Civil and Environmental Engineering programs receive GPS equipment

Written by Ruth Wendlandt on Mon, 10/28/2019 - 11:43 |

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering received eight new pieces of GPS equipment from Seiler Instrument, a value of $175,000. Seiler Instrument is lending the program four resource grade GPS units and four survey grade units for the 2019-20 academic year.

On Tuesday, representatives of Seiler Instrument delivered the R8s/TSC7 Real Time Kinematic survey grade units to Ottensman Hall and provided a hands-on training session for faculty and students. According to UW-Platteville CEE Lecturer Jerry Mahun, the units are capable of sub-centimeter level accuracy.

Earlier this month, Seiler Instrument delivered four-resource grade GPS units which included two Geo 7 handhelds and two R2 pole mounted units which interface with the program’s existing data collectors.

“The resource grade units can reach sub-meter accuracy and centimeters level accuracy when tied in with the Wisconsin Continuously Operating Reference Stations network,” said Mahun. “The survey grade units are primary for determining positions very accurately for mapping and construction purposes. The resource units are primarily for gathering information at spatial locations.”

Mahun expects the technology will be used in several classes. “My interest is to make sure we try to integrate them in as many courses, or as many applications as possible,” he said. “It provides students the ability to gather accurate spatial data where none exists or to augment it where it does. “For faculty it allows referencing traditional field work to a spatial framework for easier integration with other information.”

The GPS equipment gives students the opportunity to become familiar with the technology they will encounter out in the field. Mahun said he’s thankful for the relationship with Seiler Instrument and hopes to renew the lease agreement into the 2020-21 school year.

“It’s great to have the access to the technology without having to worry about the money or having to upgrade it every couple of years because it’s obsolete,” said Mahun. “A working relationship with Seiler provides us access to the equipment that otherwise might be prohibitive to get in the students’ hands.”