OR/15/057 Overview of equipment

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Jones, L D. 2015. Ground-based geomatic surveys at the BGS - a manual for basic data collection & processing (2015). British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/15/057.

The BGS uses Riegl and Faro terrestrial LiDAR scanners because of their flexibility, range and portability. Each scanner also has a rugged-style laptop associated with it.

  • Riegl LPM-2K LiDAR system comprising:
Long-Range scanner, scanning up to 2500 m with an accuracy of ±50 mm and a measurement rate of 4 meas./sec.
Panasonic CF-29 Toughbook (No Camera)
2 x 12 volt Batteries (Black) & Charger, Tripod and Tribrach
  • Riegl LPM-i800HA LiDAR system comprising:
Medium-Range scanner, scanning up to 800 m with an accuracy of ±15mm and a measurement rate of 1000 meas./sec.
Panasonic CF-19 Toughbook and Canon 450D Camera
2 x 12 volt Batteries (Yellow) & Charger, Tripod and Tribrach
  • Riegl VZ-1000 LiDAR system comprising:
Medium to Long-Range scanner, scanning up to 1400 m with an accuracy of ±8mm and a measurement rate of 122000 meas./sec.
Getac V200 Laptop and Nikon D700 Camera
Internal and external 12 volt Battery & Charger, Tripod and Tribrach
  • Faro Focus 3D X-330 LiDAR system comprising:
Short-Range scanner, scanning up to 300 m with an accuracy of ±2mm and a measurement rate of 997000 meas./sec.
Internal Camera, Battery and Charger, Tripod and Tribrach


The BGS has a range of Leica GNSS which can be utilised for a range of applications; acting as base-station for airborne surveys, differential positioning of boreholes, kinematic surveys.

  • GS50 GIS system comprising:
12-channel L1 GPS/GIS receiver, with 30 cm ‘post-processed’ accuracy Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • 2 x System 500 each comprising:
12-channel L1, L2 GNSS receiver, with 20 mm ‘RTK’ and 10mm ‘post-processed’ accuracy
Tripod and Tribrach, Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • 2 x System 1200 (SmartRover) each comprising:
12-channel L1, L2, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 20 mm ‘RTK’ and 10 mm ‘post- processed’ accuracy
Tripod and Tribrach, Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • 2 x GS15 (Viva) systems each comprising:
120-channel L1, L2, L2C, L5, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 10 mm ‘RTK’ and 3.5 mm ‘post-processed’ accuracy
Tripod and Tribrach, Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • GS08 Plus system comprising:
120-channel L1, L2, L2C, L5, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 20 mm ‘RTK’ and 10 mm ‘post-processed’ accuracy
Tripod and Tribrach, Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • 2 x GS14 systems each comprising:
120-channel L1, L2, L2C, L5, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 8 mm ‘RTK’ and 3 mm ‘post-processed’ accuracy and SmartCheck
Tripod and Tribrach, Camcorder-style Batteries and Charger
  • 2 x GR10 (Base Station) systems comprising:
500-channel L1, L2, L2C, L5, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 15 mm ‘Fixed RTK’ accuracy
  • 6 x GS10 (Single Frequency)systems each comprising:
120-channel L1, L2, L2C, L5, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, SBAS GNSS receiver, with 15 mm ‘Single Baseline’ accuracy (Red = avilable to add-on)


The BGS also has a range of other survey equipment available.

  • Leica TCR1205 Theodolite Positioning System (TPS) Total station with 1800 m range and 5” (1.5 mgon) accuracy
  • 3 x Leica Electronic Level
Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) device with 50 m range and 2 mm accuracy
  • 2 x Leica Disto Laser Distance Measure
Digital laser distance measurement device with 60 m range and 1.5 mm accuracy
  • Laser Technology Inc. TruPulse 200L Laser Range Finder with 1750 m (1000 m non-reflective) range and ±1 m accuracy
  • Tape Measures (various lengths)
  • Safety Equipment:
Mobile Phones, 2-Way Radios, High Visibility Vests & Hard Hats, Steel Toe-capped Boots/Wellingtons & Waterproofs, Trolley

The BGS has a number of high-specification PC’s capable of handling the acquired digital data, including a dedicated data processing PC (WSB, Upper Ground Floor – N). Software to process and output the acquired survey data is listed below. With the exception of Virtalis GeoVisionary and Esri ArcGIS, all these proprietary processing and visualisation software packages fall under single user license restrictions, and as such are either loaded onto dedicated PC’s or controlled by ‘dongle’ technology.

  • Riegl RiScanPro (Acquisition & processing VZ scanner data)
  • Riegl RiProfile (Acquisition & processing LPM scanner data)
  • Faro Scene (Acquisition & processing X-330 scanner data)
  • Leica Geo-Office (Post-processing GNSS data)
  • Maptek I-Site Studio (Point-cloud processing)
  • Golden Software Surfer (Gridding scanner data)
  • Innovmetric Polyworks (Change models & cross-sections)
  • Bentley Pointools (Visualisation of point-cloud data)
  • Paradigm GOCAD (Integration with other surfaces e.g. GPR)
  • Applied Imagery Quick Terrain Modeler (3D model creation)
  • Esri ArcGIS (2D mapping and visualisation)
  • Virtalis GeoVisionary (3D mapping and visualisation)
  • Split-FX (Rock-fracture analysis)