Global Navigation Satellite System Speeds Largest Road Project in Western Australia

Machine control and wireless data transfer technology to fast track New Perth Bunbury highway project.

by / January 4, 2008 0
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Trimble's machine control systems and two-way data communications technology are being used for the construction of the New Perth Bunbury Highway -- the single largest road project ever undertaken in Western Australia.

When completed, the new 70-kilometer (43.5 mile) section of New Perth Bunbury highway will provide motorists with a continuous dual carriageway from Western Australia's capital city Perth to the state's major commercial centers and tourist destinations in the South West. The project is expected to be constructed over three years and will include the placement of approximately nine million cubic meters (9.8 million cubic yards) of soil to raise the road alignment above low lying areas subject to seasonal inundation.

Responsibility for the highway's design and construction lies with the Southern Gateway Alliance (SGA). According to Tony Cariss, construction coordination manager for the SGA, seasonal conditions, the scale of the work, and the relatively short lead-time means that construction needs to follow extremely close behind the design work.

"Trimble technology has offered us precisely the solution we needed to fast track the project," said Cariss. "We needed accurate machine positioning for construction purposes and an instant two-way data transfer between the field and design office."

Haefeli-Lysnar, Trimble's distributor in Western Australia, met the alliance's requirements with a Trimble Connected Site solution that includes a unique combination of Trimble machine control systems and a Trimble wireless communications network that represents an innovative application of the technology.

GPSNetwork Perth, which utilizes Trimble VRS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) infrastructure network technology, is being extended into the construction corridor and a network of radio towers are being built along the highway alignment. Via a 900MHz Trimble SNB900 radio and router at each tower, both VRS position correction data and construction data files will be transmitted simultaneously and selectively to the earthmoving machines.

At the same time a Trimble SNR900 radio in each machine transmits data back through the network to the office 100 kilometers (62 miles) away in Perth, where design staff use Trimble SiteVision Office software to handle the data and view, in real time, the computer screen and site-level data at each machine's location.

With this innovative technology, the time between a machine recording field data and a new design file coming back to the machine requires only a few computer key strokes in the design office.

To date, 25 SGA machines have been fitted with Trimble machine control systems. The systems include seven dual-antenna Trimble GCS900 grade control systems with laser augmentation and three single-antenna GCS900 systems for fully automated work on graders and 15 single-antenna GCS900 systems with indicator modes for dozers, wheel loaders and supervisor's vehicles.

The New Perth Bunbury highway is scheduled for opening in December 2009. For more information on the New Perth Bunbury Highway Project, visit: www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/Internet/Projects/Urban/new_perth_bunbury_hwy.asp