base set up on an intermediate benchmark, Greco em-
ployed the Trimble Integrated Survey (IS) rover, which consisted of a 2 m (6 ft) 
carbon rod with a 360-degree prism and the Trimble R8 rover on the top. 
This combination utilizes both GNSS and optical technologies, and enabled 
Greco to stakeout the site even without a GNSS signal, or when there was no 
direct line of sight to the robotic total station. 

Moving about in the field during stakeout took place on the personal 
transporter, followed by the mobile supply robot. Using the quad ATV would 
have actually created a hindrance during stakeout. The vehicle’s dimensions 
and turning radius would not have been suitable for stakeout work, where 
it was necessary to take many measurements very close to one another. 
The personal transporter was better adapted to the task, and the use of the 
electric robotic cart solved the problem of moving the equipment.

All According to Plan
The survey was performed as outlined in the project planning stage. Both 
phases were executed quickly; in fact, the topo survey was carried out in 
just one day. After returning to the hotel, Greco downloaded the data, 
processed it and emailed it to the planners. Two days later the planners 
returned the file for stakeout, and the following day was spent creating 
the data to be staked. Three days were needed to stakeout the entire area; 
Greco set roughly 700 stakes for fences, roadways, structures and the PV 
equipment. A second pass, 10 days later, was needed to replace stakes that 
had been knocked down during construction.

Greco fulfilled the requirement of working concurrently with the construc-
tion activity, while completing the survey assignment quickly and with 
maximum precision. The Trimble instruments enabled him to carry out the 
surveying and checking phases in the field, speeding survey time and ef-
ficiently handling the massive amounts of data acquired. Greco completed 
an estimated 10 or more days of work in just 4 days—a good payback for 
using a unique transportation approach and Trimble Integrated Surveying 

See article in American Surveyor's August issue: www.amerisurv.com