Surveying and geology firm Monitum is exploring how hyper-specific location data can lower costs and increase safety on construction sites with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC).
An 18-month ‘Mthing’ research project will use internet of things (IoT) sensors on various construction site assets to receive and record Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals in near-real time.
The hope is that more accurate measurements will be produced faster than current manual techniques, while also being automatically sent to the cloud for storage and processing through the IoT network.
The Mthing project will also look at developing GNSS IoT sensors to provide more cost-effective measure solutions that still retain high levels of precision, and the potential for those sensors to provide instant alerts.
That’d be pretty handy on heavy machinery to prevent its operators from accidentally wandering into places they shouldn’t (e.g. close to powerlines or putting a bulldozer through a wall that’s meant to stay standing), but also could prove useful in other fields like in monitoring Sydney’s sudden deluge of sinking, crumbling apartments.
GNSS IoT sensors get their accuracy from location data provided by multiple positioning systems, of which GPS is just one.
Curtin University’s professor Peter Teunissen has been urging Australian industry, including mining and surveying, to take advantage of the added accuracy this can provide in dense urban environments or in deep open-pit mines where buildings and mine walls can block signals coming from just one system.
He said that Australia has in the perfect spot to take advantage of GPS and combine it with China’s BeiDou system, India’s growing system, and Japan’s figure-eight QZSS satellite loop that passes neatly over the continent.
GNSS also forms the basis of the Geoscience Australia's push for a centimetre-accurate navigation platform for use in driverless vehicles and aviation.
IMCRC CEO and managing director, David Chuter, said effective monitoring of civil structures required breaking new ground in technology, processes and services.
“The internet of things has opened up new possibilities for Australia’s manufacturing and
construction industry - collecting, analysing and incorporating infrastructure information into
practical applications and services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity
of infrastructure design and construction projects,” he said.
“The Mthing project explores these possibilities and creates, with its next generation of cost-effective GNSS IoT solution, new avenues for other Australian construction and
manufacturing businesses to investigate and adopt IoT into their operations to future-proof
and ensure sustained commercial outcomes for their business – both locally and through