Project Manager Dave Gigliotti of DDS Companies (New York) knew that he needed to improve the level of accuracy in the field for gas pipeline routing. He was onboard with Collector for ArcGIS, but his cell phone and tablet were giving him 30-foot accuracy readings, which wasn’t good enough for many situations.
“With a gas pipeline,” says Gigliotti, “if I can get my location within a meter or a foot, I would love to do that.” After an opportunity to demo the Eos Arrow 100 GNSSTM receiver in the field, he was sold and has since purchased two Arrow 100 GNSS receiver bundles from Land Logics Group.
A small, lightweight, portable receiver that draws data from four GNSS constellations to determine location and improve performance with free SBAS corrections, the Arrow 100 receiver delivers 60 cm real-time accuracy and can be used under trees, around buildings, and in rugged terrain — where other receivers fall to deliver. And thanks to real-time corrections processing in the field, you no longer have to spend time post-processing your data.
“We can walk a route and identify issues in the field,” says Gigliotti, “and make field changes live without having to go back to the office for backup. That has really streamlined that part of the process for us.”
Originally purchased to assist with route development, the Arrow 100 is also now being used by various DDS departments for wetland environmental delineations, layout of gas service lines, and stormwater inspections. DDS Companies provides turn-key transmission and distribution services for utility, pipeline, and telecommunications industries in the northeastern United States.
“Occasionally, we’ll have a long flag lot for instance or situations where we have to route a service line through multiple properties,” explains Gigliotti. “They (services group) will grab the Arrow unit and take it out to document where the pipe needs to be. They’ll actually have a line that they can bring into CAD and then to the customer for them to install properly. So we’re using the Arrow 100 for some of those more complex services.”
Gigliotti also says the Arrow 100 is proving useful in resolving conflicts encountered by distribution field crews. “Our project engineers routinely verify utility separation and tie distances for inclusion in our plan sets for both distribution gas line and station projects as part of the planning phase,” explains Gigliotti. “In the past, we have used aerial imagery combined with tape measures and walking wheels to record and verify these distances where survey may not have been required. With the Arrow Receiver we now have the option to utilize that equipment to more accurately locate some of these features when it makes sense for the project.”
Having purchased both the range mount system and hand-held three-in-one mount system, Gigliotti believes the Arrow 100 receivers have saved DDS money.
“They’ve already paid for themselves. Absolutely,” says Gigliotti. “My customers love them. And for me, it’s not about saving money but about innovation and staying on the cutting edge. Having that information in the field sets me apart from my competition.”
Both units are shared among DDS personnel. Within Gigliotti’s office, located in Henrietta, NY, three employees use the receiver regularly, but as many as eight have used the system.
“The learning curve is literally five minutes,” he says. Teaching someone how to find a location or collect a point with the Arrow receiver, Collector for ArcGIS mobile application, and hand-held mount system is “pretty painless.”
As for ruggedness of the equipment, Gigliotti has taken the Arrow on numerous field routing walks through thick woods, wetlands, and other non-optimal conditions. “I have done all of this in hot muggy weather, as well as pouring rain and snow, and have not had any concern that the Arrow receiver could handle these extreme conditions.”
DDS Companies is joining construction companies, first responders, government agencies, and a host of other organizations in the mobile revolution, which is generating billions of dollars in savings in data collection costs.