We caught up with Rhys Morgans, Survey Manager & Associate Partner about some of their recent projects working with GeoMax GPS.
Based in Oxford, GWP Consultants LLP is a multidisciplinary consultancy with over 40 years’ experience in providing specialist geological, geotechnical, hydrogeological, hydrological and surveying expertise. These skills are applied to the quarrying, mining, waste management, water resources markets and also to infrastructure and governance projects throughout the UK and internationally.
Tell us about what you do and the projects you’re currently working on.
We carry out detailed surveys. These could include, topographic surveys for volume analysis, flood risk assessment, mineral resource assessment and quarry design, quarry face surveys to allow for geotechnical rock mass characterisation and 3d rockfall analysis surveys.
Project examples include carrying out monthly extraction volume surveys and stock audit surveys of quarries throughout the UK, RSPB site surveys considering wetland design and habitat creation to support certain target species, and post construction monitoring of engineered bund settlement.
What are the benefits of using GeoMax GPS on these types of projects?
We work in remote, unforgiving, rugged environments. To date we haven’t had any issues with the serviceability of any of the GPS units. They have proved to be very reliable.
The tablet-based controller has allowed us to work via screen share whenever queries have come up on site and the improved modem (over our previous units) has been able to support this with a reliable network correction when working without a base station.
We have also found that the network corrections are far improved from our previous systems and now function in areas where we haven’t previously been able to establish connections.
I’d add that the ability to insert updated aerial imagery taken from our UAV surveys and use it as a backdrop to follow up surveys has allowed for greater precision and efficiency when targeting areas on sites.
The GeoMax units have a very user-friendly and intuitive interface with X-PAD software. Since using the GeoMax kit we haven’t received a single phone call from our Geology, Geotechnical, Hydrology and Hydrogeology teams who have more confidence in using the equipment. This has saved us time solving issues over the phone whilst the GPS units are in use.
What attracted you to GeoMax?
We first talked through the functions of the GeoMax GPS units a number of years ago at the GeoBusiness exhibition. This was followed up a short while later with Matt Lacey from Survey Tech leading to a demonstration of GeoMax GPS sensors. We quickly realised they would be a really good fit for our business.
What’s next for GWP with GeoMax?
We are currently in the process of changing all of our GPS units across to GeoMax. This process will hopefully be completed by early 2023.
And there are a number of areas that we are looking to build or create new capabilities.
One area we would like to build upon further is our UAV survey capabilities with drone-based LiDAR. We have been using UAV based photogrammetry for mapping and geotechnical inspections since 2012 and are continuing to watch the progress of UAV based LiDAR sensors as the technology matures and the tested accuracies improve.
Another area we have been researching and watching is the development of smaller lightweight sonar systems for hydro surveys as we feel this would be a good fit with our business activities.
What would you say to people thinking of buying GeoMax kit?
I would say ‘go for it’!
We were sceptical initially, however, we are yet to find a downside to making the jump across and have instead seen benefits in many different areas.