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March 2014

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  • New BIM 3D Layout from Topcon Ideal for Construction Use
    New BIM 3D Layout from Topcon Ideal for Construction Use

    Posted: 3/13/2014
    The Topcon Positioning Group continues to be an industry leader in positioning solutions with the announcement of their new BIM layout solution, the LN-100. The LN-100 is the very first 3D positioning system that is designed to specifically handle construction layouts such as interior building infrastructure, footings, and foundations.

    The goal of the LN-100 is to provide seamless integration and flow data from the design to the jobsite with easy operation that according to Eduard Falcon, executive vice president of Topcon Positioning Group, "strips away the complexity associated with advanced surveying instruments." The integration of the LN-100 with Topcon's MAGNET suite software such as MAGNET Field Layout and Office Layout contributes to the ease of operation and allows it to meet the demands of construction layout and BIM applications.

    Onsite operation of the LN-100 is very simple and begins by placing the device anywhere on the jobsite and pressing the power button. As the LN-100 turns on, it self-levels and creates a 3D zone of positioning data that can cover an area of up to 200 meters or 650 feet in diameter. The smart phone controller allows for easy one man operation and can get precise measurements from anywhere within the layout zone. The LN-100 produces horizontal dimensions and vertical elevations for more precise measurements and operators can also pull up point layout and CAD drawings onsite to plot locations of designed points within this zone. Because the LN-100 can be used without looking through a lens, it can be placed anywhere on the job site.

    The new Topcon LN-100 combines their laser and robotic total station technologies in an easy-to-operate tool with the accuracy and versatility needed for BIM applications. It can handle both design and layout operations and it integrates seamlessly with Topcon and BIM software. Positioning Solutions Company provides innovative positioning products and technology and they are a master dealer of Topcon products. Contact Positioning Solutions Company to learn more about the new LN-100 as well as other available products from Topcon.
  • FAA Loses UAV Case...Opens Door for Commercial UAV Use
    FAA Loses UAV Case...Opens Door for Commercial UAV Use

    Posted: 3/7/2014
    Drone Pilot's Fine Dropped by Judge Finding Against FAA
    By Alan Levin Mar 7, 2014 7:00 AM CT
    A judge overturned a U.S. regulator's first fine against a drone operator, a ruling that may lead to more commercial unmanned-aircraft flights in the U.S. before rules are written to govern their use.

    Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board, which decides appeals of enforcement actions by the Federal Aviation Administration, dismissed yesterday the agency's $10,000 fine against Raphael Pirker for reckless flying. The FAA has no authority over small unmanned aircraft, Geraghty ruled.

    "This has very significant implications for companies that have been eager to proceed with commercial applications for UAS technologies," Brendan Schulman, Pirker?s lawyer, said in an interview.

    The decision is a setback for the FAA, which has held that U.S. commercial drone flights are prohibited until it writes rules governing their use. "We are reviewing the decision," the agency said in an e-mailed statement. It has the option to appeal.

    At the time of Pirker's flight to shoot a promotional video over the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Oct. 17, 2011, "there was no enforceable FAA rule" on the type of model aircraft he used, Geraghty said in his decision.

    The FAA argued that Pirker?s flight, with a plane made with a foam wing and weighing less than 5 pounds, was "careless and reckless," putting it under the agency?s authority to enforce flying safety.

    Pirker flew under bridges, near statues and over pedestrians, as documented on video he shot that day.

    Regulation Undermined

    The decision counters the FAA?s assertion, most recently made in an update posted on its website Feb. 26, that there are ?no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft -- manned or unmanned -- in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval.?

    Even before the ruling, the FAA was struggling to police the commercial use of drones that anyone can purchase online or at hobby shops.

    Drones have been used to film scenes in the Martin Scorsese-directed movie ?The Wolf of Wall Street? and sporting events for Walt Disney Co. (DIS)?s ESPN. They've inspected oilfield equipment, mapped agricultural land and photographed homes and neighborhoods for real estate marketing, according to industry officials, company websites and videos on the Internet.

    While the FAA hasn't issued any permits for commercial drone use outside the Arctic, the agency said in a Feb. 10 statement that it will consider them on a case-by-case basis.

    Model Planes

    Congress in 2012 ordered the FAA to craft rules to safely integrate drones into U.S. skies by 2015. The agency doesn't expect to allow all drone operations by then and will instead phase them into the system over a longer period, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a Senate hearing Jan. 15.

    While flying a model aircraft ?solely for hobby or recreational reasons? doesn't require approval, hobbyists must operate according to 1981 guidelines, such as staying away from populated areas, the agency has said.

    Pirker didn't qualify as a hobbyist, the FAA argued.

    Geraghty found the guidelines can?t be enforced, at least for people piloting a "model" plane.

    The agency needs to create exceptions for businesses that want to
  • Judge Says FAA lacks Clear Authority on Commercial Drones
    Judge Says FAA lacks Clear Authority on Commercial Drones

    Judge's Ruling "FAA lacks Authority to Ban Commercial Use"


    Posted: 3/7/2014
    By JACK NICAS and ANDY PASZTOR
    Wall Street Journal

    Industry efforts to open US skies to drones are gaining momentum on both the legal and regulatory fronts, but the controversial issue isn't likely to be resolved soon.
    A ruling by an administrative law judge on Thursday held that the FAA lacks clear-cut authority to ban the commercial use of drones in the continental US. The decision, which can be appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board as well as a federal judge, is bound to complicate the FAA's already challenging job of crafting policies and regulations to oversee the nascent industry.
    Separately, escalating industry demands for action have prompted FAA officials in recent weeks to begin looking for ways to authorize expedited but limited commercial uses of small drones in US airspace.
    The FAA effectively has banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over US airspace until it develops rules to integrate them into national airspace-a process that is expected to take until 2015 even for the smallest unmanned vehicles operating in isolated areas. More comprehensive rules covering larger models are likely to take years longer to complete.
    Commercial drone use has been taking off abroad and many US companies and drone manufacturers have been frustrated with the FAA's stance.
    Recently, however, the FAA's hard line on commercial drones appears to be eroding. The agency is considering case-by-case approvals or waivers for certain commercial uses for drones, including in the agriculture and film industries, before it completes broader rules for small unmanned systems, according to government and industry officials and lawyers involved in discussions.
    Thursday's ruling threatens to toss a wild card into that process, and could upend the FAA's current plans. In 2012, the FAA fined a pilot $10,000 for remotely operating a roughly 5 pound drone to film the University of Virginia campus, saying he operated it recklessly. The subsequent challenge raised a host of questions about legal distinctions between model aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. Some of those unresolved questions are likely to be debated further by lawyers, federal regulators and state officials.
    Administrative law judge Patrick Geraght struck down the fine, ruling in part that the FAA's de facto ban on commercial use of drones, based on a 2007 policy statement, "Cannot be considered as establishing a rule or enforceable regulation."
    A spokeswoman for the FAA, which has widely used "policy statements" and "advisory circulars" over the years to enforce important aircraft safety requirements, said agency officials were reviewing the ruling.
    Some lawyers and drone users have argued for months that the FAA has no statutory power to enforce its prohibition of commercial drone use. At very least, the ruling is likely to provide an immediate boost to manufacturers and would-be commercial operators seeking to introduce small unmanned aircraft flying at low altitudes.
    "I view the decision as a victory for technology" said Brendan Schulman, a New York based attorney and recreational drone user. "For seven years our federal government has told business people[]that they must stop using drones for commercial purposes, and I think that's had a negative effect on this really exciting emerging high-tech industry."
    For more on this article go to the Wall Street Journal @ WS
  • Sokkia Introduces New DX-200 Total Station to North America
    Posted: 3/6/2014
    Total stations are an essential piece of equipment for survey and construction jobs and the Sokkia Corporation has recently announced that they will introduce their DX-200 total station in North America. Their new DX series of total stations have improved abilities and versatility to provide a high level of accuracy and they are easy to operate.

    "The DX-200 is ideal for the professional looking for a mid-range, auto-pointing total station that can become a full-robotic instrument with a simple firmware upgrade," according to Ray Kerwin, director of global surveying products. "Advanced functionality such as Hybrid Positioning can be added to the robotic unit, making the DX-200 a versatile system for multiple applications."

    One of the main features of the DX-200 total station is the Direct Aiming technology which has a new intelligent algorithm that locates and aims to prisms and provides precise readings and layout data. This total station is also configured for Hybrid Positioning which allows it to use GNSS positioning and optical positioning data at the same time. This makes the DX-200 ideal for dark conditions or scenarios where the line-of-sight is blocked because the GNSS receiver can measure the distances when prisms cannot be located.

    Bluetooth wireless operating is another main feature of Sokkia's DX-200 total station. The wireless operating capabilities are increased when used with an RC-PR5 remote controller which allows the DX-200 to lock onto prisms at a distance of up to 2000 feet. Other features of the DX-200 total station include TSshield security and maintenance technology, MAGNET onboard integrated software, Sokkia's RED-tech reflectorless measurement system, and 1, 2, 3, or 5 arc second accuracy.

    Sokkia Corporation is one of the leading providers of highly accurate and reliable positioning equipment for surveying and construction applications and many of their products are provided by Positioning Solutions Company. Browse Positioning Solutions Company's website for more Sokkia products and watch for the North American release of the Sokkia DX-200 total station.
  • Positioning Solutions Company to Participate in CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014
    Positioning Solutions Company to Participate in CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014

    Posted: 3/3/2014
    ConExpo 2014, the largest construction show in the U.S., is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 4-8. Representatives from Positioning Solutions Company will be in attendance working the Topcon booth.

    PRLog (Press Release) - Feb. 27, 2014 - The CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 is the largest construction show held in the United States and Positioning Solutions Company (http://www.1psc.com/) will be attending this year?s event to work the Topcon booth in the North Hall # 12966. Held at the 3.2 million square foot Las Vegas Convention Center, ConExpo will feature exhibits of the newest construction equipment, technology, and product breakthroughs that will help businesses of the construction industry work smarter and more efficiently.

    ConExpo 2014 will have around 2400 exhibitors from every major construction industry such as asphalt, concrete, earthmoving, and mining among others displaying and demonstrating their newest products and technologies. This expo will also have over 130,000 attendees present representing different niches of the construction industry including contractors, engineers, service providers, and dealers and distributors. Throughout the 5 days of the expo, a comprehensive education program will be open to all in attendance that will feature sessions regarding issues, trends, and management within the construction industry.

    In addition to the exhibitions and education program that are staples of the ConExpo, there will be some aspects of the convention that are new for 2014. One new aspect of the convention is the navigation programs which will make it easier to get around the convention center with less walking. These navigation programs include superior shuttle service, a mobile navigation app, onsite guides to answer questions and help guests find exhibits, and new internal routes that will make walking between exhibits quicker.

    There will also be two new exhibition areas at ConExpo 2014; the Platinum Lot and the Demolition and Recycling Pavilion. The Platinum Lot will feature 387,000 square feet of aggregate processing, paving, and drilling equipment and the Demolition and Recycling Pavilion will have exhibits that promote the safe and economical recycling of construction and demolition material. New education packages will also be available at the 2014 ConExpo to give attendees more flexibility in choosing the programs that are more relevant to their business.

    ConExpo-CON/AGG 2014 is being held March 4-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the top names of the construction industry to unveil their newest equipment and technologies. Representatives from Positioning Solutions Company will be in attendance working at the Topcon booth and exhibiting Topcon?s newest products and technologies. The Topcon booth number is 12966 and will be located in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Browse PSC?s website (http://www.1psc.com/topcon-products-sokkia-products/) to view their selection of Topcon positioning equipment and follow them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/positioningsolutionscompany) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/1PSCsolutions) for live posts and updates from ConExpo-CON/AGG 2014.

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